Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: Down to Earth

By Melissa Amster

Imagine waking up in the morning, saying goodbye to your loved ones as they head off to start their days, and then going on a parachute jump. Sounds like an average day, right? Think again. Imagine landing from the jump in another day, time and place than where you started. And think of how you'd feel if everyone accused you of abandoning them when you just saw them earlier that morning! If you can do that, then you will totally be able to relate to Michaela Anderson, the heroine of Melanie Rose's latest novel, "Down to Earth."

Michaela goes on a parachute jump with some co-workers in the spring of 2002. As she is in the middle of her jump, a gust of wind sweeps her up and she lands in the autumn of 2008! There are posters declaring her missing and everyone is angry with her for disappearing and not telling them where she went. Michaela has to figure out where the last six-and-a-half years went so that she can piece the rest of her life together. With the help of an attractive pilot and his science obsessed friend, she gets closer and closer to the truth of her mysterious disappearance. And what she finds will shake up everything she believed to be true in the world.

When I first heard the premise of this novel, I knew I just had to read it. I love stories about time travel, either related to some crazy scientific experiment or because of amnesia. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, I was given the opportunity to read and review this, and I found a new author to like at the same time! Once I picked up "Down to Earth," it was nearly impossible to put down! The premise was so different from the amnesia themed novels I have been enjoying. This is because Michaela doesn't have amnesia. At least she doesn't think she does. She was in the air one moment and had landed in a different time at the next. It was pretty mind-boggling to say the least. I was theorizing along with Michaela and everyone else as to what could have caused her disappearance. It was just so fascinating. She kept finding all these surprises along the way, as well. It was enough to keep me at the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. I really liked all the supporting characters in her life, even when I wasn't sure I'd initially like them. They didn't take away from her story, but instead added to it. I wanted to see her foster these relationships, even when a huge dilemma was involved. Like the title of the novel, Michaela was extremely down to earth. She didn't act superficial or silly. She was very easy to like and relate to. I like how she always tried to do the right thing, regardless of whether it was also right for her or not.

As much as I didn't want to have anything to criticize about this story, I did find some little things bothersome. I felt like the main reason leading to her disappearance was kind of dropped after it had been a mystery for so long. It was investigated, but then it was pretty much accepted and nothing more was really said after that. I guess I was looking for something more definitive. I also felt like a lot of the scientific and spiritual discussions went over my head and I tended to zone out during those parts. There was also something involved with a numbers sequence that seemed a bit inaccurate, unless Ms. Rose was writing it in the perspective of the person who made that discovery. Perhaps this character had some misinformation?

Overall, "Down to Earth" was a great story and I enjoyed being swept up in it the same way Michaela was swept up by the gale of wind! Even though it wrapped up a bit neatly, I felt there were so many directions it could go that I still was surprised by the ending. If you haven't read any of Ms. Roses' novels, I definitely recommend you start with this one. And if you have read and liked her other novels, you won't be disappointed by this one! I know I can't wait to read her other novels now!

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Rebecca (RivkaBelle) said...

Ooooh, this is definitely getting added to the To Read list! Sounds so fun! At first I thought it was going to be like Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me?", with an amnesia thing, but then I kept reading your review...Yup, sounds way too fun. :o)

Karen said...

I agree with all your comments. I loved the premise and the characterisation etc. but felt there was too much scientific explaining about what had happened towards the end, that didn't quite fit with the rest of the book.

I adored Melanie's first novel, Could it be Magic? though :o)