In Chelsea Bobulski's Remember Me, an eerie and suspenseful YA novel, a teen girl discovers what connects her to the hotel she calls home as horrifying visions lead her to the truth. Nell Martin is moving again, this time to the Winslow Grand Hotel, built in 1878. As Nell is settling in, strange things begin to happen. Doors lock of their own accord, writing appears on bathroom walls―and most horrifying of all―visions of a dead boy permeate her waking life. Thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her, she soon finds the past and the present colliding as she learns horrific details of a murder that happened at the hotel in 1907 involving a girl named Lea. Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.
Nell is still trying to recover from the loss of her mom when her dad moves her across the country. The move is for his new job in a historical hotel.
In 1907 Lea is being forced to marry a man she doesn’t love to improve her family’s circumstances.
I love me some historical fiction and some spooky stories. So when this novel was described as a cross between ‘Titanic’ and the ‘Shining’, I knew this story was for me.
The Winslow Hotel in this novel was a character in itself. It is so full of life and history while still being so very creepy. Having worked in the hotel industry I really loved some of the hotel lingo and inferences in the novel. This really made both Nell and Lea’s hotel stay seem so real.
I liked Lea’s perspective more than Nell’s. I felt there was more of a mystery there and that her story was more thought out and interesting. I did notice that her story was very similar to Rose’s from ‘Titanic’ though. Her story was nothing unique but it is one that I really loved.
I really liked Nell’s character and that of her dad. I felt for her and the loss of her mom and how that affected her life. I thought her story was different and yet similar to Lea’s. I loved Alec. He was super swoon worthy and definitely a book boyfriend for me.
I found the story to be more of a love story and less of a horror story which is fine with me, just not what I expected. I did feel that the end was some what of a let down. The middle of the story kind of dragged then the end wrapped up really quickly and anticlimactically.
I would compare the story to both ‘Titanic’ and ‘The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’. It’s definitely not something you read in YA often. ‘Remember Me’, was just the right amount of creepy and scary with a dash of history.
(The review was orginally posted on The Book Return Blog)
In the present day, Nell has moved to the hotel with her father, where he will be working. She had a lot of trouble after her mother's death, which left echoes in both her and her father's lives. She wants to be a professional dancer. As she lives in the hotel, strange things start happening to her- doors locking, things being written in the mirror, music only she can hear, and horrifying dreams of a dead boy. As she sifts through the history of the hotel, she begins to learn of how it is all connected with the past- and with Lea.
Absolutely engrossing, the book comes together beautifully in a thrilleresque mystery. The history and present are equally entertaining, and the inclusion of both perspectives adds a lot to the overall air of the story. The beginning is perfectly paced, drawing you in to the story. I felt that the later parts were a bit rushed, but that added to the intensity of the plot. The romance that builds for Nell in the story was a little harder for me to believe and I would have liked more time to see it happen and connect. However, it certainly didn't stop me from hoping for the best and following it eagerly to the end.
Overall, this was a engaging read, and I think the descriptors of The Shining meets The Titanic are apt- this is a romance, thriller, mystery, and historical fiction all in one that will keep readers turning pages until the satisfying conclusion.