22 November 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.


Although this book shows its origins as a first novel from McEntire overall I think it’s a win.. Emerson is a great character. I love how she’s snarky in the right way that teenagers are and how the author uses it as exposition and to lighten heavy tensions in the plot. However, I also feel that’s all I can really say about her, and “snarky” is not really a personality-defining trait. Michael, Kaleb, and Jack are even more undefined, making the romance angles rather puzzling to me (if I’m expected to fall in love with a boy, or accept that a heroine falls in love with a boy, I wanna know why, and “he’s pretty” just doesn’t cut it). I think the plot makes up for these shortcomings, though, and really makes the book worth reading. The pacing is good overall, even though there is a middle romance section that kinda drags a bit. I like the twist in the plot where the seeing ghosts turns in to time traveling, and I wish there was a little more explanation behind the science of time travel, but I also recognize that the general teen audience doesn’t feel the same way so I’ll give it a pass. The book concludes logically but leaves an opening for another book, so I’m looking forward to the sequel!

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