Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Amazon Synopsis: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.

  HourglassHourglass by Myra McEntire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've had Hourglass sitting on my Kindle shelf since it was on sale for $1.59. I read the synopsis and for some reason I just couldn't get into it. It's not like I even cracked the book open and started reading - I just wasn't in the mood for it based on the synopsis. I finally did read it this month because one of my groups on Goodreads chose it as the Book of the Month for our group to read. I then procrastinated until close to the end of the month.

I don't know what my problem was! This book was really good. I started reading the first chapter and got sucked right in. I couldn't figure out what all the previous hemming and hawing was about. I really like books set in the South, and Hourglass is set in Tennessee. The chapter opens with Emerson coming home and sticking her hand through a Scarlet O’Hara style Southern belle. When I read this, I was thinking, “What is this all about?” I became more and more intrigued – especially when I found out that this wasn’t a ghost story!

I like Emerson for the most part. She has had some horrible things happen in her life, and she seems to be trying to make the best of things. She is spunky. She kicks butt. I love that she is into martial arts, and it talks about how hard she worked to become a brown belt. I like when characters work to be skilled and aren’t just magically able to suddenly kick butt. I find Emerson to be funny, strong and dedicated. The one thing that I don’t like about her is that she is one of those females that is so headstrong that she goes against what everyone tells her – just to spite them. On the one hand, I see her point, that if it involves her life, she should know, so that she can make a well-educated decision. On the other hand, I hate it when smart, strong, female characters put themselves right in the line of fire for stupid reasons.

Enter the love interest, Michael. He sounds attractive, but he doesn’t quite do it for me. It seems like he plays with Emerson’s emotions a lot. He withholds information from her, telling her it’s for her own good. I hate when people do that. He should have been honest with her. He was trying to gain her trust so he could essentially use her to accomplish a goal he desperately wanted to accomplish. So while I dislike female characters that ignore the “it’s for your own good” statements and put themselves in danger, I dislike more the male characters that withhold information resulting in the female putting herself in that situation. It’s kind of chauvinistic. Emerson had to pretty much fight for every piece of information she received throughout the book.

I also dislike that Michael would be all into Emerson one minute and then blowing her off and making her feel bad the next. Emerson was a little clingy about it at times – but this tends to happen when a guy is bi-polar about his feelings. I dislike the whole thing with Ava. Michael wasn’t very firm with Ava when it came to her advances, and he let Ava make Emerson feel bad about herself and insecure. That being said, I have to respect Michael for his self-sacrificing actions later in the book.

Hourglass does have a sort of love triangle. Kaleb, Michael’s close friend, is closer in age to Emerson. He has lost his parents like Emerson. He is more of a bad boy- acting out because he can’t deal with his grief or his powers in a healthy way. I personally prefer bad-boy Kaleb over Michael. Kaleb is definitely trouble – but he does make Emerson question her feelings for Michael – especially when she discovers that her feelings may not be her own.

There is a whole slew of side characters that are well developed and interesting. I love Emerson’s brother and his wife. Dru is very maternal and I love how she really makes an effort to make Emerson feel part of their family. I really like Emerson’s best friend Lily, and I hope that she gets more attention in the next book. It doesn’t seem like they get to spend a ton of time together in Hourglass and I’m fairly certain Lily has some amazing secrets of her own. The rest of the members of the Hourglass society are interesting too – except for Ava – she is really unlikable.

I loved the world-building. I like the descriptions of the buildings and the towns that Hourglass takes place in and the descriptions of Thomas and Dru’s renovations of the old buildings, their home, and restaurant. I loved all the information on time travel and rips. The different things Emerson see’s is so fascinating – my favorite being the three being the three piece jazz band.

Overall I gave Hourglass 4 stars, because it’s definitely different. I liked the way it was written, though I’ve seen a few people complain about the lack of “he said” “she said” when people are talking. I think it was fresh, easy to read and fun. I can’t wait to read Timepiece. I can’t wait to find out what consequences Jack and Emerson’s travels cause for the present time. I hope maybe Emerson sees the value of Kaleb and what a sort of schmuck Michael is. Go Team Kaleb!

View all my reviews


YA Novelties said...

I'm currently doing the same thing that you did with Hourglass. Keeping in my kindle library, not reading it, just letting it stay there. I read the first few chapters, and found myself a little bored.

Hopefully, when I continue on, I will like it as much as you did.

Angie @YA Novelties

Jennifer G said...

You may like it if you stick with it.

Maji Bookshelf said...

I agree, this book was great! I was also hesitant to start it. I actually really liked Emerson! and Michael was good for me but I guess the hot/cold act was to make him look like a bad boy :P

great review!! you should pick up Timepiece! it is told from Kaleb's POV! :D

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