Monday, November 5, 2012

Review of Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)
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 also 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?

You guys, I was so pumped to read Hourglass by Myra McEntire when it first came out, but like so many other books on my TBR pile, it got bumped.  Thankfully, last March I decided to do a time travel themed book talk for an assignment (this is why going to graduate school to be a teen librarian is awesome).  Although I really enjoyed the plot and concept between Hourglass, I didn’t enjoy the characters as much as I’d hoped.

This novel is best categorized as timeslip/time travel, but there’s a hint of science fiction in here as well. What I like about McEntire’s concept is that it’s well thought out and wonderfully woven into her plot without being too complex.  Hourglass would be a great segue book for a reader who wants to test the waters of this genre without being underwhelmed.

McEntire’s debut has gotten a lot of praise for its characters, and I can see why.  However, I think she went a little overboard in making everyone perfect.  Emerson is tough, great-looking, and always snarky.  Michael is super good-looking and has lots of qualities Emerson wants in a boy.  While I was reading, I got the sense that McEntire was writing characters based on what she thought readers wanted, instead of what she really wanted her characters to be.  It’s almost like she was saying, “Readers love a tough, witty girl, so that’s what I’ll give them.”  I’ll give kudos to McEntire for trying, but her approach ultimately lead her characters to feel unnatural to me, like they were too perfect to really be human.

The problems I had with Hourglass are very specific, and they’re problems that I’ve seen myself sensing in other books I’ve read lately (why, is that a discussion post I feel coming on?).  I think teen and adult readers will have a lot of fun with this fast-paced timeslip novel.  After all, I enjoyed it enough that I hope to pick up Timepiece, even if it’s not at the top of the pile of sequels I need to read. 

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.

1 comment:

  1. I was a bit disappointed in the characters as well although mostly because I wasn't feeling the romance. I didn't care for Michael and I thought he was kind of a jerk a lot of the time.



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