Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hourglass (Hourglass#1) by Myra McEntyre


Good Reads Sumary
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.

My Thoughts

I caught myself rolling my eyes at how hot she found him. Throughout the book Emerson cannot get over how good Michael looked. She was all, “His classic looks, his lips, his clothes, even his muscles (even saying his muscles have muscles!)” So, yes, there were plenty eye roll, head-meet-table moments. Then I realized I was being too critical and actually expecting it to suck. Once I recognized these things, and let go of some of my expectations, things got a little better. Yes, there’s a lot of the same old same old in it, but two things kept me going: her family… and the hope that it wouldn’t be too YA typical.
The good things first: Her family is present. One normally reads of YA protags who feel left out and misunderstood, alone to deal with their issues (until the requisite love interest shows up to shake things up.) In Hourglass, Emerson has a loving and supportive family. With their parents dead, Thomas and Dru, his wife, are all she has. And that’s a good thing because they are there for her, while still setting down some rules for her.

Another positive was the whole seeing ghosts and time travelling thing. Or at least it could have been a good thing. Because honestly? A lot of the book was Emerson obsessing over Michael’s physical perfection. The time travel aspect just came across as to easy with the serious lack of explanation. Readers are expected to take things at face value: Em can see dead people (sort of.) Em can harness her powers. And Em can do this by following what bleep-bleep says. For a character touted to be independent and not so trusting (and she really was those things at first,) I was very surprised by how easily later on she accepted some of the explanations. Well, maybe because it’s their “electric connection,” that’s time and again, alluded to in the book.

Again, it still is sadly just another YA despite the story being “I see dead people” with the added element of time travel. Hourglass could have been so good. However, the characters weren’t developed: Emerson is not as independent or strong as I would have liked. But maybe that’s a good thing because there can only be so many “strong” characters, right? It’s just that sometimes she came across as jealous and childish. Then Michael. He’s there, he’s hot... and Em likes him (a lot). Why? Whu...? How? Is it because he is hot, has pouty lips and muscles that have muscles that they develop a romance? I mean really?! The other characters too were not as developed; I wish their abilities were explored a little more.

Oh, and there’s also a love triangle.

If you still haven’t gotten enough of inexplicable YA romances, with characters thought to be tough and strong but are really just enamored with the physical attributes of their requisite romantic interest, this might do.

At least the ending was good. It was surprising enough to get me to want to read the next one.


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