Publication date: June 14th, 2011
Published by: Egmont USA
Genre: YA Paranormal, Time travel
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011
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?
After all the raving reviews I've read I expected Hourglass to be quite extraordinary. Unfortunately, I soon realised it was nothing more than your run-of-the-mill YA book: hot guy(Michael), cute girl with tormented past who will certainly annoy the hell out of you at some point(Emerson) and a love triangle for good measure(Kaleb).
I was fed up with Emerson's obsession with Michael. She just could not shut up about how hot Michael was! OK yes we get it, he's gorgeous. Enough already! Still, she couldn't convince me of her feelings towards him since they had no chemistry whatsoever(despite the lightbulbs bursting when they kissed. Dramatic much?) and I could not quite get the bond between them. Especially when Kaleb shows up and gives Michael a run for his money! I believe he shared a connection with Emerson and I think they make a more "believable" couple than Michael and Em. However, I know that there's no way anything happening between them, maybe just a kiss to make Michael jealous and ignite a spark but more than that, no way. So I guess Kaleb's purpose will be a decorative and/or a plot-filling one Sad.
As for the story, I guess it was OK, if not a little predictable. And very confusing.
I like books with time-traveling, as long as its very complex concept is explained properly. In Hourglass, people went from on moment in time to the other with such ease, I felt there was something amiss, something just didn't sit right with me. Like the first time they go back, they want to save X from getting killed and will let him live there. That's why they have arranged everything, money and a place to stay beforehand. When they go back though, they don't save X and leave him there. They bring him to the present!Why? It doesn't make any sense! And if they went and do it again, shouldn't there be 2 Xs in the present? Is that even remotely possible? And when Emerson sees herself in the past, isn't that like a time paradox?
Ugh, I don't know. Time-traveling for me is a very difficult notion to grasp and when you decide to fiddle with it in a book or movie, you ought to be very specific and detailed in your way of explaining it. At least show you've done some research, and not bend it anyway you like just because it suits your story.
All in all, I think Hourglass is a book for readers who enjoy a good old angsty romance and who will completely skip the time traveling bits(who cares how the physics or whatnot work? I want to see Emerson making out with Michael smooooooch! Or Kaleb, whatever.)
For me, the dynamics of time traveling, which basically is the essence of the book, were a disaster, and unfortunately I don't think the rest of the book made up for it. I just wish that the characters had more depth and the story was more consistent.