Author: Myra McEntire
Published: 2011 by Egmont
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?
"My small Southern hometown is beautiful in the haunting way an aging debutante is beautiful."
Based on all the buzz about this book, I expected something quite stunning and that’s pretty much what I got. Hourglass is a beautifully written story of time-travel.
The story starts off with Emerson seeing these phantoms. Almost everywhere she goes she’ll run into someone who is a “ghost” from the past. Her brother is really concerned for her, obviously, and keeps trying to set her up with various “doctors” who are all crazy. Finally, with the visions getting worse and worse, he manages to find Michael Weaver who says he can help. Weirdly enough, he knows exactly what’s wrong with her and knows how to control it and use it. Now he wants her to go into the past with him and change the future.
Sounds great, right? It pretty much is. There’s basically nothing I can say bad about this book except that it is a bit confusing. The concept of time-travel is never an easy thing to write about since it really CANNOT happen. Hence everything ever written about it seems really confusing and full of holes. I do have to hand it to Ms. Myra for making it seem possible (only with “superpowers”, or whatever, though). She explained it in a way that made more sense than most.
One more thing I didn’t like was the Emerson-Michael-Kaleb love triangle. It felt very forced and lacking in emotion. Emerson and Michael’s relationship was good for being love-at-first-sight and all. However, they didn’t act on their intial attraction because their relationship was supposed to be “strictly business.”
The writing was completely gorgeous. I love her word choice. This may sound way too specific, but I noticed that her similes were amazing. The comparisons made were unexpected instead of clichéd and I had to think intelligently for a few seconds to completely understand her meaning. Now, that might sound like a bad thing, but that’s only because we’re so used to similes that we expect, so no thinking’s involved. Instead, Ms. Myra respects her readers enough to give them a comparison requiring intellectual thought.
All in all it was a very fantastic book, and I look forward to the sequel.
Content Warnings: A bit of language