Monday, March 25, 2013

A Review of 'Hourglass' by Myra McEntire

"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?"

I've finally finished this one!  I've been working through it for months, but it's finally done!

I'm not sure how to feel about this book.  As per usual, we'll start with things I didn't like and work into the things that I thought worked quite well for this book.

What bothered me the most about this book was Emerson.  It's terrible, I mean, she's the main character!  What I didn't like about this character is that right away, she was a tough character, but then a few pages afterwards, it felt like she was a forced version of sensitive.  I say forced because the author was doing more telling than showing.  That is, Emerson was saying things that were horribly painful to read like, "That's not me, I'm not really like that."  That's not a direct quote, by the way.  I think I understand the effect that McEntire was going for, but it was really aggravating that I wasn't allowed to draw my own conclusions about Emerson.

Another thing I didn't like was the cliches.  Maybe they weren't really cliches, but they certainly felt like it.  This was mainly a problem towards the end of the book and it really started to grate on me because it just made the book drag out more.  Plus, it just made things cheesier and it was hard to take the story seriously.

Another thing that I didn't like was that it didn't feel like the author gave her audience enough clues to figure out what might happen in the story.  That really bothered me because you'd think one thing was going on and then, without warning, things would really turn out to be another way.

What I did like though was the overall plot.  I think the story has a lot of potential.  There's time travel, there's a bad guy (who could appear to be much more evil, in my opinion), it's complicated because there are so many layers to it.

Another thing that I liked was the amount of detail that was included.  This is a pretty average-sized young adult novel, but the details were rich.  I especially appreciated the ending where Emerson was experiencing "unexperienced" (that's complicated to explain without giving everything away) memories and to read about the taste of blood in her mouth as the bus wrapped itself around a tree... they're gruesome and horrifying details, but they were good and they really fit.

Overall, this was an okay read.  I wish that McEntire would give her readers a little more credit, but she has a generally interesting story to tell.  I might have to give the sequel a shot.  Overall, I give 'Hourglass':
Thanks for Reading!



  1. When you said it took you months to read this, that was a pretty good indication to me that this was not the book for you. I definitely remember not really liking Emerson either but I disliked how the sequel switched to Kaleb's POV as I liked him even less but if you liked him, it might work better for you.

  2. I was pretty neutral towards Kaleb, if I remember correctly. He was a lot like Emerson-- the perfect guy with flaws thrown on top. Not a very complete character.

    Maybe I'll read this sequel just to finish what I've started, but we'll see. I won't be picking it up in a hurry, certainly.


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