Source: Publisher (Egmont USA)
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 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.
Hourglass was far from what I expected and every bit as phenomenal as its cover!
From the synopsis, I expected a novel heavily saturated with paranormal elements and a southern gothic feel. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! The story felt as light and airy as the ghosts – or “rips” – Em encountered.
Emerson’s sarcasm immediately had me hooked. It not only made for a highly entertaining narrative, but it also added to her character. She was both lovable and strong, all the while masking some deeper issues, which were revealed throughout the novel. After everything she went through, this combination made her all the more admirable.
The romance between Em and Michael was, as with everything else, expertly written. It had all the passion and spark (literally) of an epic YA romance, but never went too far overboard. It toed the line perfectly, never failing to keep me intrigued but still keeping the focus on the plot.
Even the supporting characters were wonderful. From Em’s best friend, Lily, to Michael’s best friend, Kaleb, every character had multiple layers to them, making them as interesting as Em herself. Each one could easily hold his or her own in a spinoff novel. In fact, though I don’t normally say this often, I am as excited to find out more about the supporting characters as I am about reading more about Em and Michael in the next book. It was all around one of the best cast of characters I’ve encountered this year, if not ever.
The first half of the novel is largely focused on the romance between Em and Michael, as well as the mystery of Michael himself. I ate up all the development, furiously flipping pages to find out more. However, I began to grow fearful when the larger plot began to be introduced. As with many paranormals preceding it, I feared Em would severely overreact to one of the revelations or the plot would become something dark and fantastical that would bog down the rest of the novel. But, once again, McEntire completely defied my expectations. Em took all the developments in stride – proving her strength of character once again. Even better, the storyline that McEntire introduced was fascinating and far from anything I ever could’ve guessed. Without giving anything away, this new plot was just intricate and unique enough that I was intrigued, but not too complicated that I got lost, which easily could have been the case.
In a sea of paranormal, Hourglass stands out from the crowd. McEntire has a true talent for novel writing, making Hourglass an absolute must-read!