In an effort to improve my blog and my book reviews in general, I decided to research other book review blogs and see how they did it. I discovered “Books I Done Read” which captured me with the title alone. This witty blogess has such great reviews but I also like that she rates things on a 10 point scale (or in her case caterpillars). In looking at my own reviews, I decided that maybe the ten point scale would work better in my situation as well. I like a lot of books but I need some more gradation to really hone down HOW much I liked it. So from now on the scale on BRFMF will be a ten shoe scale (to honor my other great love – fashion) with one shoe equaling a particularly atrocious Croc and a ten equaling a beautiful Louboutin. Hope that you like the new scale!
I am reviewing a new YA paranormal romance called Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Emerson Cole has a problem – “she sees dead people (insert scary child voice)” – specifically people from the past keep cropping up in her day to day life. When she touches them, they disappear. It all started shortly before her parents died in a horrific accident right around her thirteenth birthday. Since then, her older brother Michael has been trying to help her with psychiatrists, hospital stays, paranormal experts etc… Unfortunately because she doesn’t always realize that they are ghosts, Emerson has been labeled the crazy girl. She went on meds and the ghosts went away, but she didn’t like how they made her feel and now – “they’re baaaack.” Enter Michael, the newest expert her brother has found to cure her, from the mysterious Hourglass institute. He is super hot, charming, and she feels an electric spark as well as connection with him. Imagine Emerson’s surprise when Michael tells her that he knows she isn’t crazy, because he sees them too! Michael reveals to her that they are special and the Hourglass Institute needs her help to save a man’s life. Can Emerson trust Michael? What is the Hourglass Institute? What makes her special?
This book had a lot going for it. I liked the story line – it had an interesting angle and I enjoyed the twists and turns that the author presented. Emerson is an interesting female protagonist with a strong personality and likeable traits. The romance between Michael and Emerson was sweet with some nice complication thrown in to make it a little more exciting. The story is exciting and fast-paced. However, I felt the author sometimes missed the mark. The dialogue could be a bit unbelievable and although she fleshed out Emerson pretty well some of the other characters felt a little wooden and formulaic. All in all, I would say the originality of the story really set this book apart and made it worthwhile to read. Although I found some of the writing lacking, I read the book in two days. I found myself wanting to know what happened. I enjoyed both the fantasy and sci-fi elements present in the narrative. I give this book six shoes – a sweet pair of Target shoes that look cute but aren’t going to make you sigh with happiness.
Three Appeals : original storyline, fantastical elements, strong female protagonist
If you liked Hourglass try :
1) Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
Rigg and his father are trappers by trade, but Rigg has been instructed throughout his 13 years in languages, sciences, history, and politics. The teen is therefore somewhat mentally prepared for the quest that his father thrusts upon him with his dying breath—to go to the capital city and find his sister. Both Rigg and his friend, Umbo, have a special ability that aids them—Rigg can see the paths of all living things, regardless of intervening obstructions or even time, and Umbo can seemingly change the movement of time itself. Needless to say, the two meet various friends and foes and can’t always tell which is which as they journey onward. Juxtaposed with this main story is an entirely different narrative, told in a page or two at the beginning of each chapter. This is the tale of Ram Odin, human pilot of a colony ship from Earth, traveling to a new world with the use of space-folding technology. (taken from School Library Journal, v 56, iss 12, p104)
2) Interworld by Neil Gaiman
At nearly fifteen years of age, Joey Harker learns that he is a Walker, able to travel between dimensions, and soon joins a team of different versions of himself, each from another dimension, to fight the evil forces striving to conquer all the worlds. (taken from Novelist)
3) Die For Me by Amy Plum (Revenants #1)
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity. When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent. Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again. (taken from Fantastic Fiction)
Have you read Hourglass? What did you think?