I’ll be honest, I did not like this book. When I decided to start doing book reviews I told myself I would never post a BAD review. However, a few days have passed since I closed the cover on this book and I’ve managed to get over my initial disdain… at least I’m over it enough to post an honest review…
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Before we get into this, and before anyone gets offended by that rating, I should mention that I am way too old for this book. By way too old I mean I’m 23 and this is a book meant for teens. I’ll even admit that I probably would have loved this book in high school (just like I loved Twilight in high school) when I was still boy crazy, naïve, and in the process of coming into my own. However, as a 23 year old, the “romance” was silly (and at times totally inappropriate for a teen plot) and the main character was an insecure shell of a girl with total self esteem issues who made rash decisions based on what would most likely impress her new band of boyfriends.
Let’s start with her: Emerson starts out as a pretty cool girl, she’s witty, pretty, she’s into baseball and martial arts, and she see’s dead people. Her parents died when she was young which sent her spiraling into major depression that eventually ended up getting her committed and sent to special boarding schools (not to mention her little ghost problem). Not surprisingly Emerson has horribly low self esteem, almost no friends, and *gasp* has never been kissed. She constantly refers to herself as crazy and considers herself to be a total outcast from society. Her older brother Thomas and his wife have taken her in and raised her through her teenage years. Thomas has always been understanding of Emerson’s strange visions but he’s constantly hiring shrinks and psychics to “fix” her. Meet Michael; Emerson’s newest mentor.
Michael is sexy. We know this because Emerson makes mention of it on every single page. His lips, his muscles, his smell, his eyes, his hair, his totally awesome car. The second she meets him she becomes a total doormat. When she’s around him she can think of nothing but him (and not in the cute “you’re all that’s on my mind” way, in the creepy, obsessive “can’t think for herself” way). She is constantly tuning out to think about how hot he is and how much she wants to touch his lips… and other various parts of his body. In fact, when they do touch, there’s such a magnetic, chemical reaction that they actually create electricity and blow out the nearest light bulb. Oh, and Michael sees dead people too. So they have that in common. However, he makes it clear from the beginning that their relationship is purely professional (but continues to constantly seduce her), successfully breaking Emerson’s fragile little heart.
From there it’s about 200 pages of Bella Emerson acting like a jealous, immature, insecure shell of herself – and Edward Michael acting like a macho, secretive, jealous prick. He refuses to tell her the whole story which forces her to follow him everywhere and eavesdrop on all his private conversations. She acts out when she discovers his possibly ex-girlfriend and he throws a fit every time he discovers her spending time with his best friend Kaleb (who is also conveniently drop dead gorgeous and happens to fall in love with Emerson after about one minute of knowing her… life must be so rough). Emerson then makes totally rash and life threatening decisions to save the day and show everyone how totally cool she is. However, even in the heat of battle she doesn’t forget to mention Michael’s luscious lips or Kaleb’s deep blue eyes… as if we could forget. She is constantly reminding the reader how short she is and introduces every other female character as stunningly beautiful with 10-mile-long legs. She basically makes it clear that she is not worthy of Michael’s love or capable of competing for it. Yeah, that’s the message we should be sending teenage girls. Fortunately for her the boys of Hourglass are interested only in Emerson… despite her short stature and surly attitude (not to mention her desire to punch and hit everyone within a 10-foot radius). Honestly, I’m not sure why either party is interested in the other.
“Romance” plot and self esteem issues aside, McEntire had a really cool and original idea. Michael is not some sort of immortal vampire or angel or whatever else teenage girls are into these days, he’s just a guy who happens to see across time, just like Emerson. Together they can change history – literally. The ending worked like a puzzle, they had to find all the pieces and correctly put them together before they (or the reader) could see the big picture. I would have truly enjoyed this book if the story wasn’t so saturated with teenage melodrama.
2 thoughts on “Hourglass”
I like that you read the entire book even though you disliked it. You gave the author a chance each step of the way.
I might have been a little harsh, it was a good story if you skim through the paragraphs in which the main character zones out and ponders how Michael’s lips would feel if she prodded them with her fingertips (actually happens).