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Book Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

I remember when I first saw Hourglass; the cover caught my eye and I thought to myself I need to read that.  But like all readers my list of books to read is long and some books fall in the cracks.  If I could go back in time, I would read it the moment it came in to my library and crossed my desk.  This book is that good.

One hour to rewrite the past

Emerson Cole sees dead people.  At least she thinks that is what is happening. She opens the door and there stand a woman dressed like Scarlet O’Hara.  When she tries to place a glass on a piano at a party it crashes to the floor, she is the only one who can see it.  Boys playing football, a man standing in a garden . . . Only Emerson can see them.  It’s a secret that very few people know because it landed her in the hospital once when she had an argument in the school cafeteria with a boy that no one else could see.  It’s the kind of thing you tend to keep to yourself.

When her brother finds her help from a place called the Hourglass, Emerson learns the truth about herself: she is not seeing ghosts but time rips from the past.  She has a unique skill, and there are others like her.  They need Emerson to take them back into the past to help stop a murder.  But as we all know, changing the past can have dire consequences on the future; the world may not be the same, they may not be the same.

Dark, mysterious and “delicious” Michael is the other part of her whole.  Emerson can travel to the past, Michael can travel to the future.  They are like strong magnets that draw to each other and are hard to take apart.  Talk about electricity, when the two of them touch the power in the room surges – literally.  What would it be like to be meant to be together and yet have the potential to blow up the room?  And the best part, for once 2 characters in a novel have an instant and immediate attraction to one another and there is a scientific reason for it.  There is much rejoicing.

Emerson is the anti-Bella.  She is damaged, but still manages to be strong and self assertive.  She is haunted.  She is broken.  She is flawed.  And yet she is brave and plants her feet on the ground and says I will not be moved.  There are some interesting twists revolving around who Emerson is and what happened in her past.  Mind bending, soul sucking, knock you out of your shoes twists.

Another great thing about this YA novel is that even though Emerson’s parents are dead, she is still a part of a happy, loving family unit played by her older (adult) brother and sister-in-law.  I love when there are healthy and meaningful adult relationships in a ya novel.  I rejoice in its rarity.  Thomas and Dru are kind, supportive, nurturing and make it clear that no matter what, they love Emerson.  A non-traditional but healthy family equals bonus points.

Hourglass is a romance, but it is also solid science fiction.  Me likey.  (Note: that is highly professional reviewer speak right there.) There is even an endearing crazy scientist in a lab coat with a pocket protector, but I digress.  Here we have The Time Traveler’s Wife with a kick-butt twist, a dash of mystery, a daring rescue attempt, stunning reveals, and a possible collapse of the space-time continuum.  Time travel has so much potential and Hourglass definitely delivers on it.


I give it 5 out of 5 stars and wait anxiously for the next installment.  If I could, I would go back in time and read it again so I could enjoy the discovery of it.  I wonder how that would affect the universe?  Bottom line: you will enjoy it, your teens will love it, you will have tons to talk about and you’ll all be waiting with baited breath for the sequel.

Timepiece, the sequel to Hourglass. Coming June 12, 2012
A threat from the past can destroy the future. And the clock is ticking . . .

Looking for another great story about teens with unique powers, try Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Looking for some more time travel awesomeness, check out Mr. Was by Pete Hautman (an amazing and powerful story), The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, Paswatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and the Both Sides of Time series by Caroline B. Cooney.

Tell us, what did you think of Hourglass?  What is your favorite time travelling tale?  And if you are really bold, what would you go back and change in your past?


  1. I still haven't read this book! I keep eyeing it at the library whenever I go, but I haven't picked it up. But I'm definitely going to be grabbing this the next time I go! I really love main characters who are stronger than their past. I actually haven't read a time-travel book yet, so maybe this can be my first. =) Great review, especially with that professional reviewer language. 😉

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  2. I have this on my shelf and can't wait to read it. The covers initially drew me in, but the synopsis sounds so original and exciting. Timepiece was my Waiting On Wednesday Post yesterday. I can't wait to read these. Great review!

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