Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

However Hard You Try, You Can’t Run Forever, a guest post by author Myra McEntire


I counted my Doctor Who shirts.

I won’t give you the exact total, because anything over twenty would be ridiculous and . . . I’m ridiculous. 

Is it my fault TeeFury makes awesome shirts full of pop culture goodness for ten-ish bucks? Should I be the one to shoulder the blame for their masterfully evil plan to offer a totally new shirt every twenty-four hours? Am I responsible for the artists who excel at making Doctor Who art? For the rabid fans that keep demand high? For my trigger finger on the mouse, or the ease of shopping while wearing jammies,or my compulsion to own ALL THE T-SHIRTS?

Don’t answer that. 


I have retro travel posters for Gallifrey and Skaro in an online shopping cart RIGHT NOW.  purchased a tiny Tardis to hang on my Christmas tree. I‘m searching for the perfect shirt to wear at NCTE/ALAN so I’ll match my Fourth Doctor arm warmers.

I know the first step is admitting the problem.

The next series of Doctor Who starts on November 23rd, and I don’t know how I’m going to watch. Not due to the fact that the writing team has no regard for their own canon, or proper world building, or because emotion was largely absent from the last series. For me, Doctor Who is so closely tied to my books that the thought of revisiting the show, even with a new Doctor, makes me flat out wibbly wobbly. 

My time traveling days might be over.  The Hourglass series is complete at three books, and the characters (well, the ones who are still alive) are happy. 

There are Doctor Who references in all three of my books. Not one was planned. They just jumped from my subconscious to the page. Even so, it took me a year to make a connection between my time travel adventures and the good Doctor’s. That was before all the paradox and theoretical physics research. (I’m pretty sure brain juice has stopped leaking out of my ears, but just in case, do you have any extra cotton balls?)

I’ve always been a fan of the ubiquitous cable marathon, especially when there’s housework to do. Thanks to SyFy–Sci Fi back then—and a new baby, I discovered a lovable alien with two hearts and a sweet ride. Funny, charming, and BRITISH. I caught reruns when I could, and was genuinely confused for a while. (“Bad Wolf” came before “Rose” for me. Can you even?)

Number Eleven is the first Doctor I experienced chronologically from beginning to impending end. Hourglass came out the week after I learned who River Song really is in “A Good Man Goes to War.” I turned in the last draft of Infinityglassshortly after I discovered who was hiding at Trenzalore.  

I’m certain that I’ll be watching on November 23rdalong with every other Whovian (especially since I’ll be in Boston with Beth Revis, who would cause me physical harm if I tried to do anything else), but I’m also certain it will be bittersweet. It’s fitting for me to say goodbye to the Hourglass world as I say goodbye to the eleventh Doctor. Ends make way for beginnings, which are shiny and scary and wholly unknown, but deserve the chance to stand on two new (regenerated) legs, or to live between two covers.  

We can always revisit the past through reruns and rereads, but the future is where the next story lies. Remember . . . 


 


Author Myra McEntire is the author of the ridiculously awesome Hourglass series.  This is a series full of time travel and romance and one of the very few books that actually made me swoon.  Seriously, read Timepiece.  And Infinityglass has one of my favorite representations of slowly building intimacy and consent.  I recently abandoned my children and paid hard earned money to drive on toll roads into unknown places in the dark of night to meet her – and it was worth it.  You can find all of the Hourglass books – Hourglass, Timepiece, and Infinityglass – at EgmontUSA.com. I am obviously a HUGE fan and the fact that she wrote this post for us has made my life complete.

Look it’s Karen stalking meeting Myra McEntire
 Visit www.MyraMcEntire.com or follow Myra on Twitter @MyraMcEntire
THE HOURGLASS Books: HOURGLASS, TIMEPIECE, and INFINITYGLASS 
This post is part of TWO marvelous blogging events!



Sci-Fi Month is brought to you by Rinn Reads. Check out the full schedule of Sci-Fi Month posts! There are reviews, discussions, giveaways, and more!



Doctor Who Week is a joint venture between  Maria’s Melange and Teen Librarian Toolbox. We have a full week of fun posts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

This is What Consent Looks Like, a book review of Infinity Glass by Myra McEntire

I am a huge fan of the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire.  It is one of my go to recs at my library.  Book 2, Timepiece, is one of my favorite books.  It is dynamic and I found the main character, Kaleb, to be engaging, complex and well written, so I was excited about book 3, Infinity Glass.

Fast forward to the 3rd and final book in the trilogy, Infinity GlassInfinity Glass tells the final part of this story from yet another character’s point of view, in this case Dune and a young woman named Hallie.  Hallie is the overprotected daughter of a criminal who works for a competing agency called Chronos.  If you aren’t familiar with the Hourglass series, you can read reviews of book 1, Hourglass, and book 2, Timepiece, to catch up.  Books 1 and 2 basically established that various people had different time related abilities and they were competing people looking for something called the Infinity Glass.  The person who holds the Infinity Glass would hold a tremendous weapon in their hand and you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands.  There are a couple of cool twists and reveals, the worst mother of the year, and a couple of tense situations that keep you on the edge of your seat while reading.

I enjoyed the final book in the series, though not as much as I liked Timepiece, but probably because there was scant amount of Kaleb, Lily, Em or Michael.  One issue, for me, was that the characters from book 1 and 2 don’t play that big of a part until the end of this book.  In fact, in many ways, Infinity Glass almost seems like an entirely new book, except for the fact that it really does wrap up the time travel mystery introduced in books 1 and 2.  I also felt that the final 3rd of the book was a little rushed in its resolution.  But it’s a perfectly fun read.  I love the power, strength and confidence McEntire gives these teens while still allowing them to be real and vulnerable.  And I love the way we mess with time.

But that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the swoon.

No, I want to talk about the relationship between Dune and Hallie.  One thing that the Hourglass series has going for it in spades are the various romantic relationships.  For teen readers looking for smolder and swoon, the Hourglass titles do not disappoint.  In fact, Infinity Glass has one of my favorite relationships of 2013 in it (second only to maybe Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell).

Dune is definitely hot in the way he is both described and the way he interacts with Hallie and teen readers will swoon.  But more importantly, Dune is intelligent, sophisticated, respectful, thoughtful (as in thinking, not just kind) and more.  He takes the time to examine – and discuss – his feelings to make sure they are coming from a good place.  And as Hallie and Dune open themselves up emotionally to one another, their physical intimacy reflects the growing emotional intimacy in interesting and healthy ways. 

Then, my absolute favorite moment happens.  Wanting to pursue some physical contact with Hallie, Dune looks at her and asks, “So I have a green light then?”  He respects her, asks for permission, and makes sure he clearly gets it before proceeding.  In a post Stuebenville world where we are debating in the public what consent looks like, McEntire takes a moment to show us.

I have railed a lot recently against unhealthy relationships in YA lit.  And the truth is, unhealthy relationships happen and they should happen in YA lit.  But the question I keep asking is, where is the other side of the coin?  Interestingly enough, McEntire really flips some typical (perhaps stereotypical) gender roles in this story.  Hallie is the character pushing sexual boundaries here.  Hallie is the flirty girl pushing, teasing, using sex as a weapon against Dune.  In fact, I didn’t like her at first.  But as she comes to see who Dune is and experience his faith and trust in her, his respect for her, she changes her mind about many things.  That’s right people – there is growth!

Another great thing about Infinity Glass is that the physical intimacy does not always, does not often, mean sex.  Sometimes it genuinely means holding and comforting someone in the aftermath of a truly difficult day or experience.  There is a wide range of both emotional and physical intimacy demonstrated.  And where a lot of teen books seem to skip the part where teens talk about their relationship and just go right to the kissing, that doesn’t happen here.  Dune and Hallie actually talk about what they are thinking and feeling.  So cool.

So as book 3 in the Hourglass series, I give Infinity Glass 4 out of 5 stars.  But as a romantic read, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.  The series is good, and popular, so if you don’t have it you should definitely add it or read it. It’s a fun crossover title for Doctor Who and X-Men fans, combining all that wibbly wobbly timey-whimey stuff with cool teens that have various time related quirky powers.  Also, best cover ever.

Infinity Glass by Myra McEntire.  Book 3 in the Hourglass trilogy.  Published August 6, 2013 by Egmont USA.  ISBN: 9781606844410.

What happens at TLA stays at TLA. Well, until I write this blog post.

So, last weekend TLA happened. This was my second year attending TLA and it was incredible.  Here are 5 of my highlights and 5 of the titles I am looking forward to reading.

1.  I MET A.S. KING


On Thursday, I had a couple of hours to kill and a bag full of stuffs, so I walked over to the parking garage to unload and figure out what my plan of action was. Suddenly, I got a cryptic text from my friend Stacy (from Girls in the Stacks): “Where are you?”  She then let me know that she was standing there talking to A. S. King (my hero).  So I texted her back, “I will be there in 5!”  I then proceeded to run down 9 flights of stairs, cross the street, and run through the exhibit hall to have the moment I have been waiting over a year to happen.  But there she stood – A. S. King.  I would like to say I totally kept my cool but the truth was, I was a dork.  She was very gracious about it.  And after she left, I broke down sobbing – although luckily it was in the Little, Brown booth.  Witnesses proclaimed that it was “cute”, but I think here they meant cute as a code word for “dorky”.  It does not matter because I MET A. S. KING.  Friends stood in line and got me a signed copy of her upcoming title (October) Reality Boy, which I have already finished reading.  That’s right, after being gone for 4 days I spent all day Saturday ignoring my children and not doing all the blog things I was supposed to do and read Reality Boy.  I am here to tell you that A. S. King has once again written an amazing, insightful book that I will gush about. This is also the story of how Stacy became my hero by making sure I got to meet A. S. King.

2. I Had Dinner with Mind Games author Kiersten White, Sweet Venom author Tera Lynn Childs, and Through Her Eyes author Jennifer Archer

Because of the superfab Naomi Bates at YA Books and More (we are going to start vlogging together about School/Public Library cooperation), I got invited to a Harper Collins dinner which involved a bunch of people from Harper Collins – and me apparently. I sat right next to Kiersten White (and this time managed not to cry thank you).  I really liked Mind Games and it was nice to get to talk to her about it. I also met Jennifer Archer, author of Through Her Eyes, and Tera Lynn Childs, author of Forgive My Fins and the Medusa Girls series. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about the publishing side of things.  We had a very interesting conversation about how there is a need for more books with MCs that are POC, but how they don’t tend to sell as well. It was enjoyable and informative. Also, yummy.

3.  A. S Howard reveals the cover to the sequel of Splintered, Unhinged.

Sometimes you have a moment of being in the right place at the right time.  That is what happened to me when I ended up being at the cover reveal of Unhinged, the sequel to Splintered.  I love the colors and the way the two covers work together.

4.  It’s Time for Tea in Texas

A special thanks to everyone who put together the Texas Tea, where I met a wide variety of my favorite authors and got to learn up their new or upcoming titles.  Pictures are Sharon Flake, who was a good sport and put on the mustache, John Corey Whaley, who is just adorable, Krissi Dallas, who always has a rockin’ presence, Tessa Gratton, who is very excited about her mythology inspired The Lost Sun coming out soon, and Lisa McMannon, who shared her inspiration for her book in the multi-author Infinity Ring series.  I also met Matt De La Pena who talked about growing up as a multi-racial young man and shared a short story he wrote for something called One Teen Story, a literary magazine for YA readers (which is new to me).

5. Writers are Readers!

Look, there’s Michael Buckely – author of the N.E.R.D.S series – reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson at TLA. It was so fun to run into authors who were gong to booths to try and get titles that they wanted to read.


And here are a few of the books that I heard about that I want to read

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines: Described as “The Avengers meet The Walking Dead”.  This book is already out, but it is part of a 4 book series that hasn’t gotten enough publicity.  That tagline should make it easy to sell.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis: About a girl living in a post-apocalyptic world who must defend what little water she has.  Dystopian and environmental, a winning combination.

 
Counting by 7s by Holly Golberg Sloan: I ran into award winning author John Corey Whaley and THIS is the book that he was going to get an ARC for.  He says it is fabulous and should be a strong contender for the Newberry.

Winger by Andrew Smith: First, this book has the best cover ever. Seriously. Everyone who has read it raves. And A. S. King is a fan.

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire: Speaking of best covers ever. Is this not amazing?  I am a HUGE fan of the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire (as are my teens) and I can’t wait for the next installment.  If you haven’t read it yet, check it out.

How about you? What were your fave TLA highlights?  What upcoming titles are you looking forward to?

And did I mention – I met A. S. King!!!!!!

In the Kitchen at The Library as Incubator Project with Myra McEntire

 
And check out my review of both Hourglass and Timepiece by Myra McEntire
The Hourglass series is published by EgmontUSA

Tuesday Top 10: Time Travel

Since we are talking about Mr. Was and time travel, I thought we should put today’s Top 10 list together: Time Travel books! So I’ll share my list of Top 10 Time Travel books for teens, then you share yours in the comments. And if you are really brave, share a day you would go back in time to change or fix or just relive because it was pure awesome.


Read what Pete Hautman has to say about writing Mr. Was.

“No matter what your reality looks like, you’re the girl I’m in love with today, and the same girl I’ll be in love with tomorrow and all the days after that. Not just because of who you are, but because of who you were. It’s all part of your story, Em. And I want to be a part of your story, too.”

And don’t forget the sequel, Timepiece
“Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.” Jennifer Donnelly
“People think they own time. They have watches and clocks and digital pulses. But they are wrong. Time owns them. Caroline B. Cooney
“We all have such stories. It is a brutal arithmetic. But I I am alive. You are alive. As long as we breathe, we can see and hear. As long as we can remember, all those gone before are alive inside us.” Jane Yolen
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract“. Madeleine L’Engle

First in the Time Quartet by Madeleine L’Engle


“I still think about the letter you asked me to write. It nags at me, even though you’re gone and there’s no one to give it to anymore. Sometimes I work on it in my head, trying to map out the story you asked me to tell, about everything that happened this past fall and winter. It’s all still there, like a movie I can watch when I want to. Which is never.” Rebecca Stead
“There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.” Audrey Niffenegger

“You are one of the missing.” Margaret Peterson Haddix

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix is the first book in The Missing series

“You are so . . . 11:59″ Scott Westerfeld

The Midnighters series is not really about time travel, but it is about bending time and I love it so I am including it.

As for travelling back in time . . . I would love to go back in time and just hold my babies again as little babies. Or the day I cracked open the first Harry Potter book, that was a fun ride.

Book Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire

They have altered history, and now it’s time to learn what the consequences are . . .

Be warned: spoilers for Hourglass (previously reviewed), the first part of Myra McEntire’s series, abound in this review. Read at your own risk.

Timepiece takes off where Hourglass left us, although it is told from another character’s point of view.  If you read Hourglass, you know that Emerson and Michael stepped back in time to save one man from death, and that man was Kaleb’s father.  Now we get to see what it like to have mourned your father and see him live again.  Kaleb wasn’t dealing so well with his father’s death in Hourglass, but how will he deal with his resurrection?

They say that every action causes a ripple of reactions throughout the universe, and the people from Hourglass have made earthquakes.  Now, time rips are becoming more frequent, new people can see them, and sometimes you can interact with them.  The rules are changing and no one is quite sure what it means.

To make matters worse, Jack is moving in and out of these rips and showing up in unexpected places wrecking havoc.  Jack, it turns out, is not the only player in town.  There are more people then we know interested in Emerson and the ability to move through time, very few of them with honorable motives.  But it turns out that Jack is actually the very person that our gang needs, so they must employ unique measures to try and find him – which is a lot harder to do when you can hide in time as well as a space.

The shift in the point of view was jarring at first, it takes you a few pages to figure out who, exactly, is telling this story.  But Kaleb, well, he is exactly the right person to be telling this story because he is the one with the highest amount of emotional investment.  Kaleb is really forced to wrestle with some important questions as to who he is and what he is capable of doing, which makes for some good character development.  In addition, Kaleb develops an interesting relationship with Emerson’s best friend, Lily.  In many ways the relationship between Kaleb and Lily is much more organic and believable than any of the other relationships in this series, and it is exciting to see the push and pull and steady development of attraction between the two.  Where Emerson and Michael seemed drawn together by the magnetic forces of their powers, Kaleb and Lily develop an attraction for each other based upon their thoughts and feelings and interactions.

In fact, Kaleb and Lily are such dynamic characters that I found I cared less about Emerson and Michael and I appreciated the shift in focus.  I am not really a swooner and am often one who reads quickly through the romance to get to the action scenes, but Kaleb has a certain charm and pathos that even I found compelling; he will definitely make teen girls swoon.  So for those looking for some swoon in their sci fi, this is definitely the right series for them.

But don’t let the romance fool you, Hourglass and Timepiece are also some meaty science fiction with a uniquely developed look at time travel, paradoxes, and a cast of characters that each have their own unique abilities.  The town in Timepiece even seems to serve as a version of the Hellmouth, where these people are being drawn together by forces with unknown intentions to bring about unknown plans.  Each step is obviously bringing us closer to some monumental showdown which, given the premise of the series, seems likely to occur in any number of time periods.

As much as I liked the story and the action in Hourglass, add to that a more well rounded, developed cast of characters and you get storytelling magic.  Since I gave Hourglass 5 out of 5 stars, and I felt that Timepiece was in many ways a stronger story, I have to give it 5+ stars.  All the action and all the stellar pacing is still there.  In addition, all the science fiction juicy goodness is still there, but this entry into the tale just had a little something more in terms of character development.  The stakes have been raised, the ante upped, and the consequences have the potential to be much more significant affecting not only our cast of characters, but the world as we know it.

Demand for this title should be high (it crashed Netgalley when the ARC was made available) and teens everywhere should be asking for it, a definite purchase for your collection.  Timepiece also gets bonus points for continuing to have amazing covers and for how the covers tell the arc of the story so far.  Releases on June 12, 2012 from EgmontUSA.  This review refers to an unpublished ARC and there may be changes before it is released.