Hourglass, Myra McEntire (Egmont, 2011, YA, 400 pages)
Just a few months after Emerson Cole began seeing ghostly apparitions of people from the past, her parents died in a terrible accident. Now, four years later, after a stint in a mental hospital, her life is better--she lives with her brother and his wife, and she's trying to accept the phantoms she still see calmly.
Then she meets Michael, and the emotional fireworks he sets of in her shatter her calm. But t's not just the passionate intentisy of her feelings for him that are so mind-blowing. It's the fact that he can travel through time, and so, apparently, can she.
Michael works for a secretive organization called the Hourglass, and he needs her help to travel back in time on behalf of the Hourglass to save a man who should never have died six months ago...For Emerson, who will never stop greiving for the senseless death of her own parents, the chance to fix at least one death, and to be with Michael, is irresistable. No matter how dangerous it may be.
Although time travel, and foiling a bad guy with its help, is a central plot element, the romance between Michael and Em dominates the book. This put me off somewhat at the beginning--there was too much electrical attraction (and too much concern on Em's part with her makeup) for me to be convinced this was a book for me. But once Em finds her way to the headquarters of the Hourglass, and the larger story of which she is a part begins to play out, the intensity of the action increased and the relationship between Em and Michael became more complex than what was essentially lust at first sight.
So the last half of the book flew by as I skimmed the Michel/Em relationship issues and focused on the story. I never did care all that much for Em, and never felt that I actually understood Michael all that well, but the premise being explored was fascinating. In short, I'd recommend this one to readers who would place romance at the top of the list of their preferred genres--fantasy and sci fi fans might, like me, be a tad disappointed that the larger story of just what the heck was happening at the Hourglass takes (a distant) second place, and that the ending was terribly rushed.
(was anyone else confused by the cover? I couldn't figure out what was up with her hair and dress, and was relieved when my eight year old asked "Why is she walking on the wall?" and my perspective shifted accordingly).
Here's a random smattering of other reviews, at Paranthetical, Bibliophilic Monologues, The YA Sisterhood, and Bookchewer.
disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher