Reviews for Hourglass

Booklist Reviews 2011 March #1
Seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole has had a rough life--shortly before her parents were killed in a car accident four years ago, she began seeing and interacting with ghosts. Hospitalized after a nervous breakdown, she's secretly weaned herself from the medications that keep her "hallucinations" at bay. Her brother hires an organization called the Hourglass, which helps individuals with special talents such as Emerson's, and they send incredibly handsome Michael to help her control her visions. It's a little bit X-Men (troubled teens with special gifts), a little Somewhere in Time (with time travel aiding our couple in their seemingly ill-fated romance), and a little bit screwball comedy, as feisty Emerson fends off two gorgeous suitors with both martial arts and her acerbic tongue. Although it lacks smooth narrative flow and requires major suspension of disbelief, McEntire's debut novel is really all about romance. Emerson and Michael go through every cliché in the romantic-comedy genre, but readers wanting a little vacation from reality won't mind. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Emerson's disturbing tendency to see people from the past draws the attention of Michael, a "consultant" enlisted to help her with her problem. Michael can't resist romancing Emerson even as he explains her ability to time-travel and warns of the secretive groups that practice it. Emerson's discomfort and isolation are well portrayed in this haunting supernatural love story. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 April #2

Troubled teen Emerson Cole returns to her Southern hometown and old "haunts" in this genre-blending story.

Despite her cushy new life with her older brother Thomas and his wife Dru, Em can't overcome her dark past; she started seeing ghosts at 13, shortly before her parents' tragic accident. Caught talking to seemingly empty space too often, Em is verbally and physically defensive, unable to completely confide in Thomas, Dru or her best friend Lily. When Thomas hires handsome college-aged Michael Weaver (a consultant from the mysterious Hourglass institute) to help Em with her "hallucinations," predictably tempestuous romance and unexpected adventure ensue. After meeting an X-Men–esque group of former Hourglass students—and the dangerous but sexy Kaleb Ballard, Michael's rival for her affections—Em learns that she's not crazy but gifted, and that she might be able to change the past as well as see it. Em is an entertainingly cheeky narrator and appealingly resilient heroine; when she meets Michael's friends, she wryly comments, "Team Freak. Wonder if we could get jerseys." First-time author McEntire deftly juggles plot, characters and dialogue; her portrait of grief is particularly poignant.

The ambitious combination of paranormal romance and sci-fi action leads to some pacing problems but also makes for a refreshing read. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal BookSmack
Like Amy in Clement-Moore's Texas Gothic, Emerson sees ghosts. But unlike her witchy contemporary, Emerson sometimes does not know that they are ghosts until she walks right through them. Case in point: she causes a scene at her brother's restaurant opening when she sets her glass on a piano that only she can hear...or so she thinks. Enter Michael, a fellow party guest with similar talents. A few years older than Emerson, he is a consultant for Hourglass, a mysterious organization that promises to help her manage her abilities. Following Michael home one night, she meets the rest of the firm, including the charming Kaleb, who establishes himself as a rival to Michael for her affections. Their love triangle plays out against a supernatural backdrop of time travel and murder, making this debut novel one of the sexiest books of the season. - "35 Going on 13," Booksmack! 10/21/11 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 March #2

Emerson Cole would rather not go through the purgatory of her senior year. As a freshman, she had a screaming argument in the cafeteria with someone who wasn't actually there and was sent away, first to a mental hospital, then to boarding school. Now the money has run out, and she's back in her small Southern town, dreading school and the new therapist her older brother, Thomas--her guardian since the death of their parents--has found for her. Michael, however, is like no therapist Emerson has ever met, and he tells her things she can hardly believe--the ghosts she talks to are real, time travel is possible, and Emerson herself can alter the future. And every time Michael touches her, the sparks literally fly. McEntire's debut attempts to incorporate many genres (romance, comic book superheroes, science fiction, paranormal), not always with equal success. But the story centers itself in Emerson's voice--by turns sardonic, world weary, ardent, and hopeful--and that voice is strong enough to carry readers through occasional improbabilities. Ages 12-up. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 September

Gr 8 Up--Emerson Cole can see apparitions from the past-Southern belles, jazz trios, and Civil War soldiers that are invisible to everyone else. Michael Weaver is a young, attractive consultant for Hourglass, an organization that helps people just like Emerson. He wants her to realize that her visions are a gift, not a curse. Even though she feels an immediate connection with Michael, she remains skeptical that he will be able to help her, especially when years of medication and therapy have not made the images disappear. When he asks her to travel back in time with him, the shocking truth about her abilities is revealed. The plot maintains focus and energy and contains unexpected twists and turns throughout. Additionally, Emerson's developing maturity is evident from the first chapter to the last, and readers will identify not only with her but also with the equally well-rounded peripheral characters. The descriptions of the small Southern town, the people, and the buildings, both past and present, are vivid and will capture teens' imagination and attention. McEntire's paranormal fantasy, peppered with romance, is a compelling story that is difficult to put down.--Elizabeth C. Johnson, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, WA

[Page 162]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

VOYA Reviews 2011 June
Shortly before the untimely death of her parents, Emerson Cole became aware that she could see dead people. Neither ghosts nor anyone she recognized, these images were more like a playback of people and events that had long ago occupied the same space. After her commitment in a mental institution, lots of prescription meds, and the belief that the trauma has left her unbalanced, Emerson's brother and guardian hires Michael Weaver from the Hourglass organization to help her make sense of it all. But Michael knows that Emerson is not hallucinating, as he possesses an ability to see into the future. It is his belief their combined skills will enable them to travel back in time and right a devastating past event, an event that has now led to the potential exploitation of everyone at the institute with similar gifts. What he does not count on is the instant and literally electrifying connection between himself and Emerson, her single-minded willfulness, or that altering the past will ultimately put both of their lives in jeopardy McEntire's debut novel is a quick read with many--almost too many--twists and turns; however, there is not much new to be had here. While time-space continuum plots are often dicey and a little mind boggling, this one has got some pretty big holes in it. The characters seem all too familiar, as well: potentially exploited teens with superhero powers and a love triangle that smacks a little too much of Twilight's infamous trio. While an older reader might get hung up on these things, a younger (female) audience will likely overlook these flaws due to the story's humor, pace, and endlessly appealing paranormal theme.--Judy Brink-Drescher 3Q 3P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.