Hourglass by Myra McEntire

hourglass myra mcentire

“Hourglass” by Myra McEnite

4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should’ve happened?

“Hourglass” by Myra McEntire is a fabulous fantasy/time travel book. The characters are all really dynamic and interesting to read about. I especially liked Emerson. She is super spunky and funny, and she is one of the few female characters that I enjoyed being inside of; her head was a funny place.

Myra McEntire is such an awesome writer, and who has a knack for making even the backdrop characters come to life. I felt like everyone belonged to this story even though it was mostly about Emerson, and I really liked that. One of the more “minor” characters in this book that I really liked was Kaleb Ballard. He is the epitome of the good-looking bad boy, but I was so surprised by how much was beneath the surface. He had massive layers to him, and I ended up liking him instead of Michael who is the main guy character in “Hourglass.” Don’t get me wrong, Michael is a great guy, but I just LOVED Kaleb’s character for some reason; I loved the kind of depth he had despite the rough edges.

Another thing I love about this book and trilogy is the time travel aspect. Mrs. McEntire does an amazing job of creating a real, yet, unreal world in “Hourglass.” She is so good and creating the “science” that backs her book(s) that I could imagine time travel was possible even though I know it’s completely made up. I admire Myra greatly for how fantastic the science of her book is, and that is one of the many reasons that made the “Hourglass Trilogy” so great, in my opinion.

Overall, Myra McEntire has created an amazing book with dynamic, intelligent, and seemingly real characters who are so enjoyable to follow. Great Science Fiction read!

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

timepiece myra mcentire

“Timepiece” by Myra McEntire

5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Summary:

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking…

Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples – cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan Landers, the man who tried to murder is father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers’ return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he’s stolen on the people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered – with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough…

Myra McEntire did it again! She created an amazing time travel book with “Hourglass”, but she definitely stepped up to the plate with “Timepiece.” “Timepiece”, for many reasons, is an even better book than “Hourglass.” The concept of time travel is taken way further, and other abilities are added to the bunch. The plot is thicker and far more intricate than the first, and ‘you know what’ hits the fan every thirty pages. It was AMAZING! The pacing in this book is great, too. I never felt overwhelmed with what was going, but Myra still blew my mind! But, above all else, my favorite thing about this book is that you read from Kaleb’s point of view. Emerson was great! She was funny, smart, and she had a lot of chutzpah. But with Kaleb, you get even more. He’s been with the Hourglass his whole life, so he knows all the ins and outs, everyone there is practically like family to him, and you get deeper look into the inner workings of the Hourglass.

Kaleb is such a fantastic character. He has so many layers; he’s not just some bad boy with a grudge. His entire family has been stripped from him by one man, so no wonder he is a bit tormented and bitter, and he also feels responsible for what went down within the Hourglass even though most of it wasn’t his fault. I just love Kaleb because he is such a dynamic character to read about. He is smart, funny, a little mischievous, and he has such a good heart. There is a lot more than meets the eye with this character, that’s for sure.

Another great thing about “Timepiece” (which made me love it even more) is that each of the characters, especially Kaleb, grows. All of them. So much happens in this book, but non of it feels rushed, and it certainly throws you for a few loops. The science in “Timepiece” is even better than in the first, more intricate and complicated, and that added another heap of awesomeness to it. I cannot stop thinking (writing) about how much I love this book. Everything about it is pretty amazing.

jennifer lawrence

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire

infinityglass by myra mcentire

“Infinityglass” by Myra McEntire

4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Summary:

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn’t an object. It’s a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?

“Infinityglass” by Myra McEntire is a wonderfully written, fast pasted read. But unlike “Hourglass” and “Timepiece”, “Infinityglass” doesn’t deal with the time travel issue; at least not as much as the previous two books had. This book is about “healing” the rifts that the Hourglass’ crew have created with all of their time traveling/altering escapades.

“Infinityglass” was very enjoyable. Dune was a great character. He was sweet, and endearing, but at times I felt that he was more of an underdeveloped character; and of course I missed Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and Lily. It was fun, but not quite the same without the whole crew. Hallie grated on me a bit, but she wasn’t that bad, and she grew towards the end of the story, so that was good. The thing that made me really like this book, though, was Poe. Yes, the crazy man from book two who killed Emerson, but then rewound time so she wasn’t actually dead (yeah, it gets a little involved). He was the best character in “Infinityglass”. He was just so darn intriguing; you don’t know a thing about him, which makes you curious, and then you find out that Hallie and him have been friends for a long time, which makes you even more curious. The longer I read the book, the more I looked forward to encountering him and maybe discovering something new and unexpected about his character. He had quite a few tricks up his sleeve besides his British accent, but I won’t spoil those for you. Poe was by far the most dynamic character in this book (until Kaleb comes in, of course)!

Overall, “Infinityglass” was a great way to wrap up a fantastic trilogy, and I was quite content with the ending. I was glad to see Kaleb, Lily, Michael, and Emerson come back for a wee bit towards the end. It was great to see how all of them grew as people. Fun book!

Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower

andi unexpected 2

“Andi Unexpected” by Amanda Flower

Publishing Company: Zonderkidz

Release Date: September 24th, 2013

 Andi, short for Andora, is a smart and curious young girl who has just lost both of her parents. Now orphans, Andi and her sister, Bethany, must move to their eccentric Aunt Amelia’s house in Killdeer, Ohio. Andi and Bethany find themselves to be in the middle of nowhere, and Bethany is none too pleased about it.

Andi and Bethany have always been opposites. In everything. And despite the fact that their parents are gone, their relationship hasn’t changed for the better. A cold shoulder is what Andi gets; she doesn’t even understand why Bethany is so angry at her. Their mom and dad had always paid more attention to their scientific studies than their children, but when Mr. and Mrs. Boggs actually noticed them, it was Bethany that caught their attention. Bethany is an artist; Andi is an aspiring scientist. Apparently her parents thought that there was enough scientific thought in their house, and so Andi got ignored. She knows that they loved her, but it would have been nice to have been noticed once in a while for something she had accomplished. But all said and done, it didn’t matter anymore. No take backs.

Despite being an orphan, Andi bounces back; she not the same, but she wants to keep going and move forward with life, and that also includes getting out of Bethany’s space. Aunt Amelia offers a solution: clean up the attic and it is all Andi’s. One problem: it’s a complete and utter mess. It is an intimidating task, cleaning out decades of junk, but Andi is more than willing to do anything to get out of her shared (and not so shared) room. But Andi soon discovers that there is a lot more than old junk in the attic, and she is about to get a lot more than she bargained for with this treasure.

With the help of her aunt’s neighbor’s grandson, Colin, they unearth untold secrets of the Boggs family tree. No one in Andi’s family line was ever named Andora except for her, or at least she thought that until Colin and her found the big baby chest in Amelia’s house. The two are so excited with their finds that they begin searching high and low for any information on one Andora Boggs. With the help of Colin, Andi hopes to figure out why this Andora was left out off her family history lessons. But will she and Colin be able to find out the truth about this previous Andora Boggs, or is someone with darker motives willing to stop them from finding out the truth? Are they really ready to discover these long dead family secrets, or are some things just better left buried?

Thanks so much Zondervan and Charleen for sending me an ARC copy of “Andi Unexpected.”

“Andi Unexpected” by Amanda Flower was such a cute read. It was very, very well written, it was fast paced, and was so much fun to read. I would definitely recommend this to kids, and I wish that it had been written when I was just starting to get interested in books.  I even enjoyed it now! Andi is a strong, fun character with brains and whit, and it was so fun to read about her. All of the characters were fun to read about, and it was interesting to see how each of them grew as people. Colin was one of my favorites; he was just adorable.

“Andi Unexpected” was a great book, and it had a really cute ending with a good moral to it.  I would definitely recommend this to any kid who’s looking for a light, entertaining read.

Wrestling with Tom Sawyer by L.L. Samson

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“Wrestling with Tom Sawyer” by L.L. Samson

Book 4 in “The Enchanted Attic” series.

Publishing Company: Zondervankidz

Release Date: August 6th, 2013

Linus, Ophelia, and Walter are back and better than ever in “Wrestling with Tom Sawyer.” School is back in, and the three-some is in desperate need of an adventure; what better way to get rid of their boredom than in Linus’ and Ophelia’s aunt’s and uncle’s attic (which just so happens to be enchanted)? At 11:11 AM, they are able to bring a character that they desire out a book of their choosing and into their magical attic, but the character can only stay for three days and must go back at 11:11 AM on the third day. If they do not return in time, they will (very unfortunately) dissolve into thin air, never to be seen or heard from again. Linus, Ophelia and Walter have done this multiple times (with no fatale incidents), and have even encountered Ahab and the great Moby Dick. Through these adventures, they have learned life-long lessons that have changed each of them for the better, but they get far more than they bargained for when they bring Tom Sawyer into their world. Can they pull this escapade off successfully, or are they doomed from the start? And who is the mastermind behind the thefts of Linus’ and Ophelia’s aunt’s and uncle’s precious French antiques? Can these three teens, and Tom Sawyer, figure out who it is before it’s too late?

Thank you so  much Zondervan and Charleen for giving me and ARC copy of “Wrestling with Tom Sawyer” to read and review.

“Wrestling with Tom Sawyer” by L.L. Samson is a really cute read, and it reminded me of my “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis days. “Wrestling with Tom Sawyer” is a small book, so it is good for younger readers who enjoy to read but might be more wary of larger books. It does take about halfway through to get to the “real” story, but all of it was really cute and enjoyable to read about, and “Wrestling with Tom Sawyer” ended up having a good moral to its story. Overall, it is a really likable read for younger girls and boys (8-11 years old probably) that would be a nice addition to their ever increasing bookshelves’.

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

doon by carey corp and lori langdon“Doon” by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Publishing Company: Blink (Zondervan)

Release Date: August 20th, 2013

4 out of 5 stars.

 Life sucks. A lot. And Veronica Welling knows this all too well. After finding her boyfriend cheating on her with a fellow cheerleader, in her school’s hallway no less, she feels completely betrayed by a person she had called a really good friend; he wont be holding that title anymore!!. Yup, life sucks. But for Veronica, it has always been that way. Her dad had left her and her mother on Veronica’s birthday long ago to fend for themselves, and ever since then, life hasn’t been much fun. With her dad gone, Veronica became a constant reminder to her mother of their abandonment. No father, and now no mother to take care of her, Veronica learned to be independent early on in life. To top it all off, her mom found some nasty dead-beat to date; the creeper even has the audacity to leer at Veronica with her mother in the room. And her mom blames Veronica for his nasty stares! Yeah, Veronica is ready to get out of podunk Indiana as soon as she possibly can. If only…

After a generous invitation from her long time best friend, Mackenna, Veronica has hopped onto a plane bound for Scotland. She is looking forward to being thousands of miles away from her drama back home, but troubles are wearisome creatures that never seem to stop gnawing at you, no matter how hard to try to get away from them. A few hours after arriving in Alloway, Scotland, Veronica gets a call from back home, and it’s her mother calling to say that Veronica will have a stepfather soon. Yaaaay!!!!! The only thing keeping her from jumping off of the deep end at this point is Mackenna. Well, Mackenna and the handsome blond boy who keeps showing up. First he appeared right after Veronica ended it with her cheating boyfriend, and then the second time was after her mom had called with the news. Each time he appeared out of nowhere, and then disappeared like a ghost. But for some odd reason, Veronica can’t shake the feeling that he isn’t a ghost. And she is determined to find out just how real he is.

Mackenna worries about her friend. Veronica and her have always been close; read each others’ minds kind of close. This time is no different, and Kenna knows it. Something is wrong with her good friend and it’s not that she just broke up with her boyfriend (someone Kenna had advised against dating, by the way), or that her mother had sprung “stepdaddy” news on her. No, it’s something very different, but Mackenna can’t put her finger on it. Kenna isn’t sure she can be the strong, stable one; that’s what Veronica had always been good at, and she had always been the theatrics that had spiced up their long-time friendship. Now that Veronica is off in never-never land, their roles are reversed, and Kenna doesn’t like it. And what is with Veronica’s odd fascination with any and everything “Doon?” It’s just a fanciful Scottish legend that someone made up! But her friend, on the other hand, seems to think it’s very real, and Veronica is determined to find something Mackenna isn’t sure, no, is positive doesn’t exist.

Much to Mackenna’s dismay, Veronica’s determination to find Doon is unswerving, and it eventually leads to them actually discovering Doon. Kenna and Veronica find themselves to be in a medieval-looking land, where, nearly upon their arrival, they are taken as prisoners to the beautiful castle. The dungeon which they are thrown into, however, is not so pretty. Yeah, Doon is “awesome” in Mackenna’s opinion. But soon the girls will find out that Doon is far more magical, and dangerous, than they could have ever imagined. As the peace and safety of Doon is threatened, Kenna and Veronica soon discover that their futures are inexorably intertwined with this kingdom and the fate of its people. But can these two girls really save Doon and themselves, or are they destined to be the ruin of Doon?

Before I start my review, I just wanted to say thank you to Zondervan publishing and Gwen who generously sent me an ARC copy of “Doon” so I could review it before its release date. Thank you so much!!

“Doon” by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon was a lot of fun to read. I was really surprised by it because I have never read a book quite like this from Zondervan, but it was a very pleasant kind of surprise. Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon did a fantastic job of creating a magical and fun world that was so enjoyable to discover alongside some very entertaining characters. It was so fun to read, and the writing style as well as the creativity of the story were fantastic. “Doon” was a well thought out book, and the characters were really fun to follow.

Mackenna was my favorite. She was funny and sarcastic, but also a really good friend. I found it interesting how Carey and Lorie showed Kenna’s struggle with being stuck in Doon, a place she hadn’t believed existed; it would be really weird and hard to wrap your head around a place like that, but also kind of amazing, too. Throughout the story, Kenna was a strong person (without being overpowering), and stayed true to her character, but she also grew a lot. She was such a funny and good friend to Veronica despite being dragged into another “world” against her will. It was also interesting to watch her spiritual struggle. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t get to read from her perspective as much as Veronica’s. I wish it had been fifty-fifty because I just loved Kenna.

Veronica was a good character too, but it took me about half way through “Doon” to start to “like, like” her. I guess I felt more connected to Kenna because she had a more realistic view on the whole “magical world” thing, whereas Veronica was ready to jump ship into the unknown without any thought as to what might happen because she just wanted to see some boy she doesn’t even know. She had a pretty bad life, but still, that is kind of messed up! That aside, I thought that Carey and Loriedid a great job of showing her growth, which was of the gradual kind. She stayed true to her character but had definitely grown by the end of the book.

Last but not least, the guy characters. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really like James, Veronica’s love interest. I have seen this kind of character a few times in books, and I wasn’t a fan of his kind of character in those books either. There is no fault on the authors’ side, I just don’t go for the quiet brooding, misunderstood, cocky types. For me he was just a flat-liner who occasionally elicited enough emotion from me to be irritated with him. And his and Veronica’s relationship set off my gag reflex once in a while, so I just wasn’t a huge fan of them together.

Duncan, James’ brother, on the other hand, was adorable! He and Kenna were really cute together (*sighs*), and despite the fact that Veronica and her are in Doon for only a fortnight, I felt like their relationship was very believable. I felt like, while reading “Doon” that they had spent a lot more time together than they actually did. Duncan was funny, charming, and so enjoyable to read about, especially from Mackenna’s perspective. Duncan actually reminded me a little of Stiles (from Teen Wolf) because of how endearing he was, and Kaleb (from Hourglass and Timepiece by Myra McEntire) for multiple reasons I am still contemplating. Duncan was a surprisingly well-rounded character for how little page time he got. I cannot wait to read more about him in the next book!

Overall, “Doon” was an awesome read and I am very much looking forward to the next in this series. I really hope, though, that Mackenna is the main voice in it! That would be amazing!!! Well done Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon.

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