Showing posts with label dead people. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dead people. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2015

[Review] Hourglass (#1) - Myra McEntire

In HOURGLASS, Emerson Cole finds out that her ability to see "the dead" is linked to time travel. Together with Michael Weaver, a consultant posing to help her get over her issues with mental illness and hallucinations, she learns more about the secretive organization called Hourglass that specializes in training people with abilities like her.

Doctor Who Meets RUBY RED

The premise reminds me of a mixture between RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier and Doctor Who, and I love it. I absolutely love mind-confusing twists and alternate story lines that make your head hurt if you try to make sense of them. Time paradoxons and worm holes are not something you see in YA every day. I have so much respect for every author that attempts to tackle the topic of time travel because you can easily mess this up by being inconsistent.

Michael Weaver is obviously not only Emerson's consultant but also her love interest. They are drawn to each other from the minute they lay eyes on each other and the tension is pretty ... well, intense. 

It's Impossible to Dislike Emerson & Michael Together

For once I'd love to read a YA novel in which the main characters fall in love with each other because of their personalities, not because they find each other super attractive. Yes, there is some mumbo-jumbo explanation for the fact that they are two parts of a whole. Why is it always like that? Why can't the protagonist fall in love with a love interest for once that s/he isn't immediately drawn to because of their outer appearance?

However critical I may sound, I absolutely loved this novel and I could not put it down. It's somewhat of a guilty pleasure, there are so many things that I'd usually heavily criticize, but I just couldn't in this one. I love Emerson's character voice, the setting, the idea and the concept of time travel mixed with a very unique love story. I'm bickering about the romance a little, because it's very obvious that they are destined for each other and I'm a little tired of that.

Emerson and Michael spend so much time with each other that it's very hard to go through all those pages without even liking them a little as a couple. I felt like the romance was forced on me and I had no say in whether I want them to be together or not. In that respect, McEntire does a great job. If I actually think about it, I would rather have seen Emerson with somebody else. More screen time apparently equals more chemistry.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm very surprised that I loved this. I absolutely fell in love with the concept and I can't wait to read the sequels and I can't wait to learn more about the physics of time travel. It's a fast-paced dynamic story about love with a dash of time travel. Beware of the plot twists - you won't see them coming! I'm very glad I decided to read this.

"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?"

What's Your Favorite Novel About Time Travel?

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[Review] Love Letters To The Dead - Ava Dellaira

 In Ava Dellaira's LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD, Laurel gets a school assignment to write a letter to a dead person. Instead, she starts to more and more letters to famous deceased people that inspire her. To cope with her sister May's death she tells those people in her letters what she is going through.

Too Pretentious for Me

Sometimes I ask myself how you can come up with ideas that make literally no sense. So this kid Laurel got an assignment to writer letters and she doesn't want to do it. Logical consequence?
Write 300 pages worth of letters and instead of turning it all in for extra credit, she just blows off her teacher. Back in my day that was an F. F and the teacher having none of your crap for the next 3 years.  Also, why bother writing a letter to someone if the letter has nothing to do with the person? Yeah,  just to show how cool you are because you know who Judy Garland and Kurt Cobain are. I'm really surprised she didn't write one to John Lennon. Amelia Earhart? Come on. If you're gonna write YA, at least try to disguise your pretentiousness like John Green does.

The voice is just not fitting. You can immediately tell that this is probably a 30+year-old trying to sound like a teenager. In some parts Laurel seems so blatantly naive
(I don’t want to say stupid, but …) and in other parts she starts citing Keats. You can be one heck of writer but if the character’s voice doesn’t fit, there’s just no use. You can tell that Ms Dellaira has no idea what teenagers are like. We don’t go from full-blown attentionthirsty, shy and somewhat introverted little girl to taking drugs, getting the prettiest boy with a snap of their fingers and listening exclusively to Nirvana and 60s Rock in one month.

The More Obscure Your Taste, the Cooler You Are

Dellaira is trying so hard to make Laurel and her friends sound so cool and grown-up and not like kids, that she seems to forget that this doesn’t mirror reality. Laurel asks her friend Sky who sings the song on the radio (The Doors), but later says that her dad introduced them to her and she always liked them. Well.

Throughout the course of the novel several people are introduced that without any exceptions listen to 60s music, take drugs and are”cool”. No diversity in her characters. They are obviously ethnically diverse, but personality-wise? Everyone is cool and the grown-ups are bullies, emotionally incapable of relationships and/or having mental problems. To me it just seems like Dellaira is trying too hard to win over the target audience by portraying them like cool, reasonable and wise children - because let’s face it, you aren’t philosophizing and making smart decisions at 15. Come on, be a little more realistic.

Aside from what I already mentioned, the relationships are all extremely rushed. Laurel and Sky fall in love after 20 sentences of dialogue. There’s almost nothing that we know of Sky, except that he loves Laurel and used to like May. Nobody seems to be having a life when it doesn’t lead back to Laurel. If she didn’t witness/get influenced by it, it’s irrelevant. That’s weak character building.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

No. The epistulary form is exhausting and the lack of plot and (actual) characters makes it almost impossible to sympathize. I didn’t care about Laurel. I never felt like I was reading about her,I pictured the author writing this, trying hard to sound like a teenager. Still, I have to give some credit to May. I could not have cared less about Laurel and her pretentious annoying friends but Iwanted to know more of May. That’s what kept me going. However, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially not to YA readers because Laurel is more of a MG character.

Additional Info

Original Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Published: 1st April 2014
Pages: 336
Medium: Paperback
Genre: YA / Romance
ISBN: 9780374346676

"It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path."(Source: Goodreads)


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