Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Title:  Hourglass
Author:  Myra McEntire
Series:  Hourglass #1
Publisher:  Egmont USA
Publication Date:  June 14, 2011
Pages:  390
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

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 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 have happened? (From Goodreads)

A Great Re-Read…

This was one of my favorite books that I read in 2011.  I borrowed it from a friend, and I had been meaning to buy a copy for myself before the second book in the series, Timepiece, came out.  And then I found out that Timepiece was a “Read Now” title on NetGalley, and I made an account a little earlier than I had planned, simply so I could get my hands on that eARC. (Thanks so much, again, to Carina at Fictional Distraction for letting me know about Timepiece on NetGalley!)  So I recently bought my own copy of Hourglass and re-read it before reading Timepiece so that I could write a review and so that I could add another re-read to the Read Me Baby, One More Time challenge hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl.

One Reason I’m So Nutso (About Spoilers)…

When I first read Hourglass, I really didn’t know anything about it.  I started reading it, and then at one point I read the blurb on the front by Beth Revis. And it included a spoiler.  Not a huge spoiler, mind you, because what was mentioned is something that is revealed pretty early on in Hourglass.  But it took away some of the mystery for me.  And I don’t fault Beth Revis – a lot of people are probably interested in reading this book because of that part of this book.  And most people might be able to even realize that was an aspect of the book simply by reading the synopsis.  But it bothered me.  So that’s part of the reason why I’m so crazy about spoilers these days, and why I only read the synopsis of a book, add it to my TBR list, and then try to forget about it until I read it.  Which is a hard thing to do when I read so many book blogs.  But I do try to read bloggers’ reviews of books, but only if I’m pretty sure they’re going to be spoiler free, or if the blogger gives spoiler warnings so that I can skip the spoilerish parts of the review.  Anyway, back to my actual review of Hourglass…

Lots of Book Love…

I just really love this story.  The Science Fiction aspect is totally up my alley, and I love Emerson’s sarcasm.  And I love twists and turns, and while I figured out one part of the book early on, McEntire made my jaw drop with several other huge bombs.  

I also just think McEntire is an extremely clever writer.  For example, I’ve read so many books where, when the main character first touches or kisses his or her love interest, the page is full of references to the “electricity” or “sparks” between them.  In Hourglass, the same thing happens, but there’s a reason for it, and I just think that’s really clever.  Also, McEntire uses Emerson’s sarcasm and humor to say certain things in a new way.  I’ve read some version of the following line in SO many books:  “He smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.”  We’ve all read that, right?  Well, McEntire uses Emerson’s personality to change that sentence up a bit:  “He lifted the corners of his mouth in a smile, but his eyes didn’t get the memo.”

Bonus Points…

McEntire gets some bonus points for the following reasons:

  • A Doctor Who reference = 50 million points
  • A Harry Potter reference = 50 billion points
  • The cover.  I know this didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the author, but still, this is seriously one of my favorite covers of all time, if not my absolute favorite.  I love how the floor is on the right, and if you look at it sideways, she’s actually walking down the wall.  = 50 million points

This Bonus Points section has become one of my favorite features in my reviews, so I’m going to try to do it as often as possible.  But I think I may need to clarify that it’s kind of like that show Whose Line Is It Anyway?: “Everything is made up and the points don’t matter.”  I really don’t have any kind of system for these bonus points.  I do, however, have a system for rating the books overall.

My rating for Hourglass by Myra McEntire:

Five huge stars.  I think this is going to be a fantastic series, and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA Science Fiction and YA Paranormal novels.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Egmont USA
You may also enjoy:  GlimmerIntangible
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. fakesteph

    May 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Twists, turns, sarcasm? Sign me up!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 29, 2012 at 3:57 am

      It's really great, and I know Kim really loved it too. You should check it out!

  2. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    May 29, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I never saw the cover that way! Now I love it even more! I may have to re-read Hourglass before tackling Timepiece. And I agree, sometimes its best not to know about the spoiler. Because I really thought Hourglass was going to be about ghosts, and I know I wouldn't have been as willing to read it as I was if I'd known from the start what it was about, which would have been a travesty!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 29, 2012 at 4:00 am

      Yep, the cover is soooo much cooler once you notice that the floor's on the right side!

      Yeah, that's what I thought it was about when I first started reading, too, and then I read that blurb. I mean, I still would have read it even if I had known about that aspect before opening it, because I actually LOVE books with that aspect, but it just took a bit of the shock factor away.

  3. Kim

    May 29, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Great review! This book has never really been too high on my To-Read list but your review has convinced me (: It always feels good to know that you went out to buy your own copy after reading it.

    By the way, I can't believe I didn't notice the cover before o__o I feel so stupid now because all I can see is that she is walking on the wall. I totally thought she was floating or something before even though her feet are on the ground… haha.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 29, 2012 at 5:24 am

      Thanks! I'm glad that my review helped to spur you into reading this book! It really is fantastic.

      And don't worry about not noticing the cover – I didn't figure it out for a while, and I know there are plenty of people who have read the book that didn't figure it out until later! ;)

  4. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    May 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I love your bonus points! I'm not really big on science fiction, which is why I liked that she didn't over explain the time travel. And of course I completely agree with you about spoilers!

    I'm looking forward to your email about Timepiece :)

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      I'm going to email you about it tonight! ;)

  5. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    May 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I really loved this book as well! I got it from the library because I heard so much about it, can't wait to read Timepiece now! The science fiction aspect was amazing. McEntire definitely has a talent for writing.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      She really is a great writer, isn't she? Thanks for stopping by, and my review for Timepiece will be up tomorrow! ;)

  6. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    May 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I'm debating whether or not I need to re-read Hourglass before tackling Timepiece. I loved it the first time, so I'm tempted, but I have SO many other books to read.
    I don't remember the Beth Revis spoiler, so I just read it again, and yeah, I don't even see the spoiler, so I guess maybe I better re-read????

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      I was happy that I re-read Hourglass before reading Timepiece, because there was so much that I forgot. But you can always email me if you need a refresher! ;)

  7. Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

    May 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Hm….I was never really extremely interested in this one but you've definitely perked my interest! I'll definitely have to check it out. I wish I would've read it so I could've grabbed the second book on Netgalley :P And sarcasm is always a plus XD Great review!

    All the best ♥

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      If you like Science Fiction YA, I'd say you absolutely need to read it! ;)

  8. Krista

    May 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    That's awesome that this book is so good you read it again. I've been meaning to read it myself. I'll be bumping it up on my TBR list though. A Doctor Who reference AND a Harry Potter reference? This book must be magic! Great review :)

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      It's really good, I definitely recommend it! And yep, a Doctor Who and a Harry Potter reference. How I wish more books had those kinds of references in them! ;)

  9. Bittner

    June 1, 2012 at 3:44 am

    I will forever remember this book as the book that made you crazy about spoilers! Anytime you drive me crazy by not reading one of my posts or not letting me tell you some stupid joke from a book I'm reading, I'll raise my fists in the air, throw back my head and say "Curse you Beth Revis!!!" – just kidding:)
    Also, I never noticed the whole "sparks" thing before, but you are right, a lot of authors use that phrasing. Sarah Addison Allen does, a lot, but I don't care because I love her books sooooooo much!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      June 2, 2012 at 4:16 am

      Hahahaha! I can totally see you doing that!

      I don't really mind the sparks thing, as long as it's not over and over and over in the same book. And I just think it's really clever that she used that reference but they actually DO create sparks!

  10. Danmark

    June 11, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I love this book! This is making my favorite list!! From the very first chapter I was hooked! Of course, I am a sucker for time-travel stories and this one is the best I've read so far! Wow! The plot was so original, intense and enjoyable!! Everything about this story had me captured, from the mysteries surrounding the time-traveling and the Hourglass, to the dynamic and delicious characters and their tragic stories!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      June 11, 2012 at 2:35 am

      It really was a great book, wasn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by! ;)

  11. Sarah

    May 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I really love the first two books! It's so nice to read something that doesn't sound like something else you've already read. Super excited for the 3rd book!

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