This is one of those books that I have had forever, but only now just go to. I have no idea what I was waiting for. Seriously, this was so much fun to read!
It’s about Emerson, a girl who has been through a lot in the past few yeas. She has survived the deaths of both her parents, guilt at survival, depression, and even being institutionalized and medicated into numbness. And just when things start to look up for her, and she moves in with her brother and sister-in-law, she starts seeing people from the past again. Before all the meds she started taking, Emerson was seeing people that no one else could see, people who disappeared when they were touched, people sometimes dressed in hoop-skirts or people riding horse drawn carriages.
She thinks of herself as crazy. She had been really depressed. And she did decide on her own to just stop her meds. Of course she would then start seeing these people again. She’s been doing a lot better. She’s back with her bestie from the past, working at a coffee house, and agreeing to meet with specialists her brother is hooking her up with.
And then she meets Michael, a consultant for the Hourglass. Not only does he believe that Emerson is not crazy, but he admits to seeing the same people she sees. He introduces Emerson to the crazy world of the supernatural. Emerson learns about the past, about the future, and about time travel. Michael and Emerson also have a crazy connection. They literally make lights go out when they touch. It has something to do with Michael’s ability to see people from the future and Emerson’s ability to see people of the past. Together, they make quite a pair.
Too bad for Emerson, Michael promised her brother that his relationship with Emerson would be purely professional. And Michael behaves as the perfect gentleman would. He sort of has a gentleman/hero’s complex. However, his best friend, Kaleb, has no gentleman’s complex whatsoever. There’s a bit of a love triangle. And while things get a little steamy, it’s always obvious which boy Emerson chooses. But, will her choice matter if the man of her dreams gets left behind in the past? And can Emerson actually pull off time traveling? And can she go back in time to save a friend’s father, simultaneously knowing that she can never do the same for own?
This book deals with mental illness, with loss, grief, and then of course with growing up and learning to deal with the bad along with the good. I’m not the biggest advocate for a main character deciding to go cold turkey on meds she’s prescribed…this can actually have fatal consequences…I do however like how strong Emerson is. She never forgets the pain she feels, but she also doesn’t let it stop her from living her life (at least by the time this book starts). I also like that the loss of her parents is with her all the time. Sometimes in YA books, characters survive such loss and then never think about it again. This is definitely more realistic.
I love the whole time-traveling group and all the elements that made time travel possible. I found the politics of the people with “gifts” to be fascinating. I loved that Emerson, while tiny, could kick serious butt. She was going for a black belt! I loved her best friend, her family, and just her overall sense of perseverance.
There was a bit too much insta-love going on with Michael. And their connection was uber cheesy. I actually think Emerson had more in common with the other part of the love triangle (Kaleb), but it is what it is. I still swooned along with her at all the appropriate moments.
I think my favorite thing about this book was the sense of humor. I loved the main character’s level of sass. She kept her slippers on when Michael came over. She dressed to make a point. And she didn’t let anyone get away with calling her small. I do wish she was a little more rebellious. I kind of wanted her to break more rules and try to save her parents anyway. But, there’s always book 2 and soon a book 3.
I give this one a 9/10. There wasn’t a ton of unique plot points. The romance was a tad bit on the cheesy side. But, the author writes the stereotypical YA stuff really, really well. She will have you hooked from the first page, swooning over the cheesiest of lines, and laughing out loud at some seriously great dialog. It’s the perfect book for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I already ordered book 2.