Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hourglass Door, by Lisa Magum

I'd heard a lot of good things about this book in a couple places. Like, it was almost the new "Twilight" or something like that. But I didn't pay that much attention to it until my friend, Jacoby (who reviews here every once in a blue moon), wrote about meeting the author, Lisa Mangum, at the Authorpalooza a month or so ago (ooh, I wish I could've gone ~,~). He gave huge props to her book, and since I trust his taste I decided to take it out from my library.

Friends, this book is the real deal! Truly amazing! I'm so glad that I was able to read this book, because it was awwwwwe-some! (I want to sound like an aussie surfer dude when I say that, btw. ^,~)

The people were really pretty much right when they said it was like Twilight. Similarities? It was told in the first person view-point of the girl, Abby, she meets a hot guy, Dante, who is actually much older than he appears, they fall in love, and there are others of Dante's kind who want to hurt her and other humans. Differences? Well, thankfully there's a lot of those, so this story still feels pretty original.

For one thing, I'll say a big NO that this is not another book about vampires, thank goodness, although for the longest time I was truly knocking my brain to figure out what the heck Dante was, so I labeled him as a vampire temporarily. But just so you all know, he's not. Another difference is that unlike Bella, Abby actually has a boyfriend before this attractive, Italian stranger comes into her life. Obviously though, this dude is absolutely no match for Dante. There are other, smaller comparisons to be made, such as the fact that Abby's family situation is a normal one (both mom and dad + little annoying sister), she's more adventurous and not exceedingly clumsy like Bella is, and the whole story kind of centers on the subject of time travel, but I think you should know what the basic story is, so you have a good idea if you'd like it too or not. (And I dare you not to like this book! I think it's great!)

It all starts when an Italian "exchange-student" arrives in Abby's school while she's rehearsing a play, Much Ado About Nothing. (Actually, it starts when she sends an application to this really cool sounding college called Emery, but I don't think it's that important of a detail. It doesn't have a lot to do with the main story.) Despite her having a boyfriend, Jason, Abby takes an interest in Dante right away, just as he obviously takes an interest in her. Since he mysteriously knows nothing about Shakespeare's play, they meet and have breakfast in a cafe and get to know each other. Unfortunately, this guy is really secretive, and Abby can barely get a thing out of him. They hang out for what seems like hours, but when she goes back home it's as if she was only gone for 30 minutes. Definitely weird.

I won't reveal too much, since I'd like for you guys to fully enjoy it yourselves, but other plot elements in this book include an impossible invention created by Leonardo da Vinci, an awesome rock band named Zero Hour whose members don't turn out to be as awesome as all that, a couple school dances in which very strange time-related things happen, and a journey to a very surreal River Bank.

Let me also say that one of my favorite characters, besides the famous couple of this novel, is Dante's care-taker/ father figure, Leo. For want of a better word, he's very... cool. Like, he runs this neat club called the Dungeon, where teens can hang out and get drinks and listen to live music and have a great time. He's really friendly and nice to everyone, and he reminds me strongly of the head of Twilight's Cullen clan, Carlisle, who for all intents and purposes is Edward's father. They're both really great characters.

I absolutely loved the writing style of this book. It's not just that it reminded me of Twilight's style (which it did), but I am really a big fan of first person story-telling, especially if it's by a girl I can identify strongly with. But besides that, the story really did pull me in and almost refused to let me go. It was a fun, emotional, adventurous roller-coaster of a read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you will feel the same way too, when you read it.

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