Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

School is starting soon (if it hasn't already where you live) and teens everywhere will need a good book for their first book review of the school year. The Hourglass Door is a book with wide appeal.

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum is a YA with a little bit of everything—a little bit of romance—a little bit of adventure—a portion of mystery—and a bit of the supernatural. The Hourglass Door has a great lead character—Abby is an above average student with hopes and dreams that she isn’t sure how to make happen without betraying her friends, her parents—and her boyfriend. She is believable and interesting. Abby Edmunds is a strong, intelligent girl with spirit and ambition.

Abby has the perfect parents—they’re predictable, lending her feelings of security. She has the perfect best friend—she’s known Valerie since 3rd grade. Abby also finds herself starting her senior year in high school with the perfect boyfriend. Jason and his family moved next door when he and Abby were pre-schoolers, the family became instant friends and together planned their children’s lives. Jason is good-looking, kind, and loves order in his life. Abby fits right into his, and both of their parents’ plan.

Everything in Abby’s life seems perfect. And predictable. And boring. Abby yearns for adventure—something less than predictable. After school starts, Abby gets her wish in Dante, a foreign exchange student with a mysterious past who joins her drama class. As luck has it, the drama teacher then gives Abby the assignment of bringing Dante ‘up to speed’ with the rest of the class on their current project, Much Ado About Nothing.

NOTE to teen boys with girlfriends: If you haven’t kissed your girl yet—don’t schedule the event into your calendar and then refuse to deviate from the plan when a better one comes along.

Dante is different than anyone she has ever known—he’s interesting and best yet he’s unpredictable. Like a balm to her soul, he brings much needed variety to her life . . . and yet weird things happen when Dante’s around—time seems to either stand still, or speed up—and he heals remarkably fast.

A popular band, Zero Hour, comes to town and then stays. There are whispers that its three members, Tony, Zo, and V are dangerous—and they seem to share a past with Dante. Does Dante have a criminal past as rumors indicate? Abby doesn’t give much thought to gossip, but when Valerie starts hanging around Zero Hour, her friend changes in a startling and not so good way, forcing Abby to open her eyes and then take action in the only way she knows how.

Zero Hour, Dante, and Abby are thrust into an unimaginable race—it’s a race that Abby and Valerie might not survive—a race so dangerous that if the wrong person gets to the ‘finish line’ first, the world as we know it may never be the same.

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum is the first of a series, and so compelling that as a reader, I wished all of her books could have been written and published at the same time. Lisa skillfully brought her characters to life, and I’m anxious to see how they fare in book two which I’m sure will be one of my favorite reads next summer—and well worth the wait.


Liz Adair said...

Great review, Tina! You gave a good thumbnail of the story line without giving anything away. I agree with you. It was a great book, and I'll definitely buy & read the next in the series.

Joyce DiPastena said...

Thanks for the review, Tina! I have a copy of the book but haven't read it yet. You didn't give anything away, but you certainly piqued my interest. I'll have to bump it up in my TBR pile.