The Hourglass Door
by Lisa Mangum
Series: Hourglass Door #1
Published: May 1, 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Paperback (400 pages)
His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time? Abby's senior year of high school is textbook perfect: She has a handsome and attentive boyfriend, good friends, good grades, and plans to attend college next year. But when she meets Dante Alexander, a foreign-exchange student from Italy, her life suddenly takes a different turn. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around.
My favorite thing about The Hourglass Door was exploring time in different ways. There’s the predictability of time that I felt was represented by the main character Abby’s boyfriend, Jason (who I also found annoyingly predictable). The constant flow of time can be comforting but it can also get boring. Then there’s the unpredictability of time represented by Dante who can affect and change time. Uunpredictability can be fun at first, but it can easily get disturbing if it goes too far. The author, Lisa Mangum, really played with the idea of time flying by and slowing down based on our perceptions. I thought Lisa Mangum’s ideas about time travel were very unique. All these characters are trying to find a balance of the future, the past, the dangerous, and the familiar.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the band Zero Hour that shows up frequently in the book (though the name is cool and goes nicely with the time theme). I did enjoy the important connection of music with time. But it felt awkward that this famous band would just hang out with high schoolers and no one really thinks anything of it. The band reminded me a lot of the one in Everneath. The bands in both books were bad news and were doing more than just playing music.
Honestly, it felt like I’ve read this and a dozen other stories just like it before. The paranormal aspect of the story felt very formulaic. There’s a girl who is special for unexplained reasons and boy happens to fall in love with her. And she needs protecting. The prologue bothered me with how disjointed and vague it was. Despite the beginning of the plot being predictable, I was surprised about the difficult things that Abby goes through at the end. The author stayed true to the story and didn’t take the easy way out. The writing was good but it got pretty cheesy towards the end.
I really liked the stuffy younger sister that was addicted to Jane Austen. Actually, I liked the little sister better than the main character. I had some really cool predictions of who the characters really were, but sadly they weren’t right. If you’ve read it I thought Dante actually wrote Inferno and that Leo was really Leonardo Da Vinci. I hope you don’t consider those spoilers because they were both, sadly, wrong.
Overall, I thought it was a formulaic paranormal romance but the time travel was unique.
Content Rating: Mild, for one very brief fight scene and a few kissing scenes.