Hello, there! Lisa here with today’s pick, my most recent read, Lisa Mangum’s debut novel, The Hourglass Door.
Description from Amazon.com:
His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time? Abby’s senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. 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. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves.
I seem to be one of the slim few (really, check the reviews) who didn’t really fall in love with this book. It’s being hailed as a Twilight-esque romance, which I suppose it is, but something just didn’t click for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great concepts here, and some of the descriptions are fabu, but I just didn’t get all that captivated with the main character, or even her love interest. The bad guys are a bit too bad, and the good guys are almost too good. But my biggest problem with the novel may yet be answered in the sequel…
Because the thing is, Dante shows up on the scene and seems to be in love with Abby automatically. The vice-versa happens pretty quickly also, but we’re inside Abby’s head, so it’s only really her side that we get to see. She never questions (as many a teenager might) just what Dante, gorgeous darksome mystery boy sees in her of all people… and as the reader, I’m very curious. But there’s a hint of intrigue on that part, just the smallest hint that you might blink and miss, and so I find myself wanting to read the sequel (The Golden Spiral, due out 2010) despite my feelings thus far. I have to give some credit to the fact that this is a debut novel, after all, and the last forty pages or so really are done wonderfully, setting up the next book nicely, and there are a few side characters (one in particular) who are really very nice additions. I admit that she pulled a number or two over on me as well, which I’ll let you find out about for yourself, if you like. 😉
This does feel a bit like a Twilight rebound book, but it’s not a copy of the story by any means. Mangum’s mythology is definitely all her own, which is a nice thing to come across in fantasy these days. Certainly Hollow-Tree worthy, at that, with something as simple as walking through a door…
I think I’ll give it a hopeful C+ rating… if some big questions are answered in the sequel (why is Abby so special, for example?) then that could end up being raised, but we’ll have to wait and see!