Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hourglass Door - Lisa Mangum

this is a first novel for Mangum - but I'm sure it won't be her last. There were a few "slow" moments, but never for long.

I don't normally classify books as Girl Books or Boy Books - but I have to say that this was a little more girly than I'd normally give my oldest son (although he did read it... he called it a chick book). There are lengthy descriptions that bored him to tears... how Dante pours a drink, how Dante forms his letters... as I've learned through the years of marriage, men just don't care! Seriously - women can appreciate the cute fruit snacks and agonize over whether our kids want to have Barbie Fruit Snacks or Dora Fruit Snacks this week... men? They just want to know which box is on sale and usually shovel them all into their mouths without knowing if they've consumed a tractor, a shark, or a super hero... So yeah - kinda girly - but hey, turns out I'm a girl so I liked it just fine!

Okay, less about my life, more about the book: S bought this one - making me wish I'd picked this up instead of another HORRID book that I'm still trudging my way through... you'll hear about that later when I enumerate how badly I regret that impulse buy...

THIS book - it's worth the sticker price!

Think Twilight meets Time Traveler's Wife meets Dr. Who with just a dash of Harry Potter and a hint of Monster's Inc... wait, maybe don't think that... that might just be too weird!

The fact is, this book has a freshness to it that is... well... refreshing -- yes, the beginning is pretty typical of a lot of teen lit, and yes, it DOES smack of Twilight more than once... but no, not in the uber-steamy way that will send pre-teens clamoring to buy Team Dante t-shirts.

Here - let me just get rid of some of the parallels between the books to begin with:
Abby seems more intellectual than Bella (not to mention more coordinated)
Dante, good looking - yes... "vampire hot" - probably not (PLEASE if this is ever a movie let ME do the casting!!!!) I envision him as quite a catch, but accessible.
The attraction between the two is immediate - but not described as intensely... or as deadly... still - I always get bothered when fictional teens are willing to change their entire lives around for someone they've known for a few months... you might want to have a chat about THAT issue...

Okay - so here: Abby and her friends all live in a close knit CA community -- they do stuff together like drama club and hanging out at the local dance place. Then Dante shows up - he's rumored to be dangerous, but he and Abby become friends. Really, just friends... and then some other "friends" come to town and it goes a little crazy from there.

Things I love: Abby's family is fairly normal. Too often in teen lit. with have to begin with a kid who's already been messed up by their family somehow... kind of nice to have a kid that the "normal" kids can relate to!
Abby epitomizes "sweet 16 and never been kissed" in the beginning - shoot, she makes the good girls look bad... and even when the kisses finally come - the descriptions are good without being "steamy"
I love figuring out a book -- not the predictable ones, they're no fun... the the tough ones with lots of twists and turns, I LOVE when I can figure them out. Guess what I love even more? NOT being able to figure them out. As I was reading and got to page 275 I suddenly yelled "Omigosh" and my husband thought I'd hurt myself... nope, I just thought I'd finally figured it out... 3 pages later I was doubting myself... 10 pages after that I felt like a moron for ever thinking it in the first place - but that was okay because I had a NEW brilliant theory (which also eventually proved wrong...).

For keeping me on my toes when I'd had only 4 hours sleep - Lisa Mangum gets my thumbs up of approval - and I will SOOoooo be waiting on the next installment The Golden Spiral next summer.. because I just HAVE to know what's happening next year at this weird college... and what's up with Valerie, and what about the Ex-BF/BFF situation... and...

Language... shoot, don't remember any issues - maybe if I hadn't read it so quickly and at such odd hours?
Violence... yeah, there's some - but nothing gory or unnecessary...


and I'm looking forward to some additional comments from S - but right now I've REALLY got to get to work!!!

6 comments:

T said...

oh I am such a dork - this belongs at the book blog... no time to fix it now... sorry!

Barbaloot said...

I'm glad you put it over here---cuz I don't make it to your book blog as often. Now I'll have to head over there...

But anyway, I read this and wasn't crazy about it. I don't have any technical reasons as to why...the story just didn't appeal to me personally. Then again, I hated the Time Traveler's Wife...so maybe that's why?

I did like your points, though, about Abby's family, her life etc. and how it was nice to read about something "normal."

S said...

I LOVED it as well. I really felt this book "call" out to me to buy it. I picked it up in the store a couple of times and put it back to think it about days later! I'm glad I didn't know it was her first book - I really thought she had written other books - because I would not have bought it and boy am I glad I did. I have sent it with my sister and have a neighbor ready for it when she is done with The Hunger Games. It is just a fun book, different, but fun. I love the different. It was fun to try and figure out what was going on. Like you, I thought I had some things really figured out and was completely wrong. I cannot wait until next year for the Golden Spiral because I really hope she can answer ALL my questions! I have to say I "cheated" halfway through the book to look at the end to see if there was another book coming because I needed to know if my questions were going to get answered - I have not done that since I was a teenager! I didn't look at the ending, just look for author info!

There were parts that reminded me also of Twilight. I have to say I really, really like the name Dante, even better than, gasp, Edward! LOL. What can I say I like different better than common.

I didn't notice any language either.

Megz said...

Sounds like a fun read. Wonder if my library will get it...
I don't mind you putting your book reviews on this blog either---saves one extra click of my mouse!

Sue Q said...

I am currently #28 on the waiting list at my local library for "The Time Traveler's Wife", and now you're telling me I have to read this, too? If I'm lucky, I might get it by January...

Seriously, the more book plugs on every blog, the better! If I'm not blogging for relaxation, I'm reading!

April said...

LOL! I think your job is scrambling your brains! Maybe it's time we grab Shelle go out for lunch!