Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hourglass Door - Lisa Mangum

Summary:  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.  (Summary from book - Image from

My Review:  Lately, I’ve needed to read something brainlessly romantic. It’s a sanity thing. I do hope you understand. I had heard a lot about Lisa Mangum's novel, The Hourglass Door, in a move-over-Edward, kind of way, and figured it would fit the bill nicely.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of The Hourglass Door. I was so engaged that I wanted to physically yank Abby away from oh-so-boring Jason and throw her bodily at Dante, an exchange student who, among other things, made me add Italian accents to my list of thing I find irresistible (alongside chocolate and Elizabeth Berg novels). Unfortunately, this book follows the same path as Fallen or Evermore; I was interested until I was bored. My transition from one emotion to the other linked directly to finding out Dante’s Big Fat Secret. (SPOILER HERE) He travels through time. Frankly, it was all a bit weird and the whole river/bank setting felt a whole lot like a whitewashed Summerland. (SPOILER ENDS). I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting that and I didn’t particularly care for it.

While the story starts strong, its conclusion felt entirely set up. The location of a certain key object was obvious from the second it became an issue and a variety of other plot twists were easily predictable. I appreciate that Lisa Mangum was able to create romantic tension between her characters without tossing them headlong into the bedroom, but there were times when I actually rolled my eyes at their syrupy, overly dramatic dialogue. When it comes down to it, I can turn my back on both this book and its characters, and not feel even remotely distressed. I think that it might find more of a following with younger readers who are so blinded by Dante-lust they can’t see straight through the book.

My Rating: 3 Stars. (4 stars for a YA, 2 for an Adult) For the sensitive reader: As far as I can remember, you’re in the clear.

Sum it up: A promising paranormal romance that fails to make its mark.


Kara and Chant said...

I'm with you. I got the second book as a gift and just haven't felt the need to pick it up in the 4 months I've had it. Maybe someday...

Anonymous said...

Thanks! for sharing this.

Natalie said...

I know this is several years old but Kay Lynn Mangum actually wrote the Secret Journal of Brett Colton. Lisa Mangum is a different author.

MindySue said...

Natalie -- How embarrassing! First, that I made that mistake in the first place! And second, that it took me this long to see your comment and FIX IT! Thank you!


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