Deconstructing Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Last month I declared that contemporary YA lit killed courtship and announced my planned deconstruction of a contemporary YA title. Now that the book has been officially released, I feel comfortable naming it.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire book cover The book in question (as if you didn’t guess by this post’s title) is Hourglass by Myra McEntire. I’ve read it and reviewed it, and after some back and forth with a friend, decided to deconstruct it.

I’m not singling this book out to be mean, in fact I found the writing to be quite competent, but because it’s the most recent title I’ve read that relied too heavily on the instant love conceit that’s become so prevalent in YA literature.

A hypothesis is that Twilight’s to blame. Unfortunately, Twilight doesn’t forgo courtship and while I may not agree with the health of that courtship or relationship dynamic, at least it consists of more than a passing glance, a giggle, and then a declaration of love.

Initially I planned to focus solely on the relationship between Emerson Cole, the main character in Hourglass, and “Jack”, the mysterious apparition that appears in her room from time to time, then her relationship with Michael Weaver, a consultant hired by Em’s brother to help her with her visions, and finally her relationship with Kaleb Ballard, a random love interest thrown in for drama.

But I’ve decided it would be best to take the book as a whole, focusing on the major themes as I come across them (such as how EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER is flawlessly beautiful). With each of the posts, I hope to learn how my own biases may influence my reading and writing, as well as ignite a conversation about the state of contemporary YA romance, and YA literature in general.

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