12.29.2011

Tempest review -- Julie Cross

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Format: ARC (tbr in Hardcover, $17.99 US)


Jacket Copy (from the ARC):


Jackson thought he had all the time in the world with Holly.Until time took him away from her.Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy...who just happens to be able to travel through time. It's all just harmless fun until the day Jackson witnesses his girlfriend, Holly, get fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years and gets stuck in the past, but it's not long before the people who shot Holly come looking for him. And these "Enemies of Time" will stop at nothing to recruit (or kill) this powerful young time traveler. Jackson must decide how far he is willing to go to save Holly...and the entire world.
A lot of people bag on TEMPEST for having a MC that really gets around. Most of these people are die-hard feminists and don't appreciate his view on life, but the truth of the matter is that most teenage boys don't think with their brains. Believe me, I would know: I am one. However, I am one of the lucky few that can control their emotions and, therefore, I am not a mindless child running rampant looking for a good lay. The protagonist, however, is. That fact will probably make or break the book for you. 

I am a very open-minded person and when I read, even I'd I feel particularly strong about a certain factor, I can shut that emotion off and see it the way the main character does. This helps because even if the main character is a horny, sex-crazed teenager, I can see things the way they do and not think <I>Eww... run</I>.

Jackson Meyer is an interesting guy: even though he does talk quite often about his prevalent sex life, he does have the compassion and vulnerability to love his girlfriend Holly like none other. This is his redeeming quality. If he didn't have something good about him for me and other readers to appreciate, my wall of open-mindedness might crumble to the ground like a brick wall.


Holly was a great heroine, and the romance that unfolded between her and Jackson was perfect, not full of cliches like other YA books. It flowed naturally and I enjoyed getting immersed in it. The plot raced right along, starting interestingly from the beginning. For those who couldn't tell by the cover or weren't interested enough to read the blurb, this book is about time travel. Yes, you heard me: <I>time travel</I>. Really...as of that concept hasn't been driven into the ground. It's been the subject of movies and books and TV shows alike for an insurmountable length of time, yet Cross seems to create a fairly fresh take on the subject matter. It's not just moving the day back; it's more complex than that, and I respect that about the book. Cross didn't take the shortcut and not do her research. She took time and created an original version of the story that isn't a carbon copy of every other time-travel book ever made. It isn't a Back to the Future remake, either: it's fairly original and on its own agenda.

In the very beginning of the book, Jackson is plotting a way to discover something new about his gifts as a time traveler. He decides to jump back a certain length of time, still in that day, and flirt with a cashier, then jump back into the future and see if she remembers him. He's trying to figure out if the things he does in the past will impact the present/future. He doesn't know very much about his gifts as we enter the novel.

But, a problem arises: soon, Jackson gets stuck in the past after a tragic accident -- and he can't return to what he sees as the present. The novel grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the end.
The only thing that confused me about the novel was the ending, but I'm starting to think I read too fast and skimmed too much. It seemed like I missed something when I looked back and thought about the plot before this review.

The novel is chock-full of pitch-perfect teenage-boy humor. Cross does an excellent job entering the head of a nineteen-year-old boy, better than I think even I could do (and I <i>am</i> a boy!). Tempest will appeal to both boys and girls, boys because it is narrated by a boy and girls because of everything else. Tempest was a great way to spend a two-hour airplane flight, and I can't wait for the second one!


4.5 Owls

Coming up next . . . an interview with the author of this wonderful novel, Julie Cross! Stay tuned.

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