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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tempest by Julie Cross

by Julie Cross
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Purchased
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.  - Goodreads

My Thoughts 

Are you looking for a book with three dimensional characters, action, romance, suspense, mystery, sadness, and more than a bit of science? Well then, Tempest may just be the book for you. Since Ms. Cross packed so much action into this 350 page thrill ride, I'm going to breakdown my feelings into different categories. I love categories and lists, you know.

Jackson - I freakin LOVED that the main character in Tempest is a college age guy. How often does that happen in YA books?! Jackson is a very complex character and is really struggling with his new ability to time travel. He feels lost and confused and doesn't know who he can trust with his secrets. This, and a couple of other issues that are explained later in the book, greatly affect how he interacts with his girlfriend Holly. The guy definitely has some emotional baggage and is afraid of vulnerability. That being said, Jackson comes into his own as the book progresses.  I loved reading  about his interactions with Holly and his twin sister, Courtney, in various time periods. Having the opportunity to read about them in different time periods gave me a better overall understanding of the characters.

Holly - Jackson's girlfriend; This girl is totally down to earth and has amazing gymnastics abilities. She's intelligent, brave, and won't take any BS from Jackson. I loved seeing the changes in her personality between 2009 and 2007. Her love for Jackson felt authentic, and I seriously just wanted to give her a hug and tell her they'd live happily ever after. I'd be friends with Holly in a heartbeat. 

Courtney - Jackson's twin sister and another character that I wanted to give a big hug (Is that creepy?). Some of the interactions between Jackson and Courtney made me shed a few tears. I don't want to say more for fear of spoiling the book for anyone, but suffice it to say that theirs is one my favorite sibling relationships ever. 

Jackson's dad - This man was an enigma throughout most of the book. I went back and forth on my opinion of him. The moments of tension that occurred between him and Jackson were palpable. So many emotions felt. I  saw many similarities, personality wise, between Jackson and his father. 

Adam - This guy is crazy smart. If I was a confused kid with the ability to time travel, I'd definitely want him on my side. Just sayin'. 

I'm not going to lie, at times the storyline was a bit hard to follow. This isn't because of Ms. Cross's writing skills, she's fantastic as far as I'm concerned. It was just difficult to keep up with which year we were in and which enemy we were facing in the particular moment. Who knows what about Jackson's abilities? Who does Jackson need to lie to in order to stay safe? Aside from these tiny nick pickings, I found the plot of Tempest to be intriguing and fast paced. The storyline was full of grey area. We never quite know who to trust or who is the real enemy. Maybe everyone is a bit of both?  Nevertheless, the ride to the future, past, and back is an exciting one for sure.
Holly and Jackson went through plenty of turmoil throughout the book, but I was really rooting for them to make it. I enjoyed seeing their established relationship in 2009 vs their blooming relationship in 2007. I feel like there was more steam and passion during the time they spent together as 19 year olds, but I also loved watching them get to know each other in 2007. Their story is one with many conflicts, and I'll be interested in seeing how it plays out in the next two books. 

There were many scientific explanations for the time travel that occurred. They were interesting, yes. Did I understand every single concept mentioned? Probably not. If you're a fan of science, you can totally geek out to the scientific details mentioned in Tempest. If not, sit back and enjoy the other great aspects of the book. 

Overall Impression
Tempest was amazing. I looked forward to reading it for months and am so glad I wasn't disappointed. There was truly never a moment of boredom while reading. My mind was constantly engaged with keeping up with the timeline and plot. I loved the characters and the relationships explored, both romantic and familial. I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment. 2013?! Hurry Please!!

This book has earned a spot on my "Favorites" shelf!

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