by Julie Cross
Released: 17th Jan, ’12.
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.
A word about the cover: I don’t know why but I really like the floaty-ness of it. (Is that weird?) Also, the photo is a little unusual for what has recently flooded the YA market (read: Sad Girls In Pretty Dresses). It makes me want to give it a second look.
The whole time-traveling shizz appeals to me a lot. I think that’s the coolest possible super-power to have. I mean, what can you not do if you can travel through time? And lets face it: the premise of Tempest is actually very relatable. How many times have we thought if only I could turn back time when we lost a loved one? Me? Tons.
Tempest was a book I wanted to read, ever since I started following Julie’s blog, right after she got her book deal, even before the book became the talking point across blogosphere.
It was..well, inventive. I was uber curious about what was happening and what was going to happen and if Jackson would really be able to save Holly and all those things that could make this book work. Unfortunately, it was also one of those books that you go through a page-flipping-frenzy mode for then promptly forget about (I didn’t forget because I had to do this review, but you get the hint).
My problem mostly was with the characters – a shallow bunch of jerks with some wrong notions about certain things. Case in point: Holly’s roommate is called a feminist – when she is very clearly a misandrist – and is dismissed as being a bitch along the same lines. And what does that imply? That a feminist is very easily a misandrist or that feminists are bitches? Because that’s EXACTLY how it comes across.
Also, Jackson’s reaction on getting to know that Holly is a virgin? He’s worried about her and then goes –
The idea that she might not enjoy this was turning me in the other direction. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been with a virgin, even just messing around. Maybe never.
I mean, DUDE, seriously? Jackson’s seventeen. And he has slept with so many people he doesn’t even remember the last virgin he slept with? (At the same time we get to hear Holly call him ‘deep’. I mean, SERIOUSLY?) I don’t get moralising over books or anything but what really annoys me is Jackson’s attitude here. So is he implying that being a virgin means you’re all uptight and that it probably puts him off? Or is it that because somebody isn’t a virgin it’s okay to mess around with them?
And at the same time he’s actually worried about Holly, huh? Contradictions, contradictions. Conclusively, Jackson ends up being typecast as the seemingly nice guy who is really a jerk underneath. Sadly, no character development there.
I call these characters jerks because there’s no redemption, nowhere in the book do they regret such thoughts or realise what absolute jackasses they really are. All of it is as easily dismissed as it is brought on. Like this very dignified bit:
“I just met this chick last night at my friend’s party. She’s mega hot and a total airhead.” “Exactly your type right?” “Yeah, but only if the flakiness is genuine. Not that pretend-I’m-stupid shit. You know it’s going to bite you in the ass later. Besides, I love messing with people who just don’t get it.”
Waaay. To. Go.
I had issues with Tempest throughout my reading experience of it. Maybe if I leave my own personal beliefs aside, maybe it could work. I mean, I loved the bits Jackson had with his sister Courtney. I think I was mostly in that page-flipping-frenzy mode just so I could get to the parts with/about her. But then, such personal beliefs can’t really be pushed aside. I *am* a feminist and I cannot tolerate sexism and coming from a country where woman’s position in society is a matter of argument every-freaking-day, reading about women being dismissed as easily as toilet paper makes me angry.
Yes, there are good things about the book. Like I said, Courtney. And it moves at breakneck speed inspite of the whole ‘time-line’ thing being highly confusing more often than not. And the last quarter of the book makes you feel a little bad for the main characters sometimes. It’s not a bad book.
But, I don’t know. With all those sexist ideas being dismissed as casual fun, it’s not exactly making it to my list of good books.
Reading is subjective, right?
I know Tempest has/will have it’s fair share of fans (heck, a movie’s been optioned, too!). It’s just that I’m not one of them.
Have you read Tempest? What’s your favourite read on time travel?