I grew up in a pretty isolated, insulated world. It was nice, and it wasn’t nice. I went to a small school until my junior year of high school, a rural school with a mix of farm kids, migrant kids, small town kids, and suburbans kids whose parents wanted some land with their homes (I fell into that last category). Our school system was a good one, and we had some top notch teachers.
My class, my whole grade, was a small one, even for the small town. I had a group of friends, but never really felt like I fit in with them all. And, no matter how I tried, I think there were some that didn’t want me to fit in.
So, I had friends, but I was also excluded, I guess. My parents owned a sporting goods store in the big town 15 miles down the road, the county seat that was also a college town. I think, looking back, that some of the parents resented my parents for various reasons. I got the brunt of that resentment. I put on a brave face and a smile, but I was, and still am, sensitive, which caused (and still causes) me to break into tears easily. (Yes, I’ve always been a big baby. That’ll be good for another post.)
There was one girl who I tried and tried to be friends with, and I thought we were friends–at least at school. But every year she had a birthday party, and every year I was excluded. Every freakin’ year. She would come to my birthday party, but never, ever was I invited to hers. Even, into high school, when she invited our whole class, pretty much, to her party. I was purposely and consciously left off the list.
And it still bugs me to this day.
It affects my parenting skills. I am so aware and hurt when my daughter gets left out. Luckily, she’s not me, and she doesn’t let it those childhood hurts get to her. At least, not outwardly. And her school is much larger, so there is a larger pool of friends.
It affects my party planning skills. I’m so aware, when we do have a party, that someone will be left off the list, that I invite just about everyone I know. Which is fine, because for many reasons, people can’t or don’t come. Of course, this bothers me, too. Geez, I’m starting to feel insecure about my insecurities!!!
And, finally and most importantly, it affects my adult friendships. I worry that people are purposely leaving me off a party list (I know in my adult head that I can’t be invited to everything, and that I wouldn’t want that, any way. But my adolescent head, and heart, get in the way a bit). I stress a bit that I (or my husband) have done something to offend, causing us to be ‘left off the list.’ He could care less, and thank God I have a husband who balances my insecurities.
Because of all these insecurities, and thanks to that girl that left me off EVERY SINGLE ONE of her FREAKIN’ PRECIOUS INVITATION LISTS, I feel incredibly grateful for the adult friendships I do have. A great group of friends that come to my parties, invite me on camping trips, get together with me in our book–and wine–club meetings. With these women, I can discuss my parenting dilemmas and make sure that I’m not letting my insecurities affect my kids too much. They know and love, or at least put up with, my husband and his idiosyncrasies (which are many and myriad), and their husbands are his friends. We don’t do everything together, but, when I need a night out, they’re the ones I call. When I have a question, they’re the ones I text. When I have an emergency, it’s one of them that will come to my rescue.
Or, as the hubs puts it, I could call any one of them if I was stranded at the airport and they would come pick me up (of course, if I was stranded at the airport alone, I would call one of them so we could enjoy the moments alone without our children, probably bellied up to the bar. And then we would call a third to come get us, and she would. Or we’d all end up at the bar, and we’d keep calling until we got the whole group there. Someone would have to be responsible enough to be our driver.)
So, thank God for being left out of those parties–it’s made me appreciate real friends even more. And thank God for good books and decent wine for bringing together this great group of friends.
“I felt great. The sass was back. It’s amazing what flipping a grown man over her shoulder does for a girl.” Emerson Cole, the narrator and main character of Hourglass by Myra McEntire.
Emerson Cole, or Em to her family and friends, is having a tough time at the beginning of this book. Her parents are dead, she’s lost her scholarship to the boarding school she’s been attending, and she’s being forced to attend public school by her older brother, with whom she is living. The public high school where she went bonkers after her parents died. Because she was talking to people who weren’t there. And it’s happening again.
But it gets better for Em. When he realizes its happening again, her brother calls in a specialist. Once she gets over his deliciousness, she listens while he explains that she is not seeing ghosts, but that she’s one of the lucky ones who can see time ripples, or rips.
Mr. Delicious, or Michael, is from a secret group known as Hourglass, a group that seeks to discover and nurture those with special talents. Em learns, through Michael, that her gift can be used to time travel, opening up a world of possibilities.
There are problems with Hourglass, however, and before Em can really get a grip on her talent and those of the people that she meets, she must use her ability to save Hourglass.
The premise is great, and the book is solid. The instant love between Emerson and Michael is slightly annoying, and the fact that she is suddenly in a love triangle is again, annoying. But Myra McEntire makes it work, exploiting the time travel explanation a little, making it seem not quite as contrived.
The book is totally YA in the best way, and it is quick, enjoyable fun. Just enough sci-fi, just enough romance, just enough mystery. A great summer read, keeping your mind just clear enough to keep your eyes on the kids in the pool. And, when you’re done with Hourglass, there are two more books in the series: Timepiece and Infinityglass. So, there’s a couple to add to my summer reading list.
All in all, I give Hourglass 3.5 stars. Great potential, a lot of fun, and perfect for a YA reader. All in all, a fun read and the beginning of an interesting series.