Feb 6, 2012

Tempest, by Julie Cross

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Target Audience: Young Adult
Pages: 413
Chapters: 43
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Sci-fi / Romance
Person: First
Tense: Past

Blurb (quoted):
Today: Jackson and Holly are in love.
Tomorrow: she will lie bleeding in his arms.
Yesterday: Jackson must undo it all.

A booming sound rang in my ears, followed by Holly’s scream. Then everything seemed to stop – my heart, my breath… time.
Jackson has a secret – he can jump into his own past. But when a shocking event propels him further back in time than he has ever been before – he finds he can’t return.
Now Jackson has to find a way to save the girl he loves before they have even met, and time is not on his side…”

Jackson discovered he isn’t your average teenager when he was eighteen: he can jump into the past, but only a few days. Only his science-geek friend Adam knows his dangerous secret, but his life is turned upside down and inside out when two men kill the love of his live and something forces him two years into his past, where he is horrified to find he can’t escape.
Now, with secret after secret constantly limiting the number of people he can trust, Jackson must try and find a way to save his future-girlfriend Holly, who he hasn’t even met yet, while evading the growing number of people trying to kill him – which could include his own farther.
As the lies accumulate and the danger grows, Jackson fears he may never return to his own time – and not just because he can’t jump forward, but also because he might not live long enough.

I’m not used to reading books in a boy’s POV, and usually it takes me a little while to adjust, but in this book I was sucked in and nothing was foreign.
The plot and storyline were new waters for me, but I can’t say I’m not a fan! The theme of time-travel is only one of the countless mind twisters in this book, and it’s a puzzle you’re continuously trying to piece together in your head, but the puzzle pieces keep morphing.
The characters weren’t as developed as some I’ve read, though they definitely change and evolve throughout the story, and they had enough details to make them individuals – other than the main characters, there wasn’t much description on appearances and when there was, it was a once-of that I forgot a few pages later.
The emotional side of it is great too (I don’t know if it was just me or the books influence, but I kept thinking about my own boyfriend), and there were definitely a couple of moments when my eyes watered.
There are countless names, though it isn’t necessary to be able to remember all of them, but I do like to know whether a character was the driver or the agent in the last chapter… It also has a lot of dates (every chapter begins with a date and time), but I could never remember the last one I read, so they were a moot point for me.
It has a great writing style, and it kept my mind involved the whole way through, and dragged me right along with Jackson through time. I read the book in two days, and the ending leaves it open for a sequel, and I hope there will be.
My only complaint was slight confusion now and again about what characters were present and when the scene was – which is conveniently important in a book about time-travelling.
I also have to bring out the conspiratory feel to the novel; secret agents and the CIA? It's great.

About the Author:
Julie Cross has worked with children and teenagers for several years as a gymnastics programme director and running teen-writers’ workshops. But most of all she loves reading teen books, so one day in 2009 she decided she was going to write her own. And Tempest, her passionate and pacy debut novel, was born. Julie lives in Illinois USA with her husband and three children.

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