Friday 28 March 2014

Book Review: Tempus by Holly Lauren.

Product details:
Publisher: Libertine Press.
Paperback, 362  pages.
Release date: November 25th 2013.
Rating:  4½ out of 5.
Ages: YA
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Chapel Ryan isn't crazy. At least, that's what she's been trying to convince herself of for most of her life. But after being hallucination-free for three years, Chapel finds herself facedown on her English classroom’s gritty linoleum floor. When she looks up, everyone around her is suspended in animation. Mouths hang open mid-yawn, feet hover mid-cross, Ms. Freeman’s arm flexes mid-sentence diagram. It's another hallucination. Or, is it?

Chapel prepares to tear herself back to reality when something happens. Something that has never happened before in any of her hallucinations--someone moves. And not just any someone—it’s the new guy with a scar over his lip and a reputation as black as his perfectly styled hair. And all of the sudden Chapel's white-knuckle grip on her life has slipped, and with it, her assurance that what she's experiencing isn't real.

Meet Chapel Ryan. Chapel is smart, she’s sassy, she’s has a spectacularly unique way of teaching Sunday school, and there’s something else uniquely special about Chapel too: for as long as she can remember Chapel has experienced hallucinations that cause her to stop time. We meet Chapel in English class just as she is about to experience an hallucination, her first in years, only this time, when Chapel freezes time, it doesn’t freeze completely. Out of her corner of her eye, Chapel sees someone move. And not just any old someone, but new guy Isaiah Halstead. Zay is a guy with a dark past: a very, dark, mysterious, bad boy past. And like many a bad boy before him, Zay is hot as hell. He’s also interested in Chapel. But are his intentions honorable? Or does Zay have the kind of ulterior motives that could mean a whole lot of trouble for our girl? And just what does Zay know about Chapel’s hallucinations? More than he’s letting on, that’s for sure.

Well, well, well…

Once in a while you encounter a book that is your perfect match. I read a lot, as I’m sure many of you do, so you can probably really relate to this. You know those books that feel like a breath of fresh air, that make you smile throughout and that make you want to keep reading late into the night, books that feel just right: you know what I mean. For me, Tempus was that kind of book. When Holly Lauren first contacted me with news of Tempus, I admit that I had never heard of the book before (blogger fail). It’s very rare that I’ll accept a book for review that I’ve never heard of, but, and I don’t exactly know why, something, call it gut instinct, told me to give this one a try. And I’m so glad I did.

This year, my reading tastes have changed. I definitely read more adult fiction now than I have in the past, and that’s because a lot of Young Adult fiction just isn’t doing it for me anymore. Sure, I have my favourite YA authors and I will always check out their books, but, I don’t know, as far as paranormal YA goes, I’m reluctant to try out many new offerings that I would have been all over in the past.  Tempus is a touch paranormal, a touch science fiction. It reads like contemporary fiction and it also delves into the cutthroat world of politics via Chapel’s creepy stepdad, Todd: so in that sense Holly Lauren offers something very new and different with this book. Tempus is a very refreshing read. It also contains the kind of slow burn romance that I love. Zay may be all kinds of hot, but that doesn’t mean that Chapel instantly falls at his feet. Oh, no. She makes him work his ass off to get a date with her. For example, when Zay first asks Chapel out, this is how she responds:

“I’m not playing hard to get,” she said. She pushed through the gym door, pausing on her way in. “I am hard to get.”  Tempus, p. 15 (eBook)

If you read a lot of YA, it’s no secret that a whole lot of the time, the female protagonists of these books can be an acquired taste. I call it Bella Swan syndrome: the many girls of YA who become obsessed with the mysterious hot guy who shows up out of the blue and promptly turns into a stalker. There’s a little bit of the stalker thing going on with Zay. But does Chapel think that’s perfectly normal behavior? Does she think it’s hot? Hell no, she does not. Chapel knows she should stay far, far away from Zay. She also can’t help but admit that he’s totally cute. Hey, she’s only human.  And that can only lead to trouble, especially when it turns out that Zay not only knows a whole lot more about Chapel than he’s letting on, but maybe, just maybe, he has some secrets of his own.

I haven’t explored the plot of Tempus in too much detail in this review, and that’s because I think this book is a great surprise, and is best read that way. Tempus is full of intrigue, suspense and plot twists. It’s also full of great characters, many of whom could carry a spin-off series in their own right. Timmy Valentine and your penchant for amusing slogan t-shirts, I’m looking at you. Don’t you just love it when authors get secondary characters just right? I so do. Holly Lauren gets her characters – all of them – just right.

And she’s funny too.

Take this scene from the Sunday school class that Chapel teaches. Here, she talks to her class about an old biblical tale.  I had to include this because not only because it made me laugh out loud, but because I think it sums up the very essence of a book that is a whole lot of fun and a joy to read.

Chapel moved to the front of the room. “But there was someone waiting for the lady at the well. 
 Someone important. Any guesses?
 “Beyoncé?” Kate asked.
 “Close,” Chapel said: “It was Jesus. Jesus was at the well waiting for the lady.” 
Tempus, p. 35 (eBook).

Overall, Tempus was a great reading experience for me, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. If you loved Slide, Impostor, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder, then you will love Tempus.

Highly recommended.

--- Check back on Monday when Holly Lauren will be stopping by the blog as part of the Tempus blog tour.  I'll also have eBooks of Tempus up for grabs!


  1. i love the idea of a perfect match book! This one sounds so interesting!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. LittleMissBecky29 March 2014 at 02:49

    Leanna, I purchased this one just from seeing your short review of it back in February! I can't wait to start it and your excitement for it is infectious! After seeing your full review, I'm looking forward to it even more!

  3. I'm so glad to hear that, Becky. I hope you enjoy Tempus as much as I did. I think if you enjoyed any of the books I mentioned above (Mara Dyer, The Body Finder etc.) then you'll enjoy this one.

  4. This sounds pretty awesome! I'm SO up for witty and funny characters. I think characters are my favourite parts of a book (I mean, gosh, bonus for good plot and all that). XD I like it when they can carry the book without falling into moping-after-hot-boy-syndrome. Yikes. Though that can be entertaining to read. ;)

  5. I know what you mean! This one reads like a contemp for a long time (which might annoy some who are expecting different!) but I loved it because I was so into the characters, the dialogue etc.

  6. popprincess567830 March 2014 at 14:16

    I love every single book you mentioned at the end so this is going straight on my 'books I want to read' list!

  7. ChristinaBookAddict31 March 2014 at 12:57

    I absolutely love the sound of this book and I have never heard of it either. I am so glad the main character doesn't have Bella Swan syndrome (so over that!) and I like that she makes Zay work for it. I, like you, haven't been reading as much YA as usual. I have been gravitating towards adult books, too, so this sounds like a paranormal/sci-fi book that I would like and wouldn't let me down. Thanks for the great review. I will definitely be checking this one out.

  8. I can't wait to see what you think of this one, Christina! I have been finding a lot of YA is getting very 'samey' lately so this was a breath of fresh air!

  9. YES! I am so excited to read this one now :) Your review was fantastic, thanks for keeping it spoiler free! Also, I really like the fact that there isn't the "Bella Swan" syndrome happening. This one sounds so interesting, thank you for sharing :D


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