The Hourglass Door (Hardcover)

by Lisa Mangum

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Product Description

“Give yourself time to read them because once you begin, you won't be able to stop!” — Holly Newton, Meridian Magazine

“Move over Edward; Dante is bound to eclipse you!” — Emily Watts, bestselling author

In a time when copycats abound, Mangum has created a unique story with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. And because “Hourglass” centers on relationships, fantastical elements feel believable rather than, well, fantastical. — Deseret News

His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time?

Abby's senior year of high school is textbook perfect: She has a handsome and attentive boyfriend, good friends, good grades, and plans to attend college next year. But when she meets Dante Alexander, a foreign-exchange student from Italy, her life suddenly takes a different turn. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Time behaves differently when they are together — traveling too fast or too slow or sometimes seeming to stop altogether.

When the band Zero Hour performs at the local hangout, Abby realizes that there's something dangerous about the lead singer, Zo, and his band mates, Tony and V. Oddly, the three of them are also from Italy and have a strange relationship to Dante. They also hold a bizarre influence over their audience when performing. And Abby's best friend, Valerie, is caught in their snare.

Dante tells Abby the truth of his past: he once worked for Leonardo Da Vinci, helping to design and build a time machine. When Dante was falsely implicated as a traitor to his country, he was sent through the machine more than five hundred years into the future as punishment.

As the past and the present collide, Abby learns that she holds a special power over the flow of time itself. She and Dante must stop Zo from opening the time machine's door and endangering everyone's future. More than one life is at stake and Abby's choice could change everything.

The Hourglass Door has everything: a heroine who is genuine, strong, and lovable; an interesting and compelling love story; gorgeous language, fast pacing, and an intricate and exciting plot. For readers who have been waiting for the next book to sweep them off their feet — this is it.” — Allyson Braithwaite Condie, author of the Yearbook trilogy

Product Details

  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  2009
  • Size:  5½" x 8½"
  • Book on CD:  Unabridged
  • Number of Discs:  8
  • Run Time:  Approx. 10 hours

About the Author

Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997. Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville with her husband, Tracy.

Chapter 1

Is this a joke?”

I looked up from painting my toenails lime green to see my best friend Valerie stretched out across my bed, holding a piece of paper by its ­corner.

She sat up, crossed her legs, and read from the sheet in her hand. “‘What’s your favorite scent?’ ‘What would you do with a million dollars?’ ‘How would you achieve world peace?’” She hooked a strand of ­platinum-­blonde hair behind her ear. “What kind of crazy college application is this?”

I screwed the ­nail-­polish brush back into the bottle and blew lightly on my toes. I hoped Valerie couldn’t see my hand shaking. “Mr. Bastian gave it to me. He thought I might be interested. I just took it to be polite.”

“Mr. Bastian? The school counselor? He’s a certifiable idiot; you know that, right? I mean, I once saw him stick a pencil up his nose. And it was one of those pencils with the little naked trolls with the wild pink hair stuck to the end. It was, seriously, ten different kinds of disgusting.”

I shook my head. Leave it to Valerie to obsess about the details. “It’s for Emery College.” I tried to keep my voice
casual, but my words sounded strained to my ears, forced through a suddenly tight ­throat.

“Where’s that?”

I shrugged, not meeting Valerie’s eye. I wasn’t sure I was ready to have this conversation yet; I knew I wasn’t ready to have it with Valerie. “Back east somewhere, I think.”

Silence from the other side of the ­room.

“Back. East. Somewhere,” Valerie repeated. “You. Think?” She shook her head. “Now I know this is a joke. What about our plans to go to State together and major in English and room together and have matching boxer terriers that we’d walk in the park every Saturday in order to meet guys and . . . and . . . and everything?”

I smiled ­weakly.

“No.” Valerie shook her head and scrambled the length of my bed, clutching at the brass foot rail, the application for Emery College crumpled in her hand. “We had it all planned out. You can’t do this to me. You can’t go away to college back east somewhere without me!”

“Stop being so histrionic—”

“Don’t use your AP English vocabulary words on me, Abby, I know what they mean better than you do.”

“Val, calm down. It’s just an application. I’m still planning on going to State with my very best friend in the whole world.”

Valerie collapsed facedown in a heap, sighing with ­relief.

“It’s true. I can’t wait to room with Natalie at State,” I said, ­laughing.

“I hate you so much it hurts,” Valerie said, her voice
muffled by my plaid ­comforter.

“I love you too,” I ­replied.

Valerie sat up and threw a pillow at my ­head.

“Hey, ­careful—­you’ll smudge my toes.”

“Green?” Valerie rolled onto her back and stretched her arms over the edge of my bed. “Why bother? It’s too cold to wear sandals. No one will even see your toes.”

I shrugged, grateful for the change in topic. “How long have we known each other?”

“Like, since forever.”

“Like, since third grade.”

“Whatever. It feels like forever.”

I snatched the pillow off the floor and tossed it at Valerie’s head. “Tomorrow’s a big day. I want to look my best.”

Valerie picked up the bottle of nail polish. “Gangrene? Someone actually named a shade of green nail polish gangrene? What’s yellow ­called—­jaundice?”

I snatched the bottle out of her hands. “It was on sale,” I said a little ­stiffly.

“Ab, honestly, you shouldn’t buy stuff like this just ’cause it’s on sale.” She examined my foot with a critical eye. “At least I know what to get you for your ­birthday—­a pedicure.”

“Better hurry, then. Only one more shopping day left,” I reminded ­her.

Valerie dropped my foot. “How long have we known each other?” she mimicked my ­voice.

“Like, since forever,” I mimicked back, my eyes wide and ­innocent.

A knock on my door interrupted Valerie’s retort. My mom poked her head into my room. “Abby, time for dinner. Hi, Valerie. You’re welcome to join us if you’d like. Nothing fancy, it’s just spaghetti and salad.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Edmunds, but I should probably be heading home. Dad’s trying a new recipe for his cookbook tonight and I promised I’d be his guinea pig.”

“Mmmm, sounds exciting,” Mom said, swinging the door wide. “C’mon, kiddos, time to move.”

As Valerie gathered up her backpack and books, I slipped the crumpled Emery application into my desk ­drawer.

“See you tomorrow, Abby.” Valerie pulled open the front door and skipped down the steps. “Good luck!” She waved from her car before peeling out of the driveway. Her ­cherry-­red Lexus was a blur as she took the corner at full ­speed.

“She’ll get herself killed one of these days,” I said to my mom as I closed the front ­door.

“What’s tomorrow?” Mom asked, following me into the dining ­room.

“Oh, nothing,” I said, feeling myself blush a little. “It’s just that Dave has a meeting with the district superintendent about some budget thing. He’ll be late to rehearsal and he asked me to be in charge until he can get there.” I sat down at the table and fussed with my ­silverware.

Hannah was already sitting at the ­dining-­room table, her nose buried in a ­book.

Dad set the salad bowl down beside his plate. “Did I just hear you’re going to be running the show tomorrow?”

“I guess so. I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do. I hope Dave’s not too late from his meeting.”

“Shouldn’t you call him ‘Mr. Thompson’ instead of ‘Dave’? He is your drama teacher, after all,” Hannah piped ­up.

Hannah was the stuffiest ­eleven-­year-­old I’d ever known. I blamed it on her recent obsession with Jane Austen ­novels.

I shrugged. “Everyone calls him Dave. He doesn’t seem to mind.”

“Still,” Mom said, “maybe Hannah has a point—”

“So about Friday,” I said, raising my voice just a little. It was a terrible segue and everyone knew ­it—­Hannah shot me daggers from behind her ­book—­but I was already nervous enough just thinking about filling in as assistant director for the school play that I really didn’t want to spend the entire dinner discussing it or my drama teacher. Besides, I had something more important I wanted to talk about. “I was thinking—”

“Not to worry, sweetie,” Mom said, passing the bowl of noodles to me. “Cindy called this morning to reserve four lanes at the bowling alley for Friday at five o’clock. Everything’s all set.”

My heart sank. “Oh. Thanks.”

“Something wrong, Abs?” Dad ­asked.

“Well. It’s just . . . I was thinking, maybe . . . we could skip the bowling this year?” I hated that my voice cracked, turning what should have been a declarative statement into a weak ­question.

“What?” Mom set down her silverware. “Why? I mean, Abby, sweetie, we’ve gone bowling for your birthday since you were four years old. I thought you liked it. Why would you want to change your plans?”

Maybe because I’m turning seventeen and I’ve gone bowling for my birthday since I was four years old, I thought. I twirled spaghetti noodles into a knot around my ­fork.

“What about Jason?” Mom asked. “It’s his birthday too, you know.”

Jason. I’d only been three years old when my parents had moved next door to the Kimballs. And as the story went, Cindy Kimball had knocked on our door that same afternoon to say hello. When Cindy learned that I would be turning four on January eighth, and when Mom learned that Cindy’s son Jason would be turning four on the exact same day, well, they took it as a sign. They’d been friends ever since. And it only stood to reason that Jason and I would be friends, too. We had celebrated every birthday together since then. For years, Cindy and Mom had spun themselves a fantasy in which Jason would marry “the girl next door”—­me—­and our families would be friends ­forever.

With a story like that, I supposed it was inevitable that Jason and I would end up dating. Which we had been doing for the last four ­months.

“I’m sure Jason wouldn’t mind if we did something else,” I said quietly, the words tasting like ashes in my mouth. The truth was, I knew Jason would mind. I knew he loved our bowling birthday parties. And I knew he’d been looking forward to this specific party since before ­Christmas.

“It’s fine,” I said at last. “Really. Bowling will be fun.”

Mom and Dad exchanged a ­glance.

“Honest.” Even I could hear the false note in my ­voice.

Hannah rolled her eyes, loudly turning a page in her ­book.

“Sweetie,” Mom started, folding her hands on the table. Dad shook his head. She frowned at him. Dad shook his head again. It was kind of cute that they still thought I couldn’t read them both like a book: Mom wanted to argue her point; Dad wasn’t going to let ­her.

“Well, let’s see,” Mom finally said, a little lamely. “Maybe it won’t be so bad.”

“And maybe this’ll be the year you’ll score more than a hundred points,” Hannah said with an innocent grin, her eyes never leaving her ­book.

“Maybe,” I said, tempted to stick my tongue out at Hannah. And maybe someday I’ll get to make my own choices about my own life, ­too.

But I wasn’t holding my ­breath.

o

The house was quiet. Mom and Dad had finished watching the evening news and I could hear the water running in the pipes. That’ll be Mom brushing her teeth. A minute later I heard Dad’s voice as a deep rumble through the wall followed by Mom’s softer reply. As I lay in my bed, I was oddly comforted listening to my parents’ bedtime routine. It was nice to know they felt so safe and comfortable together. That they were still happily married after so many ­years.

I thought about Jason. He would be like my parents. Jason liked a neat, predictable routine to his life. He wasn’t much for spontaneity or acting on wild and crazy impulses. But his stability was one of the things I liked about him. I always knew exactly where I stood with Jason. He was unfailingly honest, even if that meant he wore his emotions on his ­sleeve.

On the other hand, if I was being completely honest with myself, I would have liked a little spontaneity. A surprise party, perhaps. Or even something other than a ­dinner-­and-­a-­movie date on Friday night. Something to shake my life up a little. Something ­special.

Something no one was expecting. Something just for ­me.

I thought about the application for Emery College tucked away in my desk. I felt a little guilty for lying to Valerie about it. I hadn’t taken it out of pity for Mr. Bastian; I had asked him specifically for information about the school. I had found Emery online while doing some research for a liberal arts college with a small student body and a high percentage of scholar­ship ­opportunities.

I switched on the lamp on my nightstand, blinking in the sudden flood of light. Slipping out from under my warm covers, I padded across to my desk. I hesitated, my fingers barely touching the drawer. I bit my lip. This was silly. Being a dutiful senior, I’d already filled out what seemed like hundreds of college applications. Why was this one so hard to ­finish?

Because I want this one, I finally admitted to myself. Emery looked to be everything I thought college should be. Located in a small college town, the school specialized in the liberal ­arts—specifically creative writing, theater, and every imag­inable art medium possible. It had a thriving ­study-­abroad program. Almost all the students lived on campus. A glance at the college schedule showed some kind of music, theater, or art show happening every week. It took my breath away. It was perfect.

It was also out of my ­budget.

My family wasn’t poor by any means, but I’d always known I would have to apply for every scholarship opportunity that came my ­way—­especially if I wanted to go to a small, expensive liberal arts college like ­Emery.

Everyone expected me to go to school at State or USC or somewhere else close to home. Maybe it was time to do something no one ­expected—­not even ­me.

Quickly, before I could change my mind or talk myself out of it, I yanked open the drawer, grabbed the crumpled application, and flipped on my computer. I smoothed the paper with my hand, my heart beating wildly. I tucked my ­green-­painted toes under my nightshirt to keep them warm as my Internet browser flashed to life. I took a deep breath and typed in the address for Emery College. Was I crazy for even trying ­this?

I clicked on the “Apply Now” link on Emery’s home page and waited while the form loaded. Most college applications wanted to know your grades, your extracurricular activities, your service work, and your awards, but Emery wasn’t like most colleges. Its application was like nothing I’d seen ­before.

NAME GIVEN TO YOU BY YOUR PARENT
AND/OR GUARDIAN?

That was easy. I carefully typed in “Abigail Beatrice Edmunds.”

WHY WAS THIS NAME CHOSEN FOR ­YOU?

That, too, was easy. Abigail was my mother’s grandmother’s name. Beatrice was my father’s grandmother’s name. Family was important to my parents. Even Hannah’s name was in honor of a great-­aunt.

NAME YOU HAVE CHOSEN FOR ­YOURSELF?

Easy—­Abby.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT ­NAME?

Because even as a ­first-­grader, I knew going to school with a name like Abigail Beatrice was social suicide. Abby was easy to spell and easy to remember, but most of all, it was easier to be ­Abby.

Abigail was a girl with braids and braces. A girl who wore ­hand-­me-­downs. A girl who would never have friends, much less a ­good-­looking boyfriend. Abigail wasn’t going to be asked to Homecoming or try out for cheerleading or write for the school ­paper.

But Abby? Abby could be cute and bubbly. Popular. As Abby, I could do all those things and more. In fact, I ­had.

I grinned. As college applications went, this one was the easiest by ­far.

AGE OF YOUR BODY? AGE OF YOUR ­SOUL?

I shook my head, still smiling. “Curiouser and curiouser,” I murmured. I clicked the box for 17 as the age of my body. It was almost true, I reasoned; my birthday was Friday. “Age of my soul?” I tapped the mouse button with the tip of my fingernail, ­thinking.

What did the question even mean? What was the right answer? Was there one? I believed in ­souls—­but how was I to know how old mine was? I’d always felt older than my real age, but did that mean anything? I left the question blank for the moment and skimmed over the questions in the next section: ­Goals.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE ­YEARS?
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ­DREAM?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A MILLION ­DOLLARS?
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW ­UP?
HOW WOULD YOU ACHIEVE WORLD ­PEACE?

Maybe some of these questions weren’t going to be so easy after ­all.

My eye fell on the third question on the list. Bingo. I knew exactly what I’d do with a million ­dollars.

My friend Natalie was a ­game-­show fanatic, and she, Valerie, and I had spent many a summer afternoon watching reruns of Greed, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Deal or No Deal, debating what we would do with the winnings if we had been on the show. We always laughed at the contestants who claimed to want to spend their money on boring things like paying bills, buying a house, or donating the money to charity. Natalie’s theory was that the way to win on a game show was to have the most outlandish, amazing, impractical dream possible. She believed the universe wanted to reward people for dreaming big. So the bigger the dream, the more likely it would come true. Her theory may not have been entirely sound, but she believed it to her core.

So what would I do with a million dollars? I’d charter a private jet and fly to Italy, where I would live for an entire month in the most expensive, luxurious penthouse suites I could find. I would hire some gorgeous, ­dark-­haired, Italian male model to give me a private, personalized tour of the country’s museums, restaurants, and shopping districts. Then, at the end
of my ­million-­dollar month, we would sail along the Mediter­ranean Sea, eating caviar and crackers, drinking something sweet and fruity, and feeding each other grapes and figs. At sunset, he would recite to me the most romantic Italian love poetry ever written.

Natalie thought it was an astoundingly fabulous use of a million dollars and swore that out of all of our dreams, mine was sure to come ­true.

But should I write that dream down on my college application? It was one thing to talk about it with your friends on a lazy August afternoon. It was something else to use it as evidence for why a college should accept you into its hallowed halls of academia.

I bit my lip. My glance fell on the masthead along the top of the Web site application: Emery College. Established 1966. Live without ­Limits.

If you say so, I thought. I took a deep breath and typed in my ­Natalie-­approved, million-­dollar, Italian dream. Every last detail.

It was almost two in the morning when I finished the last question of the application, “What three words describe how you feel at this exact moment?”

Exhausted, I typed. Nervous. ­Crazy.

I clicked the “Send Application” button and leaned back in my chair. As the computer processed my information, sending my hopes and my dreams, my very soul, out into cyberspace, into the universe, I thought of a fourth word to describe how I felt.

Exhilarated.

Product Downloads

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Lisa Mangum (Author)
$14.99
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    Fun Romantic Adventure

    by  DeAnn  -   reviewed on  June 30, 2009

    This was a fun adventure to go on. Set during Abby's Senior year of high school. She is looking forward to college and little does she realize a mysterious boy will come in to her life and turn it upside down. I particularly enjoyed the writing and found the dialogue easy and natural. This book definitely left you wanting more.

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    A Time Travel Thrill Ride!!!!

    by  Teri  -   reviewed on  April 23, 2009

    I was sent an ARC of this blockbuster of a book two months ago to review and it totally blew me away!!! This is the first of a trilogy, of which I am excited about. This series is going to be HUGE!!! Abby Beatrice Edmunds is starting her senior year of high school, is wanting no limits in her already set life, with a boyfriend who's always got things planned. In walks Dante Alexander, a foreign exchange student from Italy, to turn her life upside down. He disappears for days, strange things happen when he's around. Abby finds herself drawn to Dante and the mystery that seems to go back to sixteenth century Florence that could be dangerous for her and her loved ones. If you love time travel stories, this is a very must read!!!! Don't be left out when this spellbinding novel comes out on 13 May!!!

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    I was surprised!

    by  Customer  -   reviewed on  November 05, 2009

    It was a good book that my granddaughter and I read together. What fun! We are looking forward to the next one.

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    Great books!

    by  John  -   reviewed on  June 30, 2009

    I got started reading this book while on a trip. My plane was delayed and at first I was irritated, but then I pulled out The Hourglass Door. The 2 hour delay went by in a flash as I was absorbed in the book. Lisa Mangum has done an excellent job. Others have given good descriptions of the plot, so I won't do that here; but let me just say that my only gripe is that I have to wait another year for the story to continue! Definitely recommended!

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    Totally loved this series!

    by  Cathy  -   reviewed on  July 23, 2011

    As a person who is well passed her teenage years, I just finished reading all three books in this series and have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed them! They are well-written and the storyline is captivating from the minute you pick them up! I loved them every bit as much as I did the Twilight series. They are wholesome and not offensive in any way and just a fun read! I recommend them to teenagers and "old folk" alike!

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    This is a great book!

    by  Will  -   reviewed on  May 11, 2009

    Ok, so . . . I'm a guy. And guys aren't supposed to LIKE, let alone READ this kind of fiction book. Well, I haven't read TWILIGHT, but I did see the movie. However, I DID read THE HOURGLASS DOOR by Lisa Mangum. This is really a wonderfully creative story, and you really feel like to get to know and relate to the characters. Abby and Dante feel like real people, and I really cared about them and their growing relationship. I'm WAY out of high school age, but reading this story took me back to the emotions and experiences of that time. Lisa Mangum is a brilliant new writer, and I'm sharing this book . . . and her future books . . . with three of my daughters who love to read, and who love romantic fiction. I cannot tell you how MUCH I loved this book. Bravo, Lisa! I can't wait to read the next one!

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    Intriguing!

    by  Heather  -   reviewed on  March 20, 2009

    Abby has always had a plan, and everything is running smoothly her senior year. She and her friends have applied to the state college together, her boyfriend takes her out every weekend like clock-work, and she even agrees to go bowling for her birthday—again—though she’s been doing it since she was four years old. Each day is predictable and Abby thinks that’s what she wants. Normal. Until Dante, an exchange student from Italy, arrives at her school. Things start to change and Abby realizes it’s because of Dante. She’s ready to take risks, ready to dream, and she realizes that things aren’t what they seem—especially Dante. He keeps a fascinating, yet deadly secret, and in order for Abby to survive, she’ll have to trust her heart, and Dante. From the first page, I was absorbed by this story. Abby is a witty character who hates her full name—Abigail Beatrice—until she discovers the role it might play. As she works at the assistant director on the play Much Ado About Nothing, then meets new student Dante, she begins to understand that classical literature transcends the parameters of time. Dante comes into the story as a mysterious character who seems only to pay attention to Abby—much to the dismay of the other girls in the school. But he has more reason than just a case of attraction—his dark secret will change Abby’s perception of life forever. A fascinating and highly creative story developed on connections between literature and time travel, I was impressed with Mangum’s debut novel. Just enough suspense, just enough intrigue, and of course romance, roll into one engaging read.

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    Twilight Spin-off

    by  Carol  -   reviewed on  August 15, 2009

    This is a great book for anyone wanting to read about 'that perfect kiss'. I certainly don't feel the book is appropriate for those with higher standards for themselves or their children. I had to tell my 11-year old that the copy I bought is headed out the door to the local library as a donation. The boy is too good to be true and the heroine just isn't who I could picture with him. She has some good attributes but her lack of overall intelligence doesn't shine through if it really is there. The time machine portion of the story was not well developed.

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    captivating!!

    by  Cathy  -   reviewed on  October 20, 2009

    This book is sooooo good!! I couldn't put it down! she did such a good job writing it! My daughter and I both read it and loved it! It is kind of "twilightish" but the main character isn't a vampire. You get the feel of the mystery of Dante. I really got a good feel for the characters, and got somewhat attached to Abby and Dante. We loved this book!! Also can't believe that we have to wait until next summer for the next book to come out!! We are telling all our friends about it!

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    Compelling young adult novel

    by  Natalie  -   reviewed on  March 18, 2009

    This is a compelling young adult fiction novel written by a new author. It is a love story mixed with science fiction, humor and even classic literature. I am always interested in how people can explain time-travel and their ideas of what “time” really is. I enjoyed the connection that Dante (the mysterious and handsome foreign-exchange student from Italy) had with Leonardo da Vinci. I laughed at Abby (the intelligent and creative high school senior) as she watched her little sister play her homemade A&B Clue (Austen and Bronte). The classic writings from Dante, Shakespeare, Virgil and poet W. H. Auden are woven throughout the story, creating connections with the past to the present. The mysteries of the book are not revealed early in the story, creating a can’t-put-it-down read.

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    Fabulous Young Adult Fantasy

    by  Tristi  -   reviewed on  April 20, 2009

    Abby is a seventeen-year-old who believes she has a perfect life. Her boyfriend sees to her every need, she's the assistant director of the school play, she's getting ready to apply for college, and everything seems in balance until the new foreign exchange student comes to school. His name is Dante, he's Italian, and he's gorgeous. Abby finds herself drawn to him, and soon learns his secret ... he was born in the fifteenth century and was sent to this time as part of his punishment for a crime he didn't commit. Now a prisoner of time, he must do everything he can to safeguard the balance of his existence or all will be lost. That's pretty much the story in a nutshell, but I want to move on and talk about the component of the book that really drew me in, and that was the writing. Lisa Mangum has worked for Deseret Book for years, familiar with the ins and outs of the market, the publishing process, and the editing world. That said, it's entirely possible to be extremely proficient in the industry without necessarily being able to write oneself. And having said that, may I now say, Lisa is an outstanding writer. Her turns of phrase, her plotting pace, her characterization, the playoff between tension and tenderness ... brilliant. There were some sentences that caused me to go back and reread just because I wanted to appreciate the structure again. That doesn't happen to me a whole lot. Some critics may draw comparisons between this book and Twilight. I'll agree-there are some similarities. Handsome, unusual guy comes into girl's life, knocks her for a loop, and then reveals a deep, dark secret. However, this is a basic storyline that has worked for authors in the past and will continue to work in the future. It's an established plot-a classic, really- not too far different from special child discovers ability to save the world. But Lisa's book is far different from Stephenie's in many other crucial ways, most notably in the writing technique. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed Twilight and I don't mean to knock it - but when you've got a book like The Hourglass Door that does have its similarities, you can't help but compare and this one comes out the winner, in my opinion. I congratulate Lisa on a job well done and I can't wait for the sequel to be released. Rats - it doesn't come out until summer of 2010. Tapping my fingernails ... it's going to be a long wait.

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    LOVE IT!!!!

    by  Jennifer  -   reviewed on  March 24, 2009

    I really loved this book. I was captured from the first chapter until the last page of the book. Once I started I couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the next one.

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    Prepare for time to stand still...

    by  Kimberlie  -   reviewed on  March 30, 2009

    Prepare for time to stand still when you open the pages of Lisa Mangum's "The Hourglass Door." Her velvet, italian chocolate-covered vocabulary will prove themselves delicious on your tounge as you read the timeless love story of Abby and Dante. I can't wait for the sequel! "Grazie" Lisa..."molto bene!"

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    Must-have book

    by  Laurel  -   reviewed on  March 31, 2009

    When I sat down to read the Hourglass Door yesterday, I didn't know what to expect except at least a nice romantic story. What I found instead was one of the most compelling and well-written books I have seen for a young adult audience. The characters drew me into the story immediately. Abby was the likable narrator who made me want to be her best friend. She was funny, strong, and so compassionate. Dante was the boy who became the catalyst for the rest of the story--sending Abby's world spiraling into chaos. My journey through this book only lasted two days, but it will definitely be purchased to be read over and over again. A must have book for anyone who loves a good love story and an adventure!

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    Better than Twilight!!

    by  Becky  -   reviewed on  April 03, 2009

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the very first sentence it grabs your curiosity and doesn't lighten it's grip. You can't help but love Abby and the apprehension between her growing attraction to Dante and the safety and familiarity of Jason. The Hourglass Door definitely exceeded any expectation I had when I picked it up to read the back synopsis. It will be a book that I read over and over again due to all the things that can be missed if it's read too fast! Lisa Mangum's debut is breath taking and we'll keep holding our breath until book two!

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    Do not miss this amazing book!

    by  Emily  -   reviewed on  April 07, 2009

    I loved this book! The characters are amazing, the imagery is out-of-this-world, and the story is incredible! I loved Abby and her adventurous spirit. I loved Dante and his mysterious ways. I loved the word pictures the book created in my mind. I loved not having ANY idea what was going to happen next. I loved the places it took me. Do not miss this amazing book!

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    Couldn't put it down

    by  Jaimee  -   reviewed on  April 11, 2009

    I read this book non-stop from cover to cover. It grabs you right from the beginning, and doesn't let up. The ending is fabulous....well if you can call it an ending. I can't wait for the sequel. I see "hit movie" written all over this book.

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    Bleary Eyed From All Night Reading

    by  Nada  -   reviewed on  April 22, 2009

    I'm not a big fiction reader, but once I began this book I couldn't put it down--hence my bleary eyes. Its the kind of book you take everywhere you go so that you can read it every free second. I read it in two days and quickly recommended it to my friends and family that loved Twilight and similar books. I told them, "Trust me, it's better!" Great characters, great plot, fun twists and turns. I can't wait for the next book.

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    Great Read

    by  Customer  -   reviewed on  May 05, 2009

    This book had me reading all night long- full of mystery, suspense, and romance, readers of all ages will enjoy it.

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    Great surprise!

    by  Jennifer   -   reviewed on  June 09, 2009

    I got this book at the library and had no idea what a great treasure I had come upon. I loved this book and read it in less than a day. I don't know how I am going to wait another year till the sequel comes out. Great book for any age.

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    This book is wonderful!

    by  Jana  -   reviewed on  May 15, 2009

    I really loved this story. It had strong characters and an interesting story line and it really kept my attention until the very last page. I can't wait to see the second one because I was still hungry for more when it ended. This is one of the best and most exciting books that I've read in a while. (More exciting even than Treasure Island, which I'm reading for school.)

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    Read in an afternoon

    by  Cindi  -   reviewed on  May 22, 2009

    I loved the characters and the use of italian. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down and once I did, I had to share it with family and friends.

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    Loved it!!!

    by  Brynette  -   reviewed on  July 01, 2009

    This was a great, clean read. The romance was appropriate, not graphic (thanks Lisa!!). The plot was interesting and well developed. The heroine was relatable and likeable. Our hero was masculine and a gentleman. I couldn't put it down. Great for any age! Can't wait for book 2 next summer. I'll be watching for it!! And I will definitely be following this author.

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    Absolutely Wonderful!!

    by  Natalie  -   reviewed on  June 07, 2009

    I really love this book. It is so tightly written and the author has such a great skill for capturing the emotional drama. She is very talented and has a way with words. The characters are well presented and I found myself being drawn in immediately. I was hooked right from the beginning and would recommend this book to everyone. In my mind, I envision Dante as being Johnny Depp from 21 Jumpstreet. I'm a huge fan and wouldn't mind meeting him in person.

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    Intense

    by  Kathy  -   reviewed on  June 09, 2009

    I really enjoyed the book. I bought it on a Friday and had it read by Sunday night.

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    Um... OH MY GOSH!

    by  Jamie  -   reviewed on  June 26, 2009

    OH MY GOSH! I LOVED THE BOOK! i got it on saturday and finished it monday! i always was reading it and i was sad- and still am- that i finished it! i know that twilight was a big hit, but i think this is going to top it. i liked it better han twilight... and that's a big step for me!! I LOVED IT! i hope i can write a book as brilliantly written down as Lisa Mangum did! BRAVA!

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    Very Good - Well developed characters, left wanting know more.

    by  Donald  -   reviewed on  July 16, 2009

    I read the book in two days. I was interested from the very beginning. Loved the plot twists and the ending. Now Lisa has me anxiously awaiting the next book. Thanks for a clean great read.

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    WOW!

    by  Andrea  -   reviewed on  June 29, 2009

    This book was a-maz-ing! I started it 1 day ago and I'm already finished because it was SO good! It definitely is one of my most favorite books- up there with the Twilight series!(which is saying something) I can't wait for the next one!

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    If less than one star could be given that is what this book would get.

    by  Rae  -   reviewed on  July 17, 2009

    This book just drags. I will pick up a book and read until it is finished in a few hours---this just took forever to get through. Save your money and purchase something else. There are great books out there but sadly this is not one of them.

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    Finally, a young adult heroine that I actually like!

    by  Sophie  -   reviewed on  August 03, 2009

    Finally, a young adult heroine that I actually like! Abby is imperfect and smart and devoted. She's believable as a 17-year-old, but one you want to cheer for. The book is an excellent introduction to the characters and to the rest of the series. Once Dante took us into his secret world, I couldn't put it down until I knew the end--it was captivating and original. A really fun summer read.

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    Can't Believe It

    by  Tricia  -   reviewed on  August 16, 2009

    Holy mangled metaphors, Batman! It was verbose and overly descriptive. As a mother, I am surprised someone at Deseret Book did not show some concern over the scene where the drama teacher, who liked to be called by his first name, kissed a student, Abby, our main character, to show the romantic leads how it should be done. The only fallout from this was her disappointment that her first kiss was with her drama teacher. Where did Abby's parents disappear to once she started running with the time travelers? Were they not concerned when a fifty-ish man shows up to visit their daughter when she had the flu? I would like to stay tuned for the answers to these and other bat questions, but I doubt there will be any.

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    w-o-w

    by  Savanna  -   reviewed on  October 07, 2009

    This book is amazing! I can't believe how amazingly good this book is. Lisa did an excellent job! And I am counting down the days until the next book comes out! Totally amazing!

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    Fun Story, Deep Meaning

    by  Greg  -   reviewed on  November 16, 2009

    The Hourglass Door is a fun story with deep underlying meaning. The writing is a bit wordy for my taste. Way too many adjectives. However, the allusions to classical literature and the underlying religious themes reminded me of C.S. Lewis. The book made me stop and ponder.

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    Absolutely Grand

    by  Beth  -   reviewed on  May 21, 2010

    What a wonderful read, I was able to read it with both of my sisters and all three of us were immediate fans. The story was well constructed and written, with an author that has more experience in the field of writing and editing than most first time authors. Readers will be taken on an action/adventure/time traveling/romance that only gets better with every turn of the page. I appreciated her characterization of the central characters as well as her imagery. I actually felt as though I was in Dante and Abby's world. This series is much better than a certain vampire series. I found them absolutely grand.

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    Wonderful!

    by  Jordann  -   reviewed on  August 03, 2011

    I loved it. I could not put the book down,and i read it in less then one day!

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    Excellet book, intriguing story line and superb writing.

    by  Kelly  -   reviewed on  December 29, 2011

    Love Lisa Mangum’s writing style. Well done! When someone said, “Move over Edward,” they weren’t kidding. Dante is a compelling character. I can’t wait to read more about him and Abby. Golden Spiral, here I come.

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    Don't bother with this one

    by  Doug  -   reviewed on  August 11, 2011

    Where do I start -- this is pretty much the worst book series I have ever read. I read the entire series because I kept hoping for the plot to start to make sense. Unfortunately, things just got weirder and more unexplained as time went on and I was left unfulfilled and a little angry. The characters are stupid, the plot is unbelievable and the language is overly flowery and trite. The author introduces items like a time machine and ancient punishment for a group of Italian traitors, but she never explains anything to us completely. She then over uses and cheapens phrases like "I Promise", "Trust Me", "I'll take care of it" and "Almost". When the characters are asked what to do their standard answer is "I don't know" and they really don't know. Of course the only character who can take any action is the heroine Abby, but her love, Dante, is constantly injured and incapacitated by the villain and Abby must rescue him. Whenever something can't be explained, it isn't and a strange plot twist is thrown in to distract the reader. By the end of the book series I was hoping that everyone would die and the villain would triumph. Somehow Abby is able to make wishes that come true, but we're never told why that is. The first book had some potential, but in book 2 and especially in book 3 the story became a statement of female superiority that was never explained. The prose was distractingly flowery with drawn out similies in groups of three that seemed to have no other purpose than to add to the word count. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and don't start this series.

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    Well written

    by  Rachel  -   reviewed on  December 29, 2011

    I listened to the audio recording, read by the author. She spoke well and clearly, with good inflection. The writing was interesting and I was left wanting to find out what happens in the next book. I would have liked to see a little more depth to Abby's character - she seemed to be a pretty typical teenager, so what made her different? Even if I wanted more from the character, the writing itself was interesting enough to keep my attention and make me curious about what will happen next.

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