I had the displeasure of reading this on my phone, so I’ll put a little disclaimer in here. External reading conditions really do matter. If you’re sitting there reading a wonderful book while being nervous or something, you probably won’t like the book as much. Well, the discomfort of reading anything on my phone makes the book just that much worse. But the good thing is, I thoroughly enjoyed Tempus despite these conditions, so just think I may have loved it even more! I also didn’t get to look at its beautiful cover!!
Tempus begins as a normal contemporary young adult novel. I figured I was getting an average high school romance, but instead, it’s so much more. Chapel has hallucinations were she “stops” time. No one moves. No one. Until one day, the mysterious new neighborhood bad boy shifts ever so slightly. And at that moment, everything changes. She’s no longer just Chapel trying to hide her imperfections and survive high school with minimal damage. Now, she’s on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, and she has a sneaky suspicion their are secrets about herself no one is sharing.
I enjoyed the relevance of the novel. It’s obviously new and contained a lot of pop-culture references which may not be understood later on, but for now, it makes the high school experience pretty close to the real thing. None of the dialogue is cheesy or unrealistic. Chapel is a sassy teenager with normal responses that don’t seem contrived.
It may begin as contemporary, but the book contains a science fiction twist, which I will not spoil! I expected an average, and maybe somewhat overdone, story, but the surprising ending made it so much more.
The one unrealistic thing (other than the whole science fiction thing) is the fact that Chapel literally has at least four guys swooning over her every move. And throughout the story, everyone keeps mentioning how “special” she is, when really she’s pretty average. Nothing is particularly shockingly magnificent about her behavior or anything.
Also, in the beginning, the whole hallucination thing didn’t flow into the story. It’s almost as if Chapel had too many problems between being crazy, having boy trouble, having family trouble, AND the plot twist, it’s overwhelming. A couple parts are confusing, and some of the back-stories are jumbled.
Otherwise, if you’re tired of the same old plot structure, Tempus is just the remedy. It’s a completely original story with a realistic take on high school life. Not everyone is just getting drunk or just studying or having clique battles. Holly Lauren mixed science fiction with contemporary and created a fabulous novel.