Steph Sinclair's Reviews > Tempest

Tempest by Julie Cross
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Oct 06, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: sci-fi, ebook, netgalley, arc-tour, quarterly-challenge-4-december-20, male-pov, 2011-reads, quit-fucking-with-my-mind, could-have-been-better, disappointment, fell-for-the-hype, i-totally-saw-that-coming, le-sigh, why-the-hype, young-adult, time-traveling-and-all-that-shiz, e-arc
Recommended to Steph by: Wendy Darling
Recommended for: I'm not sure
Read from December 02 to 09, 2011 , read count: 1


Until the last ten percent of Tempest, I was resigned to giving it one lonely star and, for once, not having even an inkling to pick up its sequels. I truly believe some people will be captivated with the story Julie Cross has woven together because it's not a bad book, it 's just not a good book either. In all honesty, this is more of a 1.5 star book simply reliant on the principle that it just wasn't for me. However, it really doesn’t fit on my 1.5 star shelf, which is home to some pretty crappy books and Tempest doesn't really deserve to be there among them. Plus, I'm feeling very generous today.

The year is 2009 and Jackson Meyer is your typical college student. He has a beautiful girlfriend named Holly who adores him and an awesome best friend named Adam. He also happens to be the son of a pharmaceutical company CEO, making him an incredibly rich kid. Oh yeah, and he can time travel. He seems to have everything he could ever want until one day mysterious people show up and shoot Holly. Suddenly, Jackson finds himself stuck in the year 2007. As Jackson struggles to find out his way back, he learns truths about his past, present and a possibly disturbing future. What he used to consider a weird ability now seems to have a lot more power over the world's future. Talk about pressure.

Tempest and I got off to a rocky start. First off, I want to say I loved the premise. Time travel is always a difficult topic to cover since there are so many "rules" and loads of possibilities for confused readers. For the most part, by the end of the novel I did feel like I had a pretty good understanding of Cross' universe. However, my issues with this book lie with certain events in the storyline and the characters.

Plot Events:
Tempest starts of very quickly with you immediately learning about Jackson's abilities and a few of the rules. In other words, Tempest got down to business. From the blurb, I knew Holly was going to get shot and I knew Jackson would wind up in 2007. What I didn't expect was for it to happen so soon in the story. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it felt like the story and the plot were taking off before I could connect or care about the characters. When the mysterious men show up in Holly's dorm room looking for Jackson and she's accidentally shot (view spoiler), I found myself asking, "Wait. Is this where I should care?" Sadly, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My gives-a-fuck-o-meter was at a steady zero. In any case, that entire scene seemed entirely too farfetched. Who let those people into the dorm randomly? Why would Jackson and Holly's first reaction be to attack the people when all they did was ask a question? I don't understand. 2009 was only two years ago, but I'm pretty sure we weren't attacking people who asked us questions.

But despite my initial turnoff I continued reading and found that I really like Jackson's sister, Courtney. I was a little sad when she (view spoiler) and it wasn't explored more. That would have been really interesting and added another layer of intrigue. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm not sure what the point was in the whole Courtney sub-plot. Was it to make Jackson a more sympathetic protagonist? Hmm...FAIL. Unfortunately, just when I thought the plot was about to actually pick up, this book gets really corny. When he gets stuck in 2007 he affectionately renames that Holly as "007." Yes, this is a good as any place to *facepalm*. Then, Jackson becomes some makeshift time-traveling CIA agent battling the "Enemies of Time."

It all went downhill for me at that point. I was already have a hard enough time connecting with the characters before Jackson became some super speshul badass agent.

With regards to the time traveling, for the most part I kinda sorta understood it, but when they started getting into "time-lines" and "alternate dimensions," they lost me. When Jackson is stuck in 2007 why didn't anything he do affect the future when he got back to 2009 (view spoiler)? Add that to the fact that Jackson is constantly jumping from 2007 to 2009 back and forth every few pages, and it gets pretty hard to remember what the hell was going on. The few times where he did stay in one year long enough for me to catch my breath, he is having a flashback to either...you guessed it...2007 or 2009.

The plot was also very predictable. I knew exactly what his dad was hiding. By the time the big plot twist came up I remained unmoved in my boredom.


The Characters:

I think one of the biggest issues with this book is that the characters were underdeveloped. Many times it felt like Cross was so eager to get to "the good parts" that she didn't spend enough time writing believable dialogue and characters.

One part that really bugged me was when Jackson had the conversation with his teacher about dropping out of school and getting his GED. He basically says he's going to drop out and she pretty much goes, "Okay." What teacher would react that way? None that I've had. She didn't even ask him why he wanted to do that:
She laughed again. “That can’t be true. So . . . will I see you roaming the halls soon?”
I forced back the disgusted look I knew was about to take form on my face. No way was I going back to high school.
“Probably not. I’m thinking of taking my GED, just tired of the whole high school scene.” The waitress dropped off my dinner and I picked up the fork and stabbed a spear of asparagus. “Actually, I gave my dad an ultimatum, public school or GED. He’s leaning toward the GED.”
“Public school isn’t that bad. I went to one, and look how I turned out," she said.
Ummm...WHAT? Her reaction is child's play, however, to his father's.
“I want to talk about you dropping out. I understand you have your reasons for coming back from Spain, but at least consider returning to Loyola.”
I'm sorry, who is the parent here? Please consider going back to school? Oh, no, no, no, no. This is pretty much the last time his dad has the "school conversation" with him and Jackson never does go back to school. Anyone else see how unrealistic that is? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Holly and Adam. Who are these people? The girlfriend and the sidekick. Once again more stereotypes. Can you guess what Holly looks like? She's a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty perfect in every way. You know, like a real life Barbie Doll.

Jackson treats her like crap and she still continues to forgive him and then sleep with him. Nice. That's the perfect message to send to girls.
Adam wasn't much better of a character. He was a nerd/geek/>insert any other insult against a computer techy<. We really never learn anything else about him. I don't even remember his last name. SMH. I just love the smell of FAIL in the morning, don't you?

As I mentioned before the dialogue also was unrealistic. The characters are supposed to be 19 in 2009 and 17 in 2007, but they always felt younger to me, especially Jackson. No doubt some parts were meant to be funny, but I never once cracked a smile.

Jackson (he gets his own section):

I was really excited to learn the story is told from a male protagonist, but I quickly discovered that Jackson isn't really a guy. But wait, Stephanie! Julie Cross said Jackson is a male! The author said he is therefore it must be so, right? And to you sheepies I would reply, "NO."

Jackson sounds like he's trying to be a guy, but I never found his voice to be very convincing. Most of the time it felt like he was trying too hard to prove that he did, in fact, have a Y chromosome. For example, there is a scene in the novel where Jackson and Holly are on the verge of having sex and she mentions she's "never done this before." This immediately turns Jackson off for two reasons. One, because he is afraid of hurting her and for this reason:
The idea that she might not enjoy this was turning me in the other direction. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been with a virgin, even just messing around. Maybe never.
Now, in this flashback he was 17 and maybe it's just me, but that statement gave me pause. At 17-years-old he's had sex with so many girls that he can't even remember if any were virgins? Not only that, but he also says the longest relationship besides Holly he'd been in lasted a month (and the girl was out of the country for two of those weeks). How did Britney put it? Faking like a good one, but I call 'em like I see 'em. I know what you are, what you are, baby. Ironically, I read this scene to my husband to gather a male perspective and the first thing he asked was, "This is supposed to be a guy?" Exactly. I may have been able to accept those things if that corresponded with his apparent personality, but it didn't. It's almost like Cross tried to write a character with these stereotypes (I'm a rich man-whore, but it's gravy 'cause that's what boys my age do!) and at the same time make him a sensitive and caring boyfriend to Holly (but I'd never do that to Holly because...because...because...I just wouldn't, okay?). Boy don't try to front. I...I know just *just* what you are-are-are . I suppose we are to assume (hahaha, see what I did there?) Holly sparked this change in Jackson, but there was nothing remotely special about her that made me go, "Okay, I see it." I could never understand what was so magical about her to cause that sort of change in his personality, especially since he was not a very good boyfriend to begin with. You are concerned enough for her to not hurt her during sex, but not concerned enough to not flirt with other girls or deceive her 2007 self into liking you? Womanizer, woman-womanizer, you're a womanizer. Oh womanizer, oh you're a womanizer, baby. So, no. I did not buy their relationship. If anything I was wondering why Holly, who did seem like a smart girl, was with him in the first place.

The Ending: (This part may or may not contain mild spoilers)

Two words: Thrown together. I did not understand it at all. The sad part is, I finished the book two days ago and I can barely remember the fine details of it. BUT the one thing I do remember is Holly and Jackson's "It's too dangerous for us to be together! I love you so much, I have to break up with you so the bad guys don't use you as a target!" moment. Look, this plan NEVER works. If it didn't work out for Spiderman and Mary Jane, then it's damn sure not gonna work out for you either.

And of course this book happens to have a major marketing campaign and the rights for a movie, with Summit Entertainment no less, have been optioned. I'm left asking, "Why?" This book didn't make me laugh, cry, or even frustrated. I had zero emotions running through me. I had my 'Dark Knight' face on the entire time I read this.

I've added the next books to my shelf, but if I'm being honest here, I'm not sure if I'll ever read them.

*sigh* Oh, well. We win some, we lose some, right?

I want to give a huge thank you to Ms. Wendy Darling for hosting an ARC tour over at her blog The Midnight Garden!

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
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Reading Progress

12/04/2011 page 21
6.0% "I didn't know this was from a male PoV. That's a pleasant surprise." 4 comments
12/04/2011 page 37
11.0% "It seems like everything is happening so fast. It's almost like the plot has taken off before I even have the opportunity to get to know the characters."
12/05/2011 page 69
20.0% "How does a high school student decide they want to take a semester off?" 2 comments
12/05/2011 page 74
21.0% "How did Miss Stewart manage to get Jackson a new passport, license, and new credit cards all overnight. That's a bit far fetched." 2 comments
12/05/2011 page 78
22.0% "So, you lie on a resume that you're a Maintanence guy and then you're worried about killing yourself while changing the lightbulb? *le sigh*"
12/05/2011 page 119
34.0% "I saw that coming from a mile away. -_-" 2 comments
12/06/2011 page 134
38.0% "Adam and Jackson are just talking about his time-traveling abilities in front of Adam's parents?" 3 comments
12/06/2011 page 163
46.0% "Why is Jackson so shocked that Holly was a virgin? Not ALL teens are out having sex."
12/06/2011 page 165
47.0% "Okay, this scene is really bugging me. Jackson does not sound like a guy."
12/06/2011 page 176
50.0% "I hate to say this, but the dialogue and the inner dialogue sound kinda juvenile. :-/"
12/08/2011 page 195
55.0% "So the bad guys had a nickname. This is now getting corny. -_-" 2 comments
12/08/2011 page 209
59.0% "I feel like I just want to abandon this book right now." 4 comments
12/08/2011 page 217
62.0% "C'mon man! Jackson you are killing me with your obliviousness. Just killing me." 5 comments
12/08/2011 page 226
64.0% "Wow, really? Is there really a fight scene breaking out in the living room with Holly asleep on the couch?"
12/08/2011 page 260
74.0% "Ummm, excuse me. Did you just say you stole a woman's eggs?! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos" 4 comments
12/08/2011 page 261
74.0% "It all made perfect sense now. *Rubs temples* I thought this kid was supposed to be smart?"
12/09/2011 page 273
78.0% "So now he can jump to any time he wants? How is it that his powers seem to 'level up' out of nowhere?" 3 comments
12/09/2011 page 294
84.0% "There are quite a few mistakes in this ARC. Enough to distract me from the story."
12/09/2011 page 318
90.0% "So I get why the cover I'd the way it is now." 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-33 of 33) (33 new)

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Wendy Darling Hey Stephanie, I saw you signed up for my ARC blog tour! I just sent out the book to the first participant and then it's going to Georgia next, but it looks like you'll be stop 3, so you'll hopefully have it in early December. Will keep you posted. :)


Steph Sinclair Yay! Thank you, Wendy! :)


Wendy Darling No problem! Oh, and Shirley just shipped me Fury, too...so hopefully that tour will get organized before too long, too. :)


Steph Sinclair OMG! Wendy, I'm so excited!!! *I-n-e-f-f-a-b-l-e*


message 5: by Sasha (new)

Sasha how is this going, Stephanie? I've seen both good and bad reviews on this one.


Steph Sinclair It's just "ok" right now, but I don't particularly care for Jackson's voice.


Megan I read the book a few weeks ago and I have to agree with what you said. I enjoyed it I guess, but I really don't remember much more than disliking Jackson anymore. It wasn't very memorable IMO.


message 8: by Reynje (new)

Reynje High 5 for excellent use of Britney as part of a critical analysis! Love it!


message 9: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr Ah Stephanie, this is so funny and awesome (I feel like I'm repeating myself, every comment I leave on your rewviews always seem to just say awesome, but gah, it's true). I just want to say Jackson's section is the BEST. Asshat Fail. This book sounds too confusing for my small mind:(


Steph Sinclair Megan (Book Brats) wrote: "I read the book a few weeks ago and I have to agree with what you said. I enjoyed it I guess, but I really don't remember much more than disliking Jackson anymore. It wasn't very memorable IMO."

I agree completely forgettable. :(

Reynje wrote: "High 5 for excellent use of Britney as part of a critical analysis! Love it!"

Thanks, Reynje. That just goes to show you that sometimes a Britney song can teach us valuable lessons!

Shirley wrote: "Ah Stephanie, this is so funny and awesome (I feel like I'm repeating myself, every comment I leave on your rewviews always seem to just say awesome, but gah, it's true). I just want to say Jackson..."

Thank you, Shirley. It took me forever to write this one. I kept losing motivation. LOL.


message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie Well, you've sent it to me now, so I suppose I'll haver to suffer through it next. lol


Steph Sinclair KM wrote: "Well, you've sent it to me now, so I suppose I'll haver to suffer through it next. lol"

Well, you may like it. I almost didn't finish it. I was about to just send it off to you and review just what I managed to get through, but I crammed one night hoping things would turn around for me. It didn't.

Jillian -always aspiring- wrote: "Who wants to bet this book will become a movie starring Alex Pettyfer? It seems right up his alley!

Okay, seriously now...I think this is one of your best reviews to date, Stephanie. Very in depth..."


Jillian, I was thinking the same thing about Alex Pettyfer. The role of Jackson has his name written all over it! And thank you for the compliment as well. :)


message 13: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Alex Pettyfer enjoys attaching himself to bad YA. I'm still surprised he's not going to be Jace in Mortal Instruments.


Steph Sinclair I think he's hoping to one day attach himself to a film that gets as big as Twilight.

Who did they end up picking as Jace?


message 15: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin It's a pity you didn't enjoy this book as I myself love the time travel concept. I've heard similiar reactions as you stated . . . but I really hope I enjoy this book. I hope. :S


Steph Sinclair I hope you enjoy it too Erin! It had a lot of potential, but hopefully things pick up in book 2 and 3. Unfortunately, my impression with book 1 may not be enough to get me to check them out.


message 17: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin Usually when it comes to not liking the first book you'll like the sequel much better. Let's hope it happens in your case. We'll just have to wait and see.


message 18: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Stephanie wrote: "I think he's hoping to one day attach himself to a film that gets as big as Twilight.

Who did they end up picking as Jace?"


They picked Jamie Campbell Bower who has already managed to attach himself to both Twilight and Harry Potter, albeit in minor roles. I haven't seen him in either, although I did see him in the TV show Camelot as King Arthur. It's nice to see King Arthur looking like a surfer -- the way he was always meant to be shown really. He's seriously the worst part of that show.


Steph Sinclair Oh, gosh. Him? Really? SMH.


message 20: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Yep. I am slightly ashamed my knowledge is so extensive.


message 21: by Rogier (new)

Rogier so i should not pine for it and get a bettr book? i'm Int getting YA books is hard/ first i have to win bookdeposit ory credit b4 ordering a book


message 22: by Kyle (new) - rated it 1 star

Kyle I know I probably shouldn't do this, but based on the cover, I wouldn't even pay the book any attention it looked so dumb. After this, I probably will be even more hesitant to get this until my library gets it. XD


Steph Sinclair Lucy wrote: "Yep. I am slightly ashamed my knowledge is so extensive."
Yeah, you kinda went into some extensive detail there. I'm impressed. Lol!

Rogier wrote: "so i should not pine for it and get a bettr book? i'm Int getting YA books is hard/ first i have to win bookdeposit ory credit b4 ordering a book"

If I were international this wouldn't be on my 'must have' list at all. Even if the issues I mentioned above weren't present, the writing is too rough for me to recommend it. But then again, some people really loved this book.

Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "Lucy wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I think he's hoping to one day attach himself to a film that gets as big as Twilight.

Who did they end up picking as Jace?"

They picked Jamie Campbell Bower who ha..."


Whoa! He's marrying Bonnie?! For some reason I thought she was still a teenager.

Kyle wrote: "I know I probably shouldn't do this, but based on the cover, I wouldn't even pay the book any attention it looked so dumb. After this, I probably will be even more hesitant to get this until my lib..."

The cover does seem to bring about fond memories of a certain booker love to hate, doesn't it? *cough*Hush, Hush*cough* Lol.


Megan @Stephanie - someone had mentioned the Hush, Hush cover before and someone from the pub replied that it was indeed the same photographer.


message 25: by Steph (last edited Dec 12, 2011 06:11PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Steph Sinclair Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "@ Stephanie. I think she just turned 20. She was born in 1991 and he was born in 1988.

I should probably mention getting married young in England isn't usually that big of a deal, the age of conse..."


Getting married young isn't abnormal to me, though I certainly understand the shock factor of it for some. I myself got married a few weeks before my 19th birthday. I think here in the states you can get married at 15 or 16, but you have to have your parent/gaudian sign off on it.
But I didn't know she was 20! Wow, time flies, huh? I also did know Alex was the same age as me.

Megan (Book Brats) wrote: "@Stephanie - someone had mentioned the Hush, Hush cover before and someone from the pub replied that it was indeed the same photographer."

Wow. They could have at least switched it up a little. Granted the cover does show a scene from the book, the similarities are too much.


Steph Sinclair Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "Yep she's 20, they've been engaged for like a year or so now.

Thinking about how old the Harry Potter kids are now makes me feel very old, it's kind of scary to think about as well."


I know! I still see her as the little red head curled up in the floor of the Chamber of Secrets. Lol.


Wendy Darling Well...I may have loaned this book to you, but I'm not sure that I "recommended" it, hah.


Steph Sinclair Wendy Darling wrote: "Well...I may have loaned this book to you, but I'm not sure that I "recommended" it, hah."

Lol, oh, that. Lol. Your name was only there because of the ARC tour. Do you want me to remove it? :)


message 29: by Malia (new)

Malia wonderful review, great to read!


message 30: by Desiree (new)

Desiree Oh my God... that just made me laugh so many times! There needs to be a "love" button next to the "like"!


Steph Sinclair Desiree wrote: "Oh my God... that just made me laugh so many times! There needs to be a "love" button next to the "like"!"

:)


message 32: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Martin If I could defend the book for a moment, maybe the whole plot thread with his sister was set up for what he is going to do in later books, maybe really changing the past? Or something else that the bad guys could target, if what he tried at the end to protect a certain someone didn't work?

With regards to the 007 thing, I thought it was cute. I have known Bond fans who try to get 007 somehow into their life in little ways. It was a pretty obvious thing I thought and people do make pop culture references.

As far as deceiving 007 Holly into liking him, what else was he supposed to do? He thought he was stuck there, that, and he had to get closer to her to save her. Can't do that if she won't talk to him or gets a boyfriend other than him and puts distance between them.

I do agree with you on some points, such as the school conversation issue when he dropped out in 2007 and some of the Holly-Jackson relationship, I guess we the readers were a lot on the outside, looking in, and never really "got" it.


Jane when I found out about the 'agents' I put the book down and took a few deep breaths before continuing onto a book that didn't turn into MIB( I dunno, I can't think of a good movie comparison)


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