This is What Consent Looks Like, a book review of Infinity Glass by Myra McEntire
I am a huge fan of the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire. It is one of my go to recs at my library. Book 2, Timepiece, is one of my favorite books. It is dynamic and I found the main character, Kaleb, to be engaging, complex and well written, so I was excited about book 3, Infinity Glass.
Fast forward to the 3rd and final book in the trilogy, Infinity Glass. Infinity Glass tells the final part of this story from yet another character’s point of view, in this case Dune and a young woman named Hallie. Hallie is the overprotected daughter of a criminal who works for a competing agency called Chronos. If you aren’t familiar with the Hourglass series, you can read reviews of book 1, Hourglass, and book 2, Timepiece, to catch up. Books 1 and 2 basically established that various people had different time related abilities and they were competing people looking for something called the Infinity Glass. The person who holds the Infinity Glass would hold a tremendous weapon in their hand and you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands. There are a couple of cool twists and reveals, the worst mother of the year, and a couple of tense situations that keep you on the edge of your seat while reading.
I enjoyed the final book in the series, though not as much as I liked Timepiece, but probably because there was scant amount of Kaleb, Lily, Em or Michael. One issue, for me, was that the characters from book 1 and 2 don’t play that big of a part until the end of this book. In fact, in many ways, Infinity Glass almost seems like an entirely new book, except for the fact that it really does wrap up the time travel mystery introduced in books 1 and 2. I also felt that the final 3rd of the book was a little rushed in its resolution. But it’s a perfectly fun read. I love the power, strength and confidence McEntire gives these teens while still allowing them to be real and vulnerable. And I love the way we mess with time.
No, I want to talk about the relationship between Dune and Hallie. One thing that the Hourglass series has going for it in spades are the various romantic relationships. For teen readers looking for smolder and swoon, the Hourglass titles do not disappoint. In fact, Infinity Glass has one of my favorite relationships of 2013 in it (second only to maybe Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell).
Dune is definitely hot in the way he is both described and the way he interacts with Hallie and teen readers will swoon. But more importantly, Dune is intelligent, sophisticated, respectful, thoughtful (as in thinking, not just kind) and more. He takes the time to examine – and discuss – his feelings to make sure they are coming from a good place. And as Hallie and Dune open themselves up emotionally to one another, their physical intimacy reflects the growing emotional intimacy in interesting and healthy ways.
Then, my absolute favorite moment happens. Wanting to pursue some physical contact with Hallie, Dune looks at her and asks, “So I have a green light then?” He respects her, asks for permission, and makes sure he clearly gets it before proceeding. In a post Stuebenville world where we are debating in the public what consent looks like, McEntire takes a moment to show us.
I have railed a lot recently against unhealthy relationships in YA lit. And the truth is, unhealthy relationships happen and they should happen in YA lit. But the question I keep asking is, where is the other side of the coin? Interestingly enough, McEntire really flips some typical (perhaps stereotypical) gender roles in this story. Hallie is the character pushing sexual boundaries here. Hallie is the flirty girl pushing, teasing, using sex as a weapon against Dune. In fact, I didn’t like her at first. But as she comes to see who Dune is and experience his faith and trust in her, his respect for her, she changes her mind about many things. That’s right people – there is growth!
Another great thing about Infinity Glass is that the physical intimacy does not always, does not often, mean sex. Sometimes it genuinely means holding and comforting someone in the aftermath of a truly difficult day or experience. There is a wide range of both emotional and physical intimacy demonstrated. And where a lot of teen books seem to skip the part where teens talk about their relationship and just go right to the kissing, that doesn’t happen here. Dune and Hallie actually talk about what they are thinking and feeling. So cool.
So as book 3 in the Hourglass series, I give Infinity Glass 4 out of 5 stars. But as a romantic read, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. The series is good, and popular, so if you don’t have it you should definitely add it or read it. It’s a fun crossover title for Doctor Who and X-Men fans, combining all that wibbly wobbly timey-whimey stuff with cool teens that have various time related quirky powers. Also, best cover ever.
Infinity Glass by Myra McEntire. Book 3 in the Hourglass trilogy. Published August 6, 2013 by Egmont USA. ISBN: 9781606844410.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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