Tempest - Julie Cross Time Traveler's Wife + Jumper

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Jackson Meyer has a unique ability: he can jump into the past. But his jumps are only a few minutes or hours into the past, and nothing he does there affects the present. His perception of his abilities change when two men barge in on him and his girlfriend, Holly, and shoot her. Now Jackson is desperately learning what is special about him and how he can use his abilities to save Holly.

I initially selected this book because it was touted to be science fiction. I love science fiction and I love time-travel stuff. But this book ISN'T science fiction. It is yet another tepid YA romance barely disguised in scifi clothing.

The characters were either unlikable or boring. Jackson is our protagonist, and I spent most of my time either hating him or feeling apathetic to him. Like Jacob in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Jackson is a spoiled rich brat that whines about how awful his life is as his chauffeur drives him to his private apartment in New York City from NYU. Oh, and he is pretty damn experienced on the dating scene (as long as it deals only with getting physical and avoiding revealing your emotions OF COURSE), super-duper smart (but NOT nerdy!), and able to learn super speshul spy stuff within a day (enough to overpower a professional CIA agent!!). Towards the end, Jackson does get a bit more likable (especially as he interacts with his sister and his past demons), but it was nowhere near enough to make me care about what happens to him or his boring girlfriend.

Oh yeah, his girlfriend, Holly. Dull as mud. Of COURSE, she is virginal and goody-two-shoes, studious, hard-working, a romantic at heart (must be from all those "romance novels" she reads *eye roll*) and all the "good" qualities in a woman. She was not interesting in the slightest.

As for Jackson and Holly, I have NO idea why these two are together. Sure, they have their "cute meet" (where she dumps a smoothie on his shoes), but honestly, their dating relationship is just that: two people dating. I felt no chemistry between them, no love, no sacrifice, no mature emotions whatsoever. Every scene with them was boring; since most of the book was Jackson trying to get back to Holly, that made most of the book boring as well. I ended up skimming a LOT of the scenes with them in it.

Adam is so stereotypical and cliched, it's embarrassing. Beyond his one role as the friend that Jackson can come to get to ANYTHING nerdy done, Adam is a blank sheet. His parents are conveniently clueless, so their teenaged son can run around and do anything without him having to explain what he is doing (typically, "shoving the parents in the closet" syndrome--the only worse way to do it was if Adam's parents were dead).

Now, Jackson's father, Kevin, is slightly more interesting. As the story progressed, I did get interested in him, and I do appreciate how Cross did NOT make him EVULZ and uncaring to his son. However, lots of cliches surround him (no spoilers).

Other characters, such as the baddies and Miss Stewart, are all sorts of cliche. We have the Dying Sister, the EVUL baddies, the Innocent Child, and even a Jumper (also the movie "The Adjustment Bureau"). I only wish that this book was half as good as Jumper. "Tempest" was a very disappointing book. It does what a lot of YA books are doing today: pretending to be scifi books while then spending more time on the "romance" between the protagonists than the scifi elements that drew the readers to the book. If I want to read a romance, I'll read a romance. If I want to read a scifi, I am NOT going to pick a book with unlikable, cliched characters, an incoherent plot and time traveling that takes a backseat to the romance.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Jackson drops quite a few f-bombs in this book, along with a spattering of damn's, sh!t's, and hell's.
Holly and Jackson spend the night together. A few flashbacks show them making out, getting ready to have sex, or having sex (not graphic).
Holly is shot, which sets off the events of the book. There are a few action scenes, where guys trade punches. Guns, fistfights, being thrown off roofs all make an appearance.