Review: Tempus by Holly Lauren

Author: Holly Lauren
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Published: November 25th 2013
Publisher: GMTA Publishing
Source: Review copy via LibraryThing
Find: Goodreads
Chapel Ryan isn't crazy. At least, that's what she's been trying to convince herself of for most of her life. But after being hallucination-free for three years, Chapel finds herself facedown on her English classroom’s gritty linoleum floor. When she looks up, everyone around her is suspended in animation. Mouths hang open mid-yawn, feet hover mid-cross, Ms. Freeman’s arm flexes mid-sentence diagram. It's another hallucination. Or, is it?

Chapel prepares to tear herself back to reality when something happens. Something that has never happened before in any of her hallucinations--someone moves. And not just any someone—it’s the new guy with a scar over his lip and a reputation as black as his perfectly styled hair. And all of the sudden Chapel's white-knuckle grip on her life has slipped, and with it, her assurance that what she's experiencing isn't real.

Tempus is everything you expect in a young adult paranormal story. It's a fast-paced read with a hearty dose of action, romance, and mystery to keep you on your toes for most of the ride. Overall, I enjoyed it as it was.

For the first 25% of the book, I was confused and thought I misunderstood the genre of the book. I had to double check and make sure this book wasn't solely a contemporary book because it focused so heavily on the high school romance. Chapel Ryan is a senior in high school, but she has no idea what she'll do after she graduates. She does know, however, that she just wants to be normal and aside from creepy stepfathers, cheating exes, and the attention of the new guy school, her life is as smooth as it gets. The only hitch is that she sometimes have "hallucinations" where time and everyone around her completely freezes. When she finally discovers what these "hallucinations" really are and that she's not alone in the world with supernatural abilities, the story starts to pick up and move at a faster pace.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the romance in the book. I particularly enjoyed the push-and-pull flirty conversations between Chapel and Isaiah Halstead, her mysterious new neighbor. I love that Chapel doesn't deny that she's attracted to Zay from the beginning and that she makes him work for her affection. They both are able to have fun with each other which is what most high school romance should be about rather than the angst-ridden serious business some books try to make it.

However, I really wish authors would stop trying to portray stalker behaviors as cute or romantic which Holly Lauren unfortunately does with Zay. It didn't sit well with me that Zay was the type of person who would watch Chapel's bedroom window at night when she's asleep, know her locker combination without her consent or eavesdrop on private conversations. Now, I like Chapel. I like that she's headstrong and sticks to her morals, but it really bothered me that she was so trusting and willing to dismiss some of Zay's creepy tendencies. This one quote pretty much sums up everything I found disturbing about it:
"You know my work schedule, too? On a guy any less hot, that'd be creepy."
No, Chapel, no. This behavior would be creepy on anyone, whether they are attractive or not. It pained me that Lauren went this route with Zay when he still would've been an interesting, complex character without it. On the other hand, Chapel's friendship with the outspoken Erica and the nerdy Timmy was perfectly written. Best friends since they were kids, the three of them couldn't be any more different in interests and personalities and yet they're always there for each other. The interactions Chapel had with the two of them, and to some extent her ex-best friend/boyfriend Logan, provided some of the more touching moments in the story.
Chapel followed her outside. "When did you get so freaking smart?"

"I don't know." Erica slung her Mazda in reverse. They waved at the patrol car parked at the end of the driveway. "But don't get used to it. You're the smart one and I'm the fun one. That's the way God intended it, and the way I want it to stay."
Plotwise, while some parts were predictable, there were still many twists and turns to keep things interesting, especially in the latter half when it started becoming more like X-Men. The ending absolutely floored me, but for those who want to get into this book thinking it is a standalone, I'd like to warn you now that the book does end with a major cliffhanger, hinting at a sequel. I haven't heard any news about a new book in the series, but I really do hope it happens because I'm actually looking forward to it.

As an aside, there are some glaring spelling and grammar mistakes in this book which is disappointing since it seems like it was published without a proper proofread. However, it sounds like the publisher and author already knows about the issues and the book will be re-released this year. Hopefully, it'll happen soon.


  1. Bloggin' 'bout BooksJanuary 13, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    After reading the plot summary, I was like, "Oooh, totally going to check this one out," but then, the quotes. Ugh. There's just no way I'm going to like a heroine who says things like that. Thanks for the head's up!

  2. Yeah, it really killed me that Zay turned out to be a stalker boyfriend, because aside from that one flaw, I really did enjoy their romance. There are just some things that are hard to overlook, however, and this was one of them.