Hallucinating in High School: Holly Lauren’s “Tempus,” a YA Paranormal Romance

TEMPUS by Holly Lauren

TEMPUS by Holly Lauren

Publisher: Libertine Press, an imprint of GMTA Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: November 25th, 2013

ISBN: 1493513303 (ISBN13: 9781493513307)

Formats: paperback, e-book

Length: 362 pages

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the e-book edition in exchange for an honest and fair review posted during the TEMPUS blog tour.

Holly Lauren

Holly Lauren (image via GMTA Publishing website)

The Author (from the GMTA website):

Holly was born and raised in a small town in North Georgia. The third of four children, Holly grew up telling stories to get herself out of—and her siblings into—trouble. When she was eight years old, she penned her first publication: a newspaper called Sunny Dayz News. While she didn’t sell any actual copies, her sympathetic grandmother did peruse through the edition at least once.

When Holly isn’t dreaming up new plotlines for her next book, she enjoys breakfasting at Picnic Café in Dahlonega, Georgia with her (handsome) husband and their two (adorable) daughters.

Plot summary: Chapel Ryan is a huge success by high school standards; an “A” student and cheerleader, she’s attractive, popular, and has good friends like Erica. But there’s one problem — she hallucinates. Or at least that’s what her therapist calls her paranormal experiences, in which time seems to freeze into a tableau and Chapel can make changes in the scene that avert disaster. She began having these episodes after her father, the former local sheriff, was murdered in the line of duty when Chapel was three years old. Therapy helped her to put the hallucinations behind her — or so she thought. One day in Ms. Freeman’s English class, another hallucination unexpectedly occurs — except this time, somebody besides Chapel is able to move during the episode. And it’s Zay, the new kid in school — an intelligent, thoughtful guy underneath his bad-boy, rich-kid, smooth and sophisticated exterior. Even worse — Zay develops an interest in her and begins to pursue her. But Chapel hasn’t gotten over the end of her relationship with Logan, the quarterback on the football team and a friend since childhood. And Zay’s father has a private investigations firm — does this have something to do with his interest in Chapel? Meanwhile, Chapel’s step-father and mother are no help — they’re wrapped up in step-dad’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Will Chapel be able to understand the true nature of her hallucinations, overcome the traumas of her past, and work out a new relationship with Zay — all while negotiating the transition from high school to college?

TEMPUS quote, ch. 2

Image source: Holly Lauren’s WP blog

Commentary: While I am not a regular reader of YA romance novels, I enjoyed this one because of the paranormal angle. As a teacher, I recommend it for the YA audience, which is becoming younger every day as middle-schoolers’ reading tastes become edgier and more mature. In fact, I’m going to have my middle-schooler daughter read it and do her own review. That being said, I believe that this book is also going to be a hit with high school readers. Once liked and recommended by peers, novels spread like wildfire through the YA audience; I foresee this happening with Tempus. The main reason for this opinion is the book’s protagonist, Chapel. She is confident and vulnerable at the same time. She has built up defenses to compensate for her weaknesses and for the lack of support from her family. Through her relationships with Zay, her friends, her teachers, and peers, she learns to drop these defenses and grow as a person. She’s also able to accept her hallucinations for what they are. Chapel is a good model for young women who are negotiating their way through adolescence into young adulthood.

TEMPUS quote, ch. 25

Image source: Holly Lauren’s WP blog