I won this book as a first reads give away.
I know I am going to be in the minority here based on all of the five star reviews I have already seen for this book. I actually wavered between one and two stars but when I had to choose between "I didn't like it" or "It was ok" I ultimately had to go with "I didn't like it". There wasn't in fact one thing I could think of that I liked about this book. I'm not trying to be harsh or unfair, but rather honest. I didn't find myself caring for any of the characters, the plot felt jumbled and pointless, and I wasn't a fan of the writing style.
I know this book is considered young adult but it actually felt younger to me. The main character (supposedly a 19 year old male) came across more like a 14 year old who was trying to use swear words to sound more grown up. And speaking of being young, since when do 17-19 year olds talk about getting drunk so much? I'm not naive to the fact that underage drinking goes on, but listening to the main character talk about doing shots of Crown Royal and being wasted/hung over several times just didn't sit well with me. Yet this same character talks about one of his biggest regrets with regards to his deceased twin sister was telling his friends that she farted? Really? It was dialogue like that that had me rolling my eyes every other page. He runs into his Spanish teacher who believes she is talking to a 17 year old Jackson, and she tells him she hopes he sampled all the Spanish wine while in Spain. I understand that the drinking age is less in Spain (18) and not really enforced, but I just can't see an American teacher telling a 17 year old that drinking should have been a highlight of his trip. Nothing was believable about it to me.
Other things in the book just didn't seem to make sense. (And no I'm not talking about the time traveling because I consider myself intelligent enough to follow a timeline) But things like Jackson traveling back to 2003 and seeing his dad but not worrying about being recognized because he looked so different than his 12 year old self, yet cut to 2004 and he is trying to disguise himself because he knows his father will recognize him. So his 12 year old self looked nothing like him, but his 13 year old self was a dead ringer? Doesn't make sense. Also there is a 19 year old woman working for the CIA and actually calls Jackson a stupid teenager (note Jackson is actually 19 as well but she thought he was *gasp* only 17). Guess she was a really wise 19 year old.
Beyond all of that, the writing was not great. If people criticized Stephanie Meyer for her writing ability, then they will have a field day with this one. And no I'm not a fan of Twilight. I only read the first book and gave it 2 stars. That being said, I was able to read Twilight without feeling like I was reading a children's book. A lot of the plot of Tempest was not revealed through Jackson's jumping adventures, but rather the big "revelations" happened by other characters telling him what happened. The whole book broke the whole "show don't tell" rule. The entire story is told and not shown.
Amazing that they sold the movie rights to this one before even finding out if people liked the book. On the other hand, it appears there are plenty of people who liked it so they will probably pay to go see the movie as well. I think I will wait until it comes to cable :)