Saturday, April 2, 2011

Book Review: Through Her Eyes

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Through Her Eyes
Author: Jennifer Archer
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Hardcover; 384
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Source: Received for promotional book tour.
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Just Kissing!
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a good ghost story mixed with some sweet romance.

Add it on:  Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Sixteen-year-old Tansy Piper moves with her grandfather and her mother, a horror writer, to the setting of her mother's next book--a secluded house outside of a tiny, desolate West Texas town. Lonely and upset over the move, Tansy escapes into her photography and the dark, seductive poems she finds hidden in the cellar, both of which lure her into the mind and world of a mysterious, troubled young man who died sixty years earlier.

Through Her Eyes has now become one of my absolute favorite YA books. A stunning mix of contemporary realism and ghost story, this book is hauntingly beautiful. Truly a unique storyline, I was drawn-in from the very beginning and it refused to let me go until I had read the entire thing straight through. Suffice it say, Through Her Eyes is not only unique, but beautifully written.

Tansy was an intriguing main character. Towed constantly from state to state by her mother, Tansy is often left feeling like an outsider. All she longs for is a place to put down some roots, and actually find something meaningful. What I loved most about Tansy was her devout loyalty to her grandfather, and the way that she was so real. I mean that Tansy isn't perfect. She whines, she complains, she has thoughts of feeling outcast and lost. However it is all those thing that really made me fall in love with her. Tansy feels like a real person, almost like a friend that you're meeting for the first time.

That being said, Jennifer Archer definitely has a knack for writing descriptive and interesting characters. Each character who comes in contact with Tansy is utterly engrossing.  Bethyl Anne, for instance, is quite different than most characters I've ever met. Two years younger than her fellow classmates, and obsessed with quoting Shakespeare, Bethyl Anne is also an outcast. However she handles her status much differently than Tansy. There is an air about her that shows her strength and a deep understanding of her life. It is through her that Tansy begins to see that feeling sorry for herself won't get her anywhere. Truthfully Bethyl Anne is one of my new favorite characters. There are others, like the smoldering Tate, but I won't delve too far. I'll let you discover that for yourself!

In terms of plot, some may find it a bit slow at the beginning. This is because Tansy is so deeply set into her isolation that the beginning of the story is mainly inner monologue. However as the story progresses, and Tansy breaks out of her shell, it also definitely picks up in speed. The ghost story aspect provides a unique twist, and the two time periods are woven together so seamlessly that sometimes I forgot where I was at the moment. Through Her Eyes is absolutely the most stunning book that I have read in a long time.

Ultimately, I fell so in love with this book that I can't give it any less than my highest recommendation. Expertly written characters, seamless plot writing and a gorgeously isolated setting make this book something special. I can only hope that you'll love it as much as I did.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was compensated monetarily.


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