Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Title: Through Her Eyes
Author: Jennifer Archer
Publisher: HarperTeen
ARC, 379 pages
Date Published: April 5, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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 starts off strong with the likable Tansy Piper, her slightly eccentric writer mom, and quiet, but sweet Papa Dan. Their move to a small town puts Tansy in the position of being the new girl at school, alone, and different from everyone. Anyone can relate to her feelings of being an outsider. I liked Tansy right away because she is who she is and makes no apologies for it. So she doesn’t mind walking around with her camera, taking photos of everything, and wearing her Papa Dan’s old hats.

The first third of the book has a very creepy feel to it and I wish that had lingered as well throughout the entire novel. The poetry in the journal, along with the nightingale that only Tansy hears and her sudden trips into a black and white world, make this new town and this new house very eerie. The teens in the black and white world are all-engrossing, especially Henry, the boy whose house Tansy now resides in. Henry is a creep. His dark eyes and violent attitude are captivating, but terrifying at the same time. Tansy’s draw to him is understandable.

Once Tansy begins ‘falling into’ Henry’s world, she starts to become less her and more the girl she falls into, Isabel. This is where the story should pick up, but it actually feels more like a lull – a bit too drawn out, but still enjoyable. Each trip to Henry’s world brings Tansy’s own a little more out of focus, to the point where she debates which one to stay in. On top of all this time slip stuff, are some wonderful characters. The secondary characters are a joy to know. There’s the brainy, 13 year old wunderkind, Bethyl Ann ‘Stinky’ Pugh, the hot and cold Tate, Tansy’s mother, both the Papa Dan of the present and the Daniel of the past, and characters like straight A-Allison, Rooster Boy, and beer for breakfast Shanna. They’re all nicely placed and have purpose in the story.

Through Her Eyes
is a uniquely creepy ghost story with a time slip nature and some engrossing characters. Jennifer Archer brings both her characters and the plot full circle, and does so in one novel. No sequels, no continuations of the story. In a time when nearly all YA books become a series, I was delighted to read such a strong standalone.

Opening line (from the prologue): I died on a bitter, cold night. ~ pg. 6

Favorite lines: I pretend to concentrate on my list while sneaking peeks at Shanna’s note to someone named “Beeyotch.” Ironic, since I’ve been thinking that name would suit Shanna perfectly. ~ pg. 105

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Jennifer Archer online:

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Candace said...

I really had paid any attention to this one for some reason. I'm not sure if it's my kind of read or not. I'm a little torn. I have a good idea of what your kind of book is though so if you liked it then I'd definitely give it a chance!

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! I think this is the first review I've read of Through Her Eyes and it definitely sounds quite interesting. I will have to be on the lookout for this one. Thanks, Nikki =).

Little_Dhampir91 said...

I've been umming and ahhing over this book . . . but an awesome review!

New follower.

Erin W. x

Charlotte said...

I was wondering about this one--now I feel pretty confident about adding it to my list. Thanks!

lisa (the nerd) said...

here here to the stand-alone reads! thanks for your review. :)

~The Book Pixie said...

I agree with you. So glad to see this is a stand alone. lol. This one is also in my review pile and I'll be reading it next month. Thanks for the great review! :D


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