Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Pages: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: April 5th, 2011
IBSN: 9780061834585

Every ghost has a story to tell.

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.

Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry's dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever.

I wasn't hooked on Through Her Eyes in the beginning. The introductory "hello new town! Hey, readers, let me tell you about all my old towns!" sequence is overdone and more than a little boring.

This boredom was more or less constant throughout the rest of the plot. There are moments when real drama seemed imminent, but wasn't. The main complication we experienced second-hand -- not happening to Tansy, but to someone else who's story she's invested in.

Tansy felt fairly flat, not developing so much as spiralling and then picking herself back up. The background characters didn't feel real, given stock personalities -- concerned mother; weird, outcast best friend; good-looking hot-and-cold love interest inexplicably attracted to our protagonist.

The writing style, however, was nice. It was easy to get into, even if it didn't really evoke Tansy's voice and help me connect with her. It wasn't the characters or the plot that kept me reading, but the creepy tone and subtle paranormal themes.

The paranormal aspect was intriguing in that it wasn't defined. You had to figure out what was going on as the characters did, which helped maintain the spooky vibe. Though, it was left kind of unresolved, with the characters mostly just deciding/pretending it was all in their heads in the end.

Overall, a book I'd recommend to fans of unique paranormal themes but not anyone who's into very character or plot-driven novels.

I give Through Her Eyes a 2 out of 5.