Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer
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 was a spooky and chilling YA debut, and once I was immersed in the story, I found it hard to get out.
Tansy Piper is such a unique name and perfectly suits our main character. I think my favorite aspect of this novel was how easily I was drawn into Tansy's world. I could feel her emotions and pain as clear as day and my heart went out to her when things got tough. Tansy's mother is the world renowned horror writer Millicent Moon. Because of this Tansy and her mother are constantly moving around so her mother can do research and really "feel" the atmosphere of her story. For some reason I adore when a character in a book is a writer. It's such a fun side story and makes them all the more interesting. Tansy's relationship with her mother was very realistic and a huge part of the story. I am so glad her mother wasn't just a background character but actually had her own role in the story and Tansy's life.
Another key character, and family member, in Through Her Eyes was Papa Dan- Tansy's grandfather. What a wonderfully developed and three dimensional character! By the end of the story I felt like I truly knew Papa Dan even though he was so sick and could not communicate at all. Tansy's love for her grandfather was so clear and my heart broke when she realized he would never be the same again.
There are so many well done characters in the book who added to the story in a big way. Bethyl Ann, Tate, and many others. I loved how everyone knew each other because it was such a small town.
The other part of the story that was amazingly well done was the plot. From the first moment Tansy arrives at their new home, an isolated, old mansion, she knows something isn't right. And from there things start to get creepier and creepier until Tansy realizes she is being drawn into the world of a young man who lived there, and died there, sixty years earlier. The mix of modern day with history was so awesome and I was as enthralled by Henry's world as Tansy was. She starts to learn a lot about some of the people she knows now and it was awesome how everything tied together.
Through Her Eyes did not disappoint- part ghost story, part contemporary, this will surely appeal to a variety of readers. This book actually sent shivers down my spine and had me anxiously wondering what was going to happen. I am so glad Jennifer Archer took the dive into the YA world!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
April 5, 2011/HarperTeen/384 Pages/Young Adult
Source: Author (ARC)