Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Tansy Piper should be used to haunted houses. It comes with the territory when your mom's a horror writer. Yet, there's something different about her new Texas home. When Tansy discovers an old journal filled with haunting poetry, she finds herself increasingly drawn to its author -- a mysterious boy who committed suicide decades ago. As Tansy immerses herself in Henry's troubled mind, she begins to see his world through the lens of her camera...and the more time she spends there, the less she wants to come home.

Through Her Eyes is beautifully written, in language that is subtle enough not to distract from the story. The contrast crystallizes the moments of poetry sprinkled throughout and makes them all the more striking. The atmosphere of the novel is haunting but not scary, creating a romantic tale rather than a horror story. Tansy's forays into Henry's world are mesmerizing, and Jennifer Archer's creativity is on display in her use of color and photography as she weaves their tangled tale.

Tansy's self-sufficiency and determination to be strong are winning, though she can occasionally be angsty. Archer deftly manages her flirtation with madness and shows her instability with a precise hand. Likewise, Henry is a deeply troubled young man and his pain is portrayed with poignancy. However, it is hard to see his romantic allure when his behavior is so manic.

Bethyl Ann, Tansy's lone friend in Cedar Canyon, is the most vibrant character in the novel. Her Shakespearean quips and girl genius persona are a breath of fresh air in the somber story. Yet it is Tansy's relationship with her ailing grandfather that is the emotional center of the novel, giving shade to her motivations and complexity to her character. In Through Her Eyes, Archer weaves a tale of love and friendship, poetry and past mistakes that will enthrall readers with its edge of Gothic menace.


Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this novel from the author. This did not affect my review in any way.

Purchase the newly released Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer.

Part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

Don't miss Jennifer's guest post on the making of her book trailer, and enter to win a SIGNED ARC of Through Her Eyes! Giveaway ends tonight at midnight!


Brent from The Naughty Book Kitties said...

So glad you enjoyed this one just as much as I did! I sure do hope Jennifer Archer writes more YA.

Midnyte Reader said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I read a negative review and was not going to try this book, but maybe now I will!

lisa (the nerd) said...

you had me at flirting with madness. i had heard good things about this book, but your review definitely sold it for me.

seriously, what a well written and consice review. you rock.

I Read Banned Books said...

I really liked it too! I think the range of characters is what I liked best about the story. It seems to have a little bit of everything. Great review!


Lauren M said...

Ooh, awesome! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this one! It's on my list to read this month! :)

The Slowest Bookworm said...

I really like the sound of this one. Definitely one for my wish list. Thanks for the great review :D

Anonymous said...

This is the first review I have seen for this book, and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it :)

"Tansy's self-sufficiency and determination to be strong are winning, though she can occasionally be angsty." --I like angst-y haha

I'm looking forward to reading this!

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