THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer

Posted 18 April, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 1 Comment

YA Paranormal
384 pages
Available now
Review copy provided by HarperTeen

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.

Tansy and her mother have lived all over the place because her mother, a horror writer, likes to get a feel for a place when she’s writing about it in her novels. Tansy, on the other hand, wants to be in San Francisco, the last place they lived and where her friends (and potential boyfriend) live. But they moved to Cedar Canyon in Texas, where her grandfather, Papa Dan, grew up. And, of course, they move into a creepy, haunted house. Tansy’s mom is ecstatic. Tansy…not so much.

The family dynamic in this novel is excellent. Papa Dan, Mom, and Tansy are a great family unit. Granted, they have their issues but they love each other deeply. After years of taking care of them, Papa Dan has dementia and it’s up to Tansy and her mother to take care of him. Moving to this new place, with unfamiliar people, Tansy’s lost and needs her Papa Dan more than ever. Though he’s there physically, he isn’t there mentally or verbally and, with her mother in her writing cave, Tansy gets lost in her own thoughts. And this girl does think too much. She’s a bit emo, a bit dark (perhaps she gets that from her horror-writer mom, hum?), and only semi-willing to give the people of Cedar Canyon a chance.

Because she’s pretty much isolated herself from all but a few people, Henry, the tormented ghost who haunts Tansy’s new house, is able to contact her. As the story progresses, Tansy loses herself in Henry’s world and, as his world gains color, her world loses it and she doesn’t really want to return to reality. The point of view in this paranormal is unusual in that, while it’s told through Tansy’s eyes, it also includes flashbacks, which she sees when she looks through the lens of her camera. 

This story drew me in and made me want to stay a while, to try and figure out the mystery that haunted Cedar Canyon and to see what happened to Tansy (and to maybe shake her mother so she’d pay a little more attention to what was going on with her daughter). A tantalizing mystery, a blossoming romance, and an eerie ghost story, THROUGH HER EYES is well worth curling up with.

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

One Response to “THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer”

  1. I love ghost stories, and the premise of seeing stuff through a camera? Sounds really awesome! Great review, I’ll be picking this one up in the future!