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Through Her Eyes

( 25 )


Every ghost has a story to tell . . .

The last thing Tansy Piper wanted was to move to the middle of nowhere in Cedar Canyon, Texas. Once there, her life takes a chilling turn when she finds a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal in the cellar of her new home.

The items belonged to Henry, a troubled teenager who lived in the house and died decades earlier. And Tansy, an amateur photographer, ...

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Through Her Eyes

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Every ghost has a story to tell . . .

The last thing Tansy Piper wanted was to move to the middle of nowhere in Cedar Canyon, Texas. Once there, her life takes a chilling turn when she finds a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal in the cellar of her new home.

The items belonged to Henry, a troubled teenager who lived in the house and died decades earlier. And Tansy, an amateur photographer, soon discovers that through the crystal and her photographs, she can become part of Henry's surreal black-and-white world.

But the more time Tansy spends in the past, the more her present world fades away. Can she escape Henry's dangerous reality before losing touch with her own life forever?

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Editorial Reviews

Sophie Jordan
“Haunting and mysterious. Jennifer Archer delivers a supernatural read unlike any other! Spooky in the best way!”
“A tightly written time-travel fantasy. The quirky characters; romantic triangles; and ghosts and haunted houses make for a winning, mixed-genre offering that’s sure to attract a wide audience of teen readers.”
Publishers Weekly
Adult author Archer (Off Her Rocker) makes her YA debut with an evocative and unusual ghost story. Sixteen-year-old Tansy Piper is less than thrilled about being uprooted yet again so her novelist mother can work on a new book, and she is determined to hate her grandfather's tiny hometown of Cedar Canyon, Tex. Worse yet, their new house ("three stories of pure creepiness") is said to be haunted by the ghost of 17-year-old Henry Peterson. Tansy becomes increasingly intrigued by Henry's story, and she is stunned when her camera's viewfinder shows her black-and-white images of moments that have long passed, moments that include Henry. Feeling transported into the photographs, Tansy starts to spend more and more time in Henry's world. As the color in Tansy's world begins to drain away and fill Henry's colorless world, Tansy is pulled deeper inside until she's on the cusp of entering it forever. Archer's engrossing story gracefully weaves together the contemporary and historical into an eerie mystery, while examining relationships, reality, and the power of the mind. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
VOYA - Laura Canales
Tansy Piper is moving once again. Her mother, a very popular horror author, feels the need to move to the location of each novel as she writes it, dragging Tansy and her grandfather with her around the country. This time, it is back to the small Texas town where Grandpa Dan grew up, but instead of pleasing him, the move sends him and Tansy deep into the past—literally. Tansy finds some intriguing artifacts in the old outdoor cellar. A journal of poems, a crystal, and an old pocket watch link her to a world decades in the past. It is through the viewfinder of her old camera, however, that Tansy actually gets to see her grandfather and his friends in their teen years, and learns about the dilemma that has haunted him all his life. The more Tansy becomes obsessed with this black-and-white world, the more it begins to take on living color—and her real world begins to fade. In her first novel for teens, Archer hits the mark right on. She opens the reader to the frustrations Tansy feels from repeatedly losing old friends and starting at a new school again and again. Tansy quickly labels her new classmates: the popular kids, the goodie-goodies, and the jocks. When she finds a kindred spirit in Bethany, the school "outcast," she discovers she may have made errors with her quick judgments. Allison was not always so gaggingly good, and Tate, the handsome jock, has a kinder, more intelligent side. The image they show in school protects their more vulnerable, real personality. These new friends help Tansy find the truth on both sides of her camera—things are not always as they appear. Reviewer: Laura Canales
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Best-selling horror novelist Millicent Moon relocates to the site of each of her working manuscripts to guarantee verisimilitude, and the constant traveling makes her teenage daughter more than a little irritated. Tansy Piper can carry her passion for photography with her wherever she goes, but she is tired of new towns, new schools, and new people. This particular small town, Cedar Canyon, TX, is where her grandfather grew up, and it soon becomes clear that it holds more than just pleasant memories. The prologue reveals that Henry Peterson, the restless spirit of a young man believed to have killed himself, intends to contact Tansy; what isn't clear is whether his intent is benign. Tansy discovers that Papa Dan was Henry's friend; their shared history is revealed to her through the lens of her camera, and through a crystal pendant that makes her an active participant in past events. Ultimately, Tansy is witness to the truth of a long-ago tragedy, and through her a grievous wrong is righted. While her narrator is occasionally self-absorbed, Archer has her plot threads firmly in hand, and characterizations are agreeably constructed. The ghostly manifestations are well integrated, and the images of poems, nightingales, and watches frozen in time are deftly handled. Tansy's emotional world builds slowly: that she fears she is losing her mind, that she is in danger of succumbing to Henry's questionably sane manipulations, become clear. The action picks up when she and her hard-won friends (including a possible romantic interest) pool their knowledge of past and present events in order to bring peace to Henry. The outcome is satisfyingly tidy, and the expected ending neatly achieved.—Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL
Kirkus Reviews
This inventive ghost story mixes eerie suspense with time travel. Sixteen-year-old Tansy has adjusted to moving constantly, as her author mother changes locations with every book she writes. The tiny Texas Panhandle town they land in this time, however, might be Tansy's last if she can't escape danger from a devious ghost. A photographer, Tansy begins seeing people and scenes from before World War II through her camera lens. Soon she discovers that she can enter her black-and-white photographs to meet Henry, a boy who reportedly committed suicide in the 1940s. In the photographs, she takes on the persona of Isabel, Henry's girlfriend. Even Tansy realizes the danger when she begins to see the world in color while inhabiting the gray-colored photographs and at the same time the present day begins turning to black and white. As Henry's world pulls her in, Tansy can't decide which she prefers. Present-day Tate, the handsome, poetry-writing local football hero, competes with Henry as a potential boyfriend. The story's preface, written from Henry's ghostly point of view, makes it clear that Henry wants to trap Tansy in his past. The preface adds suspense but also removes any doubt about Henry's existence, which might otherwise have been intriguingly ambiguous to readers. Archer writes distinctive characters and paces the story well, producing a supernatural tale with depth and originality. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061834592
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 530,868
  • Age range: 13 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Archer moved twenty-three times before her eleventh birthday—and once more at the age of sixteen. She has lived in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, California, and Oklahoma. An avid reader no matter where she was, Jennifer has always felt at home in the pages of a good book. Today, Jennifer spends as much time writing books as she does reading them. She is also the author of through her eyes, as well as several novels for adults. The mother of two grown sons, Jennifer lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her husband and two dogs. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    This is one book that is totally different from the very start. Filled with a great love ghost story that is sort of twisted, it had me on the edge of my seat. Tansy has moved to a new town with new home that has secret. a secret that her Grandfather has been holding for many years. As Tansy finds clues in the house, she begins to unravel a secret that is pulling her in deeper and deeper into the past.

    Now this is the type of plot I love. A plot so good it pulls you in, literally. Tansy is a great character. I loved her spirit of adventure. As she found clues she let it take her in. It allowed the reader to read into the clues and see them as she does. Tansy doesn't hold back and if anything, she goes further than she has to. She helped her grandfather say what need to be said.

    I like the great mysterious of this book. With every page, the reader gets clues only to suck you in further. As the reader gets into the clues you find yourself super excited to learn to big secret. The way Ms. Archer wrote the buildup is great. It had me at the edge of the seat, biting my nails.

    Now the love interest is most definitely a unique one that I rarely see. This love interest involved a real person and a ghost. I though it was interesting the way Tansy fell for him but also feel for the other guy. It was like they were one and the same. I also like how well it connected both of them to find the clues and discovery what really happen.

    Through Her Eyes, is a great book that allows the reader to really see through her eyes. It was a super good, mysterious read that had you read each line faster and faster. Hauntingly beautiful, I know that once you pick up this book it would be one you would never forget.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    Original Ghost Story

    Tansy Piper is not happy about moving to Cedar Canyon, Texas. The small, podunk hometown of her grandfather does not suit her at all. But when her mother, an author of horror novels, decides to move there to help with the setting of her new book, Tansy has no choice but to go. Tansy has been carted around by her flighty mother for most of her life since her father and grandmother were killed in an automobile accident. Now, she and her grandfather are carted around from city to city, settling only long enough for her mother to finish writing, before being uprooted again.

    Lately Tansy's grandfather (Papa Dan) has grown distant, no longer speaks and seems to have slipped off into his own world. Moving to his hometown seems to have added to his troubles. When they move in to the old house where an old classmate of Papa Dan's once lived, Tansy notices some changes in her grandfather. The boy, Henry, was troubled and it is rumored that he committed suicide when he was younger. The house is supposedly haunted by his spirit, and though Tansy doesn't necessarily believe in ghosts upon her arrival, her mind is soon changed. She begins seeing old scenes play out whenever she lifts her camera to her eye. A mysterious nightengale seems to call to her every night, and there's something going on in the old cellar outside the house. Who (or what) does she see out there? As Tansy grows more and more involved with Henry's story, she finds herself losing her grip on her own life. Is she going crazy, or is Henry really trying to take her away?

    Jennifer Archer provides plenty of suspense throughout the book, and enough twists to keep the reader guessing. This is a different type of ghost story. It's more than just things going bump in the night. I liked that it was non-conventional. Her characters are well developed and though the set-up is one we've seen many times before (awkward teen girl, doesn't fit in, feels isolated) she handles it in a way that makes it feel fresh. The book wasn't as creepy as I'd hoped, but it is original. It will definitely have you thinking about it long after the final page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013


    This book sounds WAY too scary for me! However if u r not easily scared this us a great read for u!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    Go, jennifer archer!

    I havent read this book yet, but i have read another book by this author: the shadow girl. That was an awesome book, and from the reviews, was set up very similar to this one. Im 13 years old and a total book nerd, and i think that jennifer archer is a great author, so this book should be good, and im ready recommending it to people about my age or older

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    good book

    It was a good book but i did not like the ending

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Good book

    1 of the best books for gohst stories, breathe and crossroads r also really well writen good book

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    i read this book and thought it to be "Exceptional". i

    i read this book and thought it to be "Exceptional". if your looking for a book to read to unravel a mystery and throw in a little romance on the way, this would be perfect for you! :D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Great book

    Awesome book, im 13 and love to read. I really recomend it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011


    I cnt wait to read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011


    This book was intersting but at times very slow. What i really like about it though is that you really understand tansy and all that she goes through throughout this paranormal adventure.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Creepy and imaginative!

    Through Her Eyes was a fantastically written story! The writing was easy and flowed and hooked me from page one. I loved the suspense and mystery weaved throughout. I was always on edge and couldn't stop reading to discover the next piece of the puzzle!

    Tansy Piper's mom, a famous horror author, moves their family (Tansy, her mom, and her Papa Dan) around often enough that Tansy has learned not to trust anyone and shields herself to any connections. Just when Tansy thought she's had the best friend ever, they up and move again. She struggles with leaving her friend behind, but her friend soon betrays her and Tansy realizes just why she shouldn't trust.

    I loved Tansy from the moment I met her. She had a quality about her that was real. Although she struggles with fitting in and getting along with the few kids in the tiny town of Cedar Canyon, Texas, she's seems to be content as long as she has the strange tokens from the past-a pocket watch, a poetry journal, and a crystal-that she found in the property's cellar.

    Tansy likes to take photographs and she discovers a 'world' behind the lens of her camera and soon finds her self thrust into the mind and past life of Henry, a troubled teen who resided at the same house Tansy just moved into. She becomes determined to work out the puzzle and clear the rumors about what has been said about Henry and his death.

    There was also a couple more characters that I absolutely loved. Bethyl Ann, for one, is a Shakespeare freak and a genius. Bethyl Ann is just as determined to figure out what really happened with Henry and help Tansy figure out what's going on with her. Then there is Tate. Tate is kind of a hot and cold case that just gets off on the wrong foot, but Tansy can't help but to feel attracted to him and beats herself up for it.

    The romance was light and at times I thought it was a bit weird. I was definitely a fan of the love interest in Tansy's real life, though! Overall, you MUST read Through Her Eyes! Its a great story of sadness, anger, happiness, suspense, and finding out the truth no matter what.

    Review based on ARC copy

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Ghost Story With a Contemporary Feel To It

    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.

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    Posted February 23, 2013

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