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Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He'd give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv's deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she's a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows her there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it's as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As ...
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He'd give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv's deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she's a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows her there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it's as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with the truth, he's forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.
Posted October 5, 2012
Camden Pike lost his girlfriend Viv in a car wreck, and he walks by the utility pole memorial everyday, hoping he'll see her just one more time. The accident was the result of carelessness on his part. He'd gotten distracted, made a mistake, and unintentionally ended her life. Then one day, Cam has the chance to see Viv again.
It's the same day he meets Nina.
Nina shows Cam the way through to a parallel world, where Viv is still alive and still very much in love with him. But there's something different about her, something that he doesn't quite remember being a part of who she was before the accident. Nina warns him not to get attached.
The longer Cam allows himself to travel through to this alternate world, the more opportunity we're allowed to see Viv's faults in the world where she was killed in that car accident.
Cam's voice is stand out in this book. He's tough and he's sarcastic and he's distant, but it's all because it's his way of dealing with loss and dealing with freedom. The writing is tight, and though there is a bit of a slow start, once the reader is hooked into the story, the pacing steadies. I could see many readers finding this a faster-paced book, but I think the strength lies in the fact it's the kind of book you do NOT want to speed through. There are so many layers to unravel and nothing is quite as it seems.
One of the elements that worked really well was Cam's relationship with his father. His mom and dad have recently divorced, and Cam not only has to navigate the loss of his girlfriend but he also has to figure out where he stands with his family. There's a particularly brutal scene where he's on the phone with his dad, and the tension and pain sear. Cam realizes in that moment that adults can and do suck and he can't do a damn thing about it. Not only does Hainsworth construct parallel worlds in concept, but she develops them in actuality, too.
The females in this book are mysterious, but they're never of the manic pixie variety. Cam is quick to discredit Nina as nothing but a ghost in the story, despite the fact she is opposite of that. She's the voice of reason and strength. The non-spirit. But because she's not Viv -- the girl for whom Cam has given so much -- she's easy to overlook and ignore. Viv is flesh and bone, and this is ramped up by how much physicality there is in the moments between Viv and Cam. Except, those moments are constantly interrupted, pushed to further dates, never quite satisfied or satisfying. Because Cam knows deep inside this isn't right, it was never right, and no matter how much he wants to go back and fix the past, he simply cannot.
Through To You explores what the past is and whether or not it's something you can walk away from or learn from. About whether or not it defines what could lie ahead. The ending of the book didn't make me cry or tear up -- it actually just made me really happy.
Hainsworth's writing style is minimalist. She doesn't bog readers down in too much description of the parallel world because it's really about what the reader perceives this world to be. Fans of science fiction, time travel, and fantasy will dig this one. There's a lot of potential appeal for contemporary fiction fans to enjoy this, too, because so much of the story is rooted in the real world.
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Posted November 24, 2012
"A beautifully-written exploration of grief, and second chances."
I've waited after finishing Through To You to write my review, because I knew it would be difficult to find the words to express my thoughts on this debut novel; I pined for it for so long that I had begun to wonder if it could live up to my expectations. Did it? Yes, and then some! I finished it a few weeks ago and my heart is still somewhat broken, yet healed.
Emily Hainsworth combined two of my favorite aspects of YA literature into one stellar, gorgeous package with Through To You: a male narrator (not often seen!), and alternate universes. When this book arrived in ARC form, I did a dance. I'm a HUGE fan of all things time-travel and just wibbly-wobbly things in general, so I knew right away that this book was going to earn a special place in my heart, and it did. The premise hooked me, but I fell in love with the characters: broken Camden, mysterious Nina, and Viv, as seen through everyone else's eyes. I love books who make a deceased character just as important of a presence as if he/she were alive.
I traveled with Cam, down the rabbit hole and into a world where much has changed, and yet nothing has changed. I was just as hopeful as he was, with given a second chance to make a different choice. Hainsworth explores several gripping themes in Through To You - most notably the question of: "what would YOU do differently?" Seeing Cam's world from two perspectives, two totally different angles was as fascinating as it was devastating. I could see where Emily was taking her story, but nothing could have loosened my grip on this powerful novel, just like everyone who warned Cam couldn't break through - like the reader, Cam had to make his own way for himself, even if that meant giving up everything he thought he couldn't live without. Cam grew as a character, and made some incredibly difficult decisions, and was better for it.
Through To You is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful novel, one of love, loss, hope, and fear. Emily Hainsworth doesn't shy away from grief, and how hard it hits, and how there is nothing bigger in the moment that it strikes you, then the agony you're feeling. But by the time I read the last page of Through To You, I realized that this wonderful book is about something else too - beginnings.
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Posted January 8, 2013
This is a difficult review for me to write because I didn't enjoy the first 40% at all, but I liked the next 40%, and loved the ending. Now that I've read the entire novel, I understand why the first part was so angsty and depressing, but at the time, I did not like that. To me, this book is a perfect example of what happens when someone makes someone else their entire world. It's dangerous and unhealthy. Either way, the character growth in this novel was astounding, and the ending blew me away. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something different.
Cam and Viv had an extremely codependent relationship, and I got really sick and tired of hearing about Viv, let me tell you. However, once Cam began to grow as a character, I really liked him and was rooting for him. The secondary characters, other than Nina, weren't that developed. I wish that I had been able to get to know them a little bit better.
The plot was unique and engaging. Even when Cam was whining, I still kept reading because I just knew something was going to happen. Of course, a lot of that was given away in the synopsis, but Hainsworth has a wonderful writing style that keeps you reading. I'm also very grateful that the author didn't try to explain the parallel dimension thing in great detail because that probably would have given me a headache.
As stated previously, Cam's character development was excellent. He is a first person narrator, and I felt that he did a good job for the most part... once he got past his angsting. The ending tied things up nicely, but kind of let the reader create his or her own ending as well. I know how things ended up in my version of the world. Even with the open ending, I don't feel that a sequel is needed to wrap things up.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something different to read. This book has a more contemporary feel than most of the alternate dimension/sci-fi type books, so even fans of contemporary should enjoy it. Give it a try, you won't be sorry!
Posted November 18, 2012
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There are many things an author can do when writing alternate universes and there is much that can go wrong with the story but that is not the case with Through to You. The author spends a good deal of time on character development and it is those characters that make this an enticing and absorbing read.
Wishful thinking might lead a young man suffering intense grief to want the loved one back, no matter how that happens. It’s no surprise that the teenaged Cam is desperately missing Viv and, when he sees an apparition at her memorial site, no one, Cam included, would think anything other than that he must be delusional. The apparition isn’t Viv, though, so why would he see this girl, this Nina?
When it becomes apparent that Nina is from a parallel world and that she knows Cam in her world, the possibility of being with the girl he loves is more than Cam has imagined even in his worst moments. Is he willing to give up everything he knows to have her back…or will she come into his world? Is she really the Viv that Cam remembers? And where is the true love Cam is searching for?
Cam is one of those characters that sticks in the reader’s mind a long time. Ms. Hainsworth has done a wonderful job making him “real”, so to speak, a young man whose emotional roller coaster becomes the reader’s. I thoroughly enjoyed going on the ride with him as he cycles through grief, anger, remorse and then joy and hope and, finally, comes to an uneasy peace. As he sees how different his life might have been if he had made certain choices, it’s a privilege to watch him mature into a more thoughtful young man who understands what has to happen. Both the reader and Cam must decide: if you could change the past, should you?
There are moments when the story is too slow and sometimes Cam’s obsession becomes a bit much but Emily Hainsworth‘s debut is a strong one and I look forward to many more tales from this author, beginning with Never is a Promise in Fall 2013.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2012.
Posted November 7, 2012
As the end of this book was rolling into the station, I found myself yelling out loud--"Oh, no you didn't!" That was directed at Emily Hainsworth because she put in a little twist that I didn't quite expect. Nicely done! But it wasn't just that one, high-impact moment that stood out. This book was about subtle but powerful nuances of character, situation and perspective. And while this story reads like an exciting, sexy adventure, it also had my brain doing some very interesting mental gymnastics and I LOVED the challenge. Don't miss THROUGH TO YOU--it's a great read in any dimension!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2012
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