Shelley's Reviews > Through Her Eyes

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer
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's review
Jul 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-releases, y-a-paranormal
Read from July 19 to 20, 2011

Jennifer Archer’s Through Her Eyes, tells the haunting story of Sixteen year old Tansy Piper who has been forced to move, yet again, because of her mother’s desire to put the past behind her. Tansy, her mother, and her grandfather Papa Dan, end up moving to the southwest and a small town in Texas called Cedar Canyon.

Tansy’s mother is a writer who goes by the name of Millicent Moon. Supposingly she is the female version of Stephen King, without all the fame and fortune that goes along with it. Millicent believes it gives her book more of a realistic feel to it if she actually lives there while she is writing her stories. Millicent is also running from the past and the memories of her husband’s death and the nightmares it brings with it. She claims she is moving to Cedar Canyon because Papa Dan once lived there.

Cedar Canyon is typical of any small town in the south; a mix of Mayberry, along with the fact that everyone knows pretty much everyone else as well as their secrets. They can be what I call southern friendly as well. There are some strange events like the Watermelon Run, and where football is as big as God himself. (For those who live in the south, you know this to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; especially in Texas and Florida!)

When Tansy finds a box in the cellar of her new home containing a worn leather book, a golden pocket watch, and a tear-shaped crystal pendant, it leads her on a journey that takes her into the past lives of not only her beloved grandfather Papa Dan, but the mysterious Henry Peterson and the circumstances behind his death that was ruled a suicide.

This is Tansy’s story, as well as Henry, Dan, and Isabel’s. The intermingling of characters from the past to the present is what makes this book so interesting to me. Tansy actually finds that she is Isabel in the past, and therefore she is falling in love with Henry as Isabel does.

Tansy loves to take pictures. She is extremely good at it. She has an eye for light and shading and atmosphere for capturing beauty in unexpected things and places. She knows that sometimes what you see in the camera’s viewfinder can’t be seen with the normal eye. It is also her own personal escape that she can take and be herself when things start to get dumped on her. She even has her own dark room where she can escape for a while and immerse herself into the past.

Meanwhile, in the present, Tansy deals with the usual teenaged angst of being the new girl in town and is subjected to constant harassment and pressures from her peers. Especially from students she calls Straight A Alison, Beer for Breakfast Shanna, and Rooster Boy Jenks. She becomes friends with a castaway like herself in Bethyl Ann Pugh (Stinky Pugh) who is an accelerated student and brilliant and loves to spout Shakespeare. She also falls for the handsome quarterback of the football team Tate Hudson who loves to write poetry and actually hates football. Yet, somehow he ends up being connected through time to Henry Peterson as much as Tansy does.

For me, this is part ghost story, romance, suspense, and mystery. I found myself pulled into learning more about the mystery surrounding Henry’s suicide and in what way is Papa Dan connected to that fateful day. I found myself in Tansy’s shoes as the outcast who struggles to find her way through life and making the hard choices whether to fade out completely to Henry’s world and become Isabel, or staying with her mother, Tate, and Papa Dan who is her best friend and is slowly losing contact with reality.

Archer absolutely gets the small town southern town feel down. She doesn’t throw her character into a three way love affair like others do, and she develops her character so that you don’t find yourself questioning Tansy’s motives or desires for becoming a totally different person. Tansy has had a hard life with the constant moving her mother does to escape from her own past with her deceased husband. Tansy doesn’t really have any true friends, and the one she considered to be her best friend, did the whole you’re gone now, so I’ll go out with the boy you liked so much.

But, the part that I loved and enjoyed so much that it nearly broke my heart into little pieces, was Tansy’s love for her Papa Dan. I found myself having to grab for the Kleenex box more than once when she describes how he is in a prison all his own with Dementia.

I would definitely recommend this book to each and every one of my friends on GR. This is considered to be a young adult fantasy novel, but definitely adults should read it as well.

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Reading Progress

07/20/2011 page 58
15.0% "Ah yes, a good old fashioned ghost story."
07/20/2011 page 256
67.0% "Just what I like; a seriously twisted, mysterious, and slightly romantic novel that has held my attention from the beginning on."
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message 1: by mrsj (new) - added it

mrsj Can't wait to read your review. Will put this as my TBR list first..

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