Blythe's Reviews > Through to You

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
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(Warning: Possible spoilers, but really nothing you won't find in the synopsis)

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

On my one and only status update for this book, a brief discussion was held on how there are so many books in the YA genre recently that have an immense amount of potential, but, unfortunately, that potential is never met. And while unmet potential sadly is very common in YA, I went in to this book with very high expectations, sure that I would absolutely love it, only to be disappointed in the long run. Considering how much I was looking forward to this book, it pains me to say that Through to You has yet another case of unmet potential.

In Through to You, Hainsworth has come up with an original and intriguing concept of a high schooler named Camden Pike whose girlfriend recently died in a car crash due to his fault, and one day, he finds a transparent girl calling his name. This girl is eventually revealed to be Nina Larson, and she comes from a different dimension than Camden, and accidentally stumbled through a portal and into his dimension. Nina's dimension, as Camden finds out, is one where everything is opposite than his, and his girlfriend is alive. Anxious to see his girlfriend again, Camden travels to Nina's dimension, only to find out things are not as they seem.

Through to You is an extremely slow moving book, and in fact, the actual plot only kicks in barely before the fifty percent mark. That being said, most of the first half of Through to You is comprised of Camden being incredibly moody, Camden blaming himself for the death of his girlfriend, and Camden's incredibly boring and melodramatic inner-monologue. And all of this remains true even in the second half of the novel, but at least then we had some sort of plot going on, however poorly executed that plot may have been.

At first, I was able to look over Camden's moodiness and his melodrama, and I found it to be believable (for the most part) considering all that was going on in his life*, however, teen angst is not something I enjoy reading, so that was clearly a very large misstep in the novel for me. And, while we're still on the topic of Camden, were we supposed to like him? Because I just... didn't... It was just so hard to empathize with a character I found to be so unlikable and downtrodden and just plain boring. I notice that I might get a few comments on this review saying, "But his girlfriend just died! He has every right to be that way!", and I agree with you, but you come back to me after you read this book and tell me if you think that makes for an enjoyable novel. I've said it before in this review, and I'll say it again: Camden is how he is throughout Through to You for reasons I completely understand, but teen angst, melodrama, self-blaming and moodiness is not enjoyable to me.

And I realize I'm jumping around a lot in my review of this, but I'm lazy right now and can't think of a good way to transition from why I didn't like Camden to why I thought the plot was a huge case of unmet potential, so consider this as the transition. Now, how was the potential this book had not met? I'll get to that soon, but first I have to say that the synopsis provided by Goodreads (and me) are spoiler city for the first half of Through to You. Like I had mentioned earlier in this review, the actual plot kicks in close to the fifty percent mark, so as we're just waiting and waiting for a plot to actually kick in, we're given pages after pages of Camden moping and playing the 'woe is me!' card instead, only to get frustrated even further when the plot kicks in. Why, you might ask? Because we already know the truth about everything, and have to read chapter after chapter of Camden coming up with stupid theories about what's really going on, only for him to actually find out the truth much, much later. One of my biggest pet peeves when I'm reading is if I know something (or somethings, in this case) before the main character does. I hate it. And in Through to You, Camden just makes a complete idiot of himself by coming up with really wrong theories as to what is happening, but we already know what's happening because the synopsis already told us!** But I still haven't gotten to why Through to You has such an immense amount of potential but very little of that potential is actually met. Well, for starters, the plot is just confusing and doesn't make any sense at many times, Camden still is an annoying protagonist to read about, but now we have a few more equally as annoying and unlikable characters, though not to the extent of Camden, and the plot completely takes a backseat to the romance. In case you were wondering, that, too, is high up on my list of pet peeves when reading, and I cannot stand it. I read a book for its plot, not its romance. If I were to read a book solely for its romance, I would read a romance, not a romance disguised as an exciting YA novel. And while the last ten percent or so is interesting, and there is a surprising twist that I didn't see coming, that still does not make up for the uninteresting ninety percent prior to that.

After all of this, you're probably wondering why I ended up giving Through to You two and a half stars as opposed to just one. And my answer to that is that there were some parts of this book I genuinely enjoyed, it's well written, and I save one star ratings for books that make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork (you're very welcome for that mental image), and this book, luckily, didn't make me feel that urge. However, that doesn't defeat the fact that Through to You was a huge disappointment, and that I found it to be boring, full of angst, melodrama, and, ultimately forgettable.

* I felt like Hainsworth just thought up a bunch of different ways to make her character's life a living hell, and made them all happen to Camden. His girlfriend died, his parents got a divorce, his dad abandoned him and stole from him and his mother, he severely hurt his knee and is unable to play football, therefore having to retire from his position as a quarterback for his school's team, and everyone hates him because it's his fault his girlfriend died, all within the time span of a few months? It's like Hainsworth was trying so hard for readers to empathize with Camden by making his life absolutely horrible that his life lost its believability along the way.

** Someone seriously needs to fire the person who wrote that synopsis.
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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motherofboys247 This book looks promising, maybe it's only angsty in the beginning?-- and thanks for reminding me of the harry potter puppets! I'd almost forgotten...


Blythe That's what I hope, too. I really like it, though, despite the angst.


message 3: by Rogier (new)

Rogier sad


Blythe Yeah. I went in with my expectations way too high, and in the end what I ended up getting was a melodramatic, angsty, slow moving and just all around disappointing book. I'm going to try and write my review now but it seems I'm in a review slump.


message 5: by Blythe (last edited Aug 24, 2012 03:09PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Blythe Yeah, if teen angst and moody teenagers aren't things you generally enjoy reading about, I don't think you'll end up liking this book very much. There are some interesting parts, though, and it's not that bad, so maybe you'll feel differently than me, especially considering how much I was anticipating this, and that there were barely any negative reviews to lower my expectations prior to reading this.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

You are having a very crappy run. And it seems that you are picking interesting books. BLAH.


Blythe I know! I picked this book up because I was so sure I would love it and needed a great book after my crappy book streak. This, clearly, was not the book I was looking for. I'm thinking of reading The Son of Neptune next (because Riordan never does me wrong), or The Lost Prince.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh! I need to get Riordan's books after the Percy series! That might help you snap out of your bad book run!


message 9: by Blythe (last edited Aug 24, 2012 04:56PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Blythe Yeah, I think it's going to. Riordan never disappoints. Though I think I may need a recap of The Lost Hero, first. *off to Wikipedia!*

EDIT: I can't find my copy of The Son of Neptune. :( Well, at least I've got The Lost Prince!


message 10: by Rogier (new)

Rogier ** Someone seriously needs to fire the person who wrote that synopsis. .. ha ha


message 11: by Keertana (new)

Keertana Wonderful, wonderful review, Blythe! I definitely think I'm going to skip this one. I always used to think my biggest pet peeve was a love triangle or insta-love or even being interrupted while I read, but I found out this year that it's actually figuring out plot twists before the MC does, so this definitely doesn't seem like a story for me. Plus, I hate when it takes such a long time for something to happen and like you mentioned, I feel as if Camden is going to be a very tough character to connect with or really feel anything but irritation for. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this novel as much as you would have liked, but thank you for the extremely helpful review! I'm definitely knocking this book off my TBR-Shelf! :)


Blythe Thank you, Keertana! Love triangles and insta-love are definitely at the top of my pet peeves when reading, too, but I really just hate reading page after page of a character trying to come to a conclusion that you've come to long ago. It just irritates me, and I think it's a waste of time. And this book definitely takes a while to get to the plot, and Camden is definitely a tough character to connect with, so I think it's best for you to knock this off your TBR shelf.


message 13: by Keertana (new)

Keertana Yup, I just did! I feel as if nearly every time a new ARC Review comes out, I mostly wind up knocking books off my shelves, so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. *sigh* Predictability really irritates me too and, as you said, it's a complete waste of time. It's almost as if the author either thinks we're not as smart as we are or as if they're simply dragging on the story for the sake of dragging it on because they don't know what else to do or how else to make it longer or fit into a trilogy or something. I hate that! Through to You seemed to have such a unique idea, but execution is ultimately what winds up winning out against concept. Anyway, thanks again for such a helpful review! I won't be wasting my time with this book now!


message 14: by Beth (new) - rated it 2 stars

Beth I couldn't agree more with this review, with a particular focus on PLEASE FIRE WHOEVER WROTE THE SYNOPSIS. The plot mentioned in the synopsis doesn't kick in until 50% of the novel...gahhh, this so frustrated me!


Blythe It frustrated me, too! But what frustrated me more was not that it took half the book for the plot to magically appear, but because then, after the plot appeared, we had to go through another quarter of the novel reading about Camden's asinine theories as to what was going on when the freaking synopsis already told us! If there had been a different synopsis (you know, one that doesn't spoil everything and lets there be some mystery in the novel), I probably would have ended up giving Through to You three stars, but I hated how I wasted my time just reading about what Camden thought was going on when the synopsis, of all things, already told us what was going on.


message 16: by Blythe (last edited Aug 25, 2012 04:21PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Blythe Keertana wrote: "Yup, I just did! I feel as if nearly every time a new ARC Review comes out, I mostly wind up knocking books off my shelves, so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. *sigh* Predictabil..."

I feel that way, too. I've been reading so many of my ARCs lately and they all seem to be mediocre at best and I'll probably show up on a 'do-not-approve' list for publishers if I keep my bad book streak up! And I definitely hate predictability and that I waste my time reading a book in which there are such blatant plot twists, villains, etc, but of course it's not as blatant to the characters so we have to read on and on about them discovering something we've discovered long ago. But what annoyed me most about Through to You was that the information was given to us, right there in the synopsis. And I was amazed at how little of this book was actually plot driven, considering the book itself is quite small (only 272 pages, and possibly 125 of those pages - and that's being generous - actually have to do with the plot). Again, it's definitely a wise decision for you to cross this off your TBR list. We seem to have similar tastes in books, and I just don't think you'd end up liking this very much.


message 17: by Keertana (new)

Keertana Blythe wrote: "Keertana wrote: "Yup, I just did! I feel as if nearly every time a new ARC Review comes out, I mostly wind up knocking books off my shelves, so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. *..."

Thanks Blythe! I really do appreciate all your advice and I hate wasting time on books that I won't like, so I'll definitely be skipping out on this one. I remember the synopsis for The Assassin's Curse was a summary of the entire story too, so while that definitely took away from the tale, somehow the author managed to write it in such a way that I still enjoyed it. It's rare, but possible at the same time but I guess Through to You just wasn't one of those books. I feel so bad giving ARCs bad ratings, simply because of the publishers, but what to do? If a book is bad and doesn't work, we have to be honest about it. I'm sure I'll make tons of those 'do-not-approve' lists in the future but all I can hope is that if I do, it'll be for books I won't like anyway. I remember requesting this a couple of times and getting declined, but I'm glad I did now. It just wouldn't have worked for me and my review would have definitely been much snarkier than yours as well! ;)


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