Thursday, 4 October 2012

Book Review: Through To You by Emily Hainsworth.


Product details:
Publisher: Balzer & Bray.
Hardcover, 272 pages.
Release date:October 2nd 2012.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 13+
Source:  For review via Edelweiss.

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

 Grief-stricken and alone, Camden Pike has no one to turn to, nowhere to go.  It was always just him and his girlfriend Viv against the world. Now Viv is dead, and it sometimes feels to Cam like the whole world is against him.  Viv was the only one who ever understood what Cam was all about, and he’d do anything to have her back in his life again.  Obviously that’s never going to happen. But what if it did?

Through To You from debut novelist Emily Hainsworth has an amazing premise that shot the book straight to the top of my ‘must read’ list when I first read about it last year.  Parallel universes where dead girlfriends still roam? Sign me up for that.  And, of course, there’s a twist in the tale.  Even better!  While Through To You may sound amazing, and, don’t get me wrong, this book contains a lot of positives, it’s also slightly lacking in certain areas.  For one, the synopsis of the book reveals far too much, resulting in readers that are always two steps ahead of the protagonist as he works through his grief and tries to figure out what is happening around him. As a plot device, that just doesn’t work for me.  I’m an impatient reader at times, and I don’t want to get half-way through the book before the protagonist figures out what I already know.  Unfortunately that’s what happens here, and so, for a large part of the book, while readers will know what’s coming next, Cam doesn’t. Instead he’s just lost in his grief a lot of the time.

Also, as a reader, I need answers. And while, I know, in life, we don’t always get the answers we want or need, in books; I feel like we should get at least some payoff.  There’s so much that could have been explored and explained in Through To You, but the author just never went there. That’s possibly because Cam is clueless as to what’s happening and most of the time he just goes with it. Overall, I felt that despite a great idea, and a real talent for writing, Hainsworth played it a little too safe at times when her plot came into play, and though Through To You is billed as having a Sci-Fi twist, I felt that for me, personally, this one would have worked all the better if that twist was psychological. And maybe it was. I guess it’s all open to interpretation.

Despite my qualms with this one, which included an ending which left me pretty unsatisfied, Through To You is an immensely readable debut, and it’s one that despite the problems I had with it, I read in one sitting.  The thing about this book is that while I was reading it, I pretty much enjoyed it. But then when as soon as I was done, that was it. The book didn’t stay with me, and in fact, I didn’t give it a second thought once I was finished reading it.   While Through To You didn’t work for me overall, the authors voice and her style really did, and so I’ll definitely be checking out her future works.
 

21 comments :

  1. I'm sorry this one, despite the awesome premise, left you feeling rather flat.  I hate when that happens, especially when you have such high hopes. I'm glad you enjoyed the author's writing style and voice though.  Great review, Leanna!

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  2.  Thanks, Christina! I was a little disappointed in this one mainly because I thought it sounded so cool! I'd definitely check out future releases from the author, though! :)

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  3. This was sounding pretty good until the lack of answers part. Ahh that drives me nuts because I like KNOWING things but it's totally understandable not everything is answered. It really does sound readable, despite the qualms you had. Great, honest review!

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  4. Becky @ Stories & Sweeties5 October 2012 at 05:45

    I'm sad to hear this one only earned a 3 from you---I've really been looking forward to reading this one, and I'll definitely still give a shot, but alot of the things that bothered you sound like things that tend to leave me unsatisfied with a story, too.  Great honest review, Leanna! 

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  5. The synopsis makes this one sound really amazing, it's a shame it didn't quite live up to it your expectations.  Great review and I still think I need to give it a whirl - I mean what a totally unique idea! Great review!

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  6.  Thanks, Elena. Maybe this is the kind of book where I just shouldn't have expected any answers, you know? But with that premise I just felt that this one had so much more to offer!

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  7.  I was so excited to read this one too. I think you should definitely check it out. I'd love to hear what you think!

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  8.  Yeah - the idea is great! I hope you enjoy it when you get to reading! :)

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  9. I so know what you mean about the synopsis revealing too much. I read them to gather interest in a book, but lately I've been trying to avoid rereading when I finally have that book in my hands, because I hate when I'm expecting MORE to happen but the entire plot has already been explained. Anyway, sorry to hear this fell short of your expectations! I'm glad it was compelling enough to read in one sitting, but I definitely understand the disappointment that it wasn't a 'linger in my mind because it's so goddamn awesome' type read. Interested to see how I'll feel about it! Fab review!!

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  10. Oh sorry Through to you didn't work out for you as much as you'd hoped Leanna! It's disappointing when you've had high hopes from the beginning. But at least you enjoyed it somewhat that you're not discouraged from picking up Hainsworth's future books! :)

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  11. Heather@The Flyleaf Review5 October 2012 at 20:55

    That's a shame this one wasn't better (I have a copy here I need to get started on) because I am in total agreement with you on this statement:
    Parallel universes where dead girlfriends still roam? Sign me up for that!

    But yeah, I am  also a big believer in getting payoff to the  burning questions books pose to the reader. I'm still giving this one a shot but I'm not quite as optimistic as I was. 

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  12.  I liked her writing style, so I'll check out her next book for sure! I just felt like there should have been something more to this one. :)

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  13.  I loved the premise of this one, Heather, and I just felt like it had so much potential. I dunno, maybe I just set my expectation way too high. I'll be interested to see what you think of it! :)

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  14. Becky @ Stories & Sweeties14 November 2012 at 11:52

    I'm sad to hear this one only earned a 3 from you---I've really been looking forward to reading this one, and I'll definitely still give a shot, but alot of the things that bothered you sound like things that tend to leave me unsatisfied with a story, too.  Great honest review, Leanna! 

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  15. The synopsis makes this one sound really amazing, it's a shame it didn't quite live up to it your expectations.  Great review and I still think I need to give it a whirl - I mean what a totally unique idea! Great review!

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  16.  Thanks, Elena. Maybe this is the kind of book where I just shouldn't have expected any answers, you know? But with that premise I just felt that this one had so much more to offer!

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  17.  I was so excited to read this one too. I think you should definitely check it out. I'd love to hear what you think!

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  18.  Yeah - the idea is great! I hope you enjoy it when you get to reading! :)

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  19. I so know what you mean about the synopsis revealing too much. I read them to gather interest in a book, but lately I've been trying to avoid rereading when I finally have that book in my hands, because I hate when I'm expecting MORE to happen but the entire plot has already been explained. Anyway, sorry to hear this fell short of your expectations! I'm glad it was compelling enough to read in one sitting, but I definitely understand the disappointment that it wasn't a 'linger in my mind because it's so goddamn awesome' type read. Interested to see how I'll feel about it! Fab review!!

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  20. Oh sorry Through to you didn't work out for you as much as you'd hoped Leanna! It's disappointing when you've had high hopes from the beginning. But at least you enjoyed it somewhat that you're not discouraged from picking up Hainsworth's future books! :)

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  21. Heather@The Flyleaf Review14 November 2012 at 11:52

    That's a shame this one wasn't better (I have a copy here I need to get started on) because I am in total agreement with you on this statement:
    Parallel universes where dead girlfriends still roam? Sign me up for that!

    But yeah, I am  also a big believer in getting payoff to the  burning questions books pose to the reader. I'm still giving this one a shot but I'm not quite as optimistic as I was. 

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