Title: Through Her Eyes
Author: Jennifer Archer
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Reading copy through public library
When I was thirteen, my parents moved our family from our suburban home to a small desert town. Let's just say that I was not happy with this new arrangement. Which means I instantly sympathized with Tansy Piper, the protagonist of Through Her Eyes.
Tansy is used to moving from town to town since her mom is a writer and likes to live in the cities where she sets her books. But instead of some place like Austin or Memphis or San Francisco, Tansy ends up in Cedar Canyon, Texas, the small town her grandfather grew up in. She loves her Papa Dan, who lives with her and her mom, since he's the one who understands her best and has been her best friend no matter where they are. But Papa Dan isn't doing well, rarely talking and barely eating. And moving into their creepy new home seems to be making Papa Dan worse.
Tansy finds out that a teenage boy named Henry used to live in the house and he committed suicide by jumping off a nearby bridge. And after Tansy finds some of Henry's belongings in a wood box, she suspects that Henry's ghost is trying to contact her. There's a watch, a crystal and a journal in the box, and these things begin to draw Tansy -- literally -- into Henry's world. In this world, she takes on the persona of Bell, the object of Henry's affection. And when she's Bell, she's also able to talk to Papa Dan as a young man, who is Henry's best friend.
Tansy is sure she is going crazy, and as she tries to figure out what really happened on the bridge so many years ago, she finds friendship with 13 year old genius Bethyl Ann and cute boy Tate.
This book is a really fun, suspenseful read as Tansy tries to fight the lure of Henry's world as her own world seems to fade away. Jennifer Archer uses Tansy's hobby of photography to establish the connection between Tansy and Henry in a way that truly original and downright creepy. The characters are all well-drawn and believable, and Cedar Canyon is given its own small town personality.
I would recommend this book to people who liked Dreamland by Sarah Dessen or Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora.
Bonus Video: Through Her Eyes creepy book trailer