Sunday, April 28, 2013

Have you ever lost someone you cared about and wished you could see them again? Or perhaps, you’ve made a mistake that you wished you could take back, and rewind your life to “redo” it. What if there was an alternate universe where you could still be you, but everything around you was different. You could essentially choose the life you wanted.

Emily Hainsworth’s book ThroughTo You is a novel about a boy named Cam who is struggling to cope with everyday life after he loses his girlfriend, Viv. Viv was his soul mate, best friend, and lover; she died tragically in a car accident at an intersection near their high school.
Cam is forced to see the shrine of Viv outside of his school where stuffed animals, pictures, and flowers are gathered in honor of Viv. However, he feels like he is the only one who truly knew her, and loved her. Cam becomes isolated, depressed, and contemplates if his life is even worth living. I linked a website on children's coping with loss to Cam's name. I think he accurately portrays these signs and emotions, which can make him a relatable, realistic character in a mystical world as the story continues.
Once Nina arrives in Cams life things begin to change. She appears like a ghost glowing with a “green light.” At first Cam begins that he is hallucinating, and is slowly losing his mind, but Nina is in fact, opening up Cam’s world to the possibility of seeing Viv again.
When Cam causes Nina to get stuck in his world, he helps her get back to the universe in which she belongs. He follows her to her home, and notices that this world is just like his, but different. In a bizarre turn of event, Cam finds there’s another version of himself in this world. He seems happier, he is best friends with Nina, and most importantly, he has Viv. However, Viv looks the same, but isn’t the same just like the other Cam.
Cam’s journey forces him to come to a decision. Cam has the choice to stay in the parallel world with the new Viv, or he can resume life without her in his original world. Each day, the window for Cam to join either world is closing in on him, and he is forced to make a decision.
Hainsworth has excellent character development in her novel. I think for students who are learning about character analysis, this book would be excellent. Nina is sort of a parallel to Cam. Nina is a selfless girl who lives in her world to take care of her brother. She also takes care of Cam along his journey. Cam becomes sort of selfish. From the very beginning he is closed minded towards others, and he wants to be left alone while he grieves. He really only cares about his own feelings and his needs to have Viv back in his life. As the book continues, Cam changes subtly, and develops as a character when he becomes more aware of how his actions are affecting others.
The chapters are short, and the book flowed along quickly. Hainsworth does not get lost into details when it comes to the parallel universes or the traveling in between, but rather focuses in on the characters and what they are going through.
This book can be relatable for any teens who are struggling with loss. Cam goes through the stages of grieving in the beginning, and as someone who has never gone through this type of loss, I could really feel his emotions as a reader and imagine how horrible it must feel. This book is appropriate for high school students. There is some offensive language and cursing, so the maturity level is higher. On the other hand, the book is a quick, easy, and enjoyable read that would be great for struggling readers.
Personally, this book wasn't my favorite YAL stories that I have read. I don't always love "parelle universe" stories, so I was interested to see how other teens might react to it. Here is a link of a young teen's review that I thought was interesting. The is an essence of drama lingering as Cam disowns his friends and becomes overly obsessed with Viv, and I was amusing and intrigued by her character analysis.
Emily Hainsworth preformed a reading of her book and talks a little bit about her novel. The sound quiality isn't great, and it begins after 15 seconds of this youtube clip. The small passage gives great insight to the way she writes; she typically writes small sentences with simple vocabulary that is easy to read and understand.
I also found another review on YouTube. I think this girl's review is a reflection of my own view of the book in some cases. I think she makes great comments about the plot development. She comments on how Hainsworth does not get caught up in supplying details about the "parelle world," and rather gives just the necassry information to understand the whats happening.
I think this can be a negative and positive. On one hand, the book is easy to read. I have noticed that students get bored in writing that gets lost in details, and her book may invoke more imagination when reading it becuase of the absent detials. However, I feels less developed, and almost rushed. I'd be interested to hear what you guys think about this less detailed writing style.
Overall, plot flows quickly and holds readers interest. This was an enjoyable read, and I reccommend it for anyone looking for a creative thriller.

1 comment:

Zia Nathan said...

This sounds like a great book for young adults to read. I think grieving and death is something very hard for children and teens to deal with. This book sounds like it's message is that you can move on after a loss like Cam is afraid to do while living in the parallel world with Viv.