Early Review: Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

, by Kt Clapsadl

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth 
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. 

It's been two months since Viv died and Camden Pike is no closer to dealing with the wreck he became when he lost her. She was everything to him, his rock in the world when he lost everything else that mattered. Then one night while visiting the memorial he sees an apparition of a girl in a green haze. At first he thinks he's losing it and the image is Viv's ghost conjured by his grief. But he's wrong, the apparition is actually Nina, a girl from a parallel world, one where Viv is still alive. Yet when he travels through the haze he finds things to be very different on the other side as the counterparts have made very different choices, leaving him with countless questions. Just who exactly is Nina and why is she so secretive. Why is Viv so different, and can his love for her overlook all of the startling differences? With the window of haze growing smaller each day, Cam only has a limited time to decide what he really wants before his second chance slips away forever.

I absolutely adored Cam. Everything about him felt so real, with all his emotions becoming my own as I was reading. The sheer amount of grief he is suffering in the beginning of the book is quite staggering and my heart bled for him. Not only does he feel the pain of losing the person who meant the absolute most in the world to him, but he also is dealing with a world of guilt as he blames himself for the accident. In all honesty it is almost a miracle that he was able to function as well as he did. Sure he shut everyone out, but he still was able to at least go through the motions of his life. Yet when he see's Nina's apparition he "wakes" up with a vengeance as he questions his own sanity even as his animosity towards someone else comes to the forefront. It was so heart breaking to see him struggle so hard as even though I knew he wasn't crazy, he didn't and that made it all the harder to bear.

In the opposite spectrum of emotions, his joy and relief upon meeting the parallel world's Liv is breath taking, yet again changing the emotional flavor of the novel. But even more impressive than the direct emotions experienced was the slow but steady personal growth as Cam slowly started to heal and find himself again. As he went from the extreme loss to hope, he still manages to keep his head rather level considering the rather extraordinary circumstances. I just wanted to shout out my encouragement when he didn't just accept things at face value, but made rather rational decisions. I'm not sure many of us would actually have the strength to do that in the face of getting such a profound second chance with a lost love.

I really enjoyed the simplistic style of the writing for this book. Everything was bare bones, with no real lengthy descriptions. I just felt like the raw and open nature of the writing really fit the story, especially as Cam was reeling in his grief as he wasn't going to be poetic in that state. That open nature did leave things a little obvious as the book progressed, making some of the plot twists predictable to me as a result. However, that didn't lessen the impact of them one bit as it was the emotion, not the actual events that made this book what it was. Several times throughout reading Through to You my heart felt like it had been ripped out of my chest as it bled for Cam and his suffering. This is such an emotionally impactive book that it is a beautiful yet staggering thing to experience. Anyone who has ever experienced love or loss should absolutely read this book!

(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)


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