Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Published by Balzer + Bray, 2012
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.
The book follows Camden as he struggles with the loss of his girlfriend in a freak accident exactly two months before. He struggles at school, not wanting to talk to anybody or go to classes, with his mother who is never around, and with his father who left a while back. When a mysterious ghost-like girl appears at the scene of the accident Camden thinks he is going crazy. The girl isn't Viv, his late girlfriend, but somebody named Nina. He keeps running away from her but then one time he accidentily pushes her into his world and they discover they are both real, just from parallel universes.
This was such a crazy cool idea. The idea of parallel universes is a great way to see the same person on different paths. Only this time we are dealing with someone who is going through a lot of grief. And in the parallel universe Viv is still alive so he thinks he can have a second chance with her.
I really liked the first half of Through to You. There was so much mystery about what was happening and why this rift between the two worlds appeared and then there is the whole thing about the worlds being slightly different. It was really thrilling to discover all these things alongside Camden.
Though I felt the ending didn't really deliver plot-wise. Nothing really is explained in the end and some of the characters end up being a little too cartoonish crazy, in my opinion. My biggest question was how things could be so different in Nina's world and yet structured so much the same. If there were that many differences just between three or four people relationship-wise I don't know how the three of them could even exist? Like how did their parents end up together and so on. I don't know if that makes any sense.
I believe this is Emily Hainsworth's first book. And while I had a few problems with the plot there were still many things that I liked about it. I found the writing style thrilling, very emotional, and there were some really beautiful moments where Camden's character grows and learns how to move on with his life. The moments with his mother were especially touching. I would give Emily Hainsworth another try and hope her stories just keep getting better.
Disclaimer: I read a library copy.