I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I first picked up Through to You by Emily Hainsworth. There was something about the premise that intrigued me (especially the part about the alternate universe) but I still wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into. This was a bit exciting but unfortunately for me; it did not live up to its potential. It was a solid read no doubt but sadly something still felt a bit lacking to me.
Through to You follows a grieving young man named Camden Pike who recently lost his girlfriend Viv in a tragic car accident. After giving up basically his entire life (family, friends, football) due to a leg injury, all he had was his girlfriend, and when he unexpectedly lost her, he really didn’t feel like he had anything left. That is until he meets Nina. He discovers with her that there might be a place for second chances; a place for him to get everything that he so desperately wants but not everything is the same, especially the people.
Cam is an absolute mess the majority of the book. Not only is he dealing with the loss of his girlfriend but his home life is far from ideal. His mother is never home, and his father basically abandoned them. Also, he was terribly injured a while back, before the accident, and gave up trying to complete the recovery process so that he could play football again. So, when he gets the opportunity to have everything he’s lost back again, he grabs onto it and holds tight. He really does lose sight of reality for a while but, through the author’s writing you can to some extent understand the depth of his desperation.
One of the ways that Cam loses himself and his concept of reality is through his interactions with Viv. The Viv in the alternate universe is not the same Viv that Cam is used to. In fact, in many ways, she is entirely different. Yet he is so desperate to hold onto her now that he has “found her again” that he ignores the things that are right in front of him. I however could not do the same. Alternate universe Viv drove me nuts honestly. I just didn’t feel the same sense of desperation from her regarding Cam as I did from Cam regarding her, and at times it was a bit hard for me to stomach her fake-ness.
I think one of the reasons I didn’t like alternate universe Viv very much is because I liked Nina so much. Nina really is the voice of reason through this entire story. She knows that Cam should not be in this alternate reality, and that it is dangerous not only for him but also for Viv, and for herself as well. One slight move could completely alter their paths forever. Also, Nina just felt more real to me then alternate reality Viv. She was never trying to put on a show for someone; she was just trying to be who she really was.
I did enjoy the concept for the two worlds in Through To You, and I liked how they seemed to parallel to each other in a more contemporary setting. It was interesting to read about what Cam’s life might have been like if he had been able to overcome his football injury. It would have been completely different! Unfortunately there were times when I felt that the story was dragging a little bit. There were plenty of highs and lows yet sometimes I still felt like we were at a stand still unsure of where to go next. The ending was relatively strong though, and it held a great conclusion regarding the idea of being thankful that someone was brought into your life even if it was only for a short period of time. I did like the way that the story dealt with issues of grief and teenage love but, I guess I just felt like it could have been stronger.
Disclosure: Received ARC from April
Other reviews of Through To You by Emily Hainsworth:
Chick Loves Lit: “THROUGH TO YOU has put Emily Hainsworth on my radar!”
365 Days of Reading: “Through to You is, perhaps, a little too predictable.”