For today’s blog post I will be reviewing Sophie Fayh’s debut novel Through Her Eyes. Thank you so much Sophie for reaching out to me and sending me a review copy of your book! This book had a good dose of teen drama, romance and a chilling crime.
What’s it about?
Seventeen year old Alyssa Darlington is quick-witted and fierce. She’s also a party girl. After a she is brutally attacked at her friend’s end of summer party, Alyssa finds herself facing a challenge she never expected.
Maintaining her spot on the social ladder was challenging enough, now battling her new blindness Alyssa must question everything she thought she knew.
She wants to know who did this to her. She wants revenge.
Quietly investigating her attack Alyssa attempts to unlock the memories from that night. In doing so she will reveal secrets that were meant to stay buried.
Three suspects, one love and a whole lot of drama.
What I liked about this book?
Reading the blurb of this book I wasn’t sure what my experience of reading it would be like. I don’t tend to read a lot of YA contemporary, particularly those with a lot of party-centred drama.
I have never really related to party-girl characters in the past, probably because I was more the stay at home and read a book type of teen myself (You’d never have guessed right? Haha!).
However, the mystery element of Through Her Eyes intrigued me. It’s what drew me to this book. If you’ve been following this blog for a while now you’d know that I’m a fan of mysteries and who-dun-its. I thought Sophie Fahy did a great job with the mystery in this book.
I was glad that I decided to pick this book up. I wanted to know who attacked Alyssa, I was rooting for her to find out. The books ending was a satisfying conclusion to the story I thought.
The character of Alyssa developed well throughout Through Her Eyes. She was strong, and capable of owning her own mistakes. This is often a difficult thing to do. Alyssa’s vulnerability and strength made made me respect her character. I cared about this character and her journey.
Sophie Fahy did a great job writing some of the traumatic scenes in this book. Particularly Alyssa’s attack scene. It wasn’t overdone or grotesque but written so you were right there with the character.
This book doesn’t shy away from some of the darker stuff teens are facing in todays society.
Whilst overall this book handles these topics fairly well, I’m still putting a trigger warning in place for this book. Readers may find some portions of the book distressing.
At different times the topics of domestic abuse, date rape and drugs come up in this book. This book is not targeted for young readers but those in their late teens and adulthood. The topics discussed in the book are reflective of that.
What I liked least about this book?
This book features a character with impaired vision. It’s great to have an exploration of characters facing disability and the different responses that challenge can bring out in people.
However, at times I was confused by the level of vision that Alyssa had. She claims to see ‘shadows’ but as the book is from her perspective she seems to still be able to see a lot.
This is clarified around three quarters of the way into the book. There are different levels of vision impairment but I did think it would have been useful to have this clarifying earlier on. It would have helped me understand the parameters of her perspective better.
That could just be me though!
As I mentioned earlier, this book does go into some darker topics. I think it’s a real challenge to address these in a way that is appropriate to the story but sensitive to readers who may have experienced these traumas. As I’ve reflected more, I think the author did a good job of this. No author is going to be perfect and I don’t want to be a reviewer who nit-picks books for political discussion. Sometimes, the story just speaks for itself.
I think overall the emotional processing the character goes through to deal with what has happened to her is appropriate . I did think there was throughout the book a deep (and what seemed at times irrational) mistrust of adults. This was something I struggled with initally.
I’ve decided that this mistrust of adults is fitting however for the character and her experiences.
Sophie Fahy is an inspiration! She’s a twenty-four year old author and mother who has loved writing since she was thirteen. As an aspiring author myself it’s wonderful to see other people following their passions.
You can find more about Sophie by visiting her beautiful website here.
Through Her Eyes is published by Blossom Spring Publishing.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation?
This book was a good experience. It goes to show that it’s good to be adventurous and read something different to what you normally would. It was thought provoking with the issues it raised and how it addressed them. The plot was engaging and the characters interesting.
This book had a satisfying ending and a chilling crime. If you’re a fan of YA contemporaries this book will be worth checking out. Fans of Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale this book is one you’ll enjoy.
Where can I get a copy?
This book can be purchased from Amazon or the Book Depository.