Through the Lens by Shannon Dermott
A wannabe-thriller or contemporary?
Through the Lens is a YA wannabe-thriller but reads as contemporary. Slow and descriptive the story focuses chiefly on angst and the love triangle that is (or isn’t?) there.
I liked the two main characters and was rooting for them from the beginning, the other characters coming and going as they brushed up against the couple. Sometimes playing a large role in the story only to fade away before coming back into focus again. I would have liked to have had the chance to get to know Jessa’s siblings better.
The thriller side and finale
I only wish the thriller, suspense side of the story had been more dominant. At times I felt like everyone had conveniently forgotten Carly, she only came up in passing. The ending was weak and disappointing and having read the preview of the second book I am not sure whether I will pick it up. The characters in the first few chapters of book 2, which starts only weeks after book 1, show two very different people – could they have changed so much so quickly?
Recommended age: 12+
Title: Through the Lens
Series: Through the Lens #1
Author: Shannon Dermott
Publication Date: 25 August 2015
(first published 22 November 2012)
Source: Review copy
Being a twin isn’t all that bad, nor is it all that good. Being the fat twin makes things a little worse. Seventeen year old, Jessa Shelby has been all but ignored. Trimmed down, but not skinny like her sister, she has decided to make her mark in her final year in high school.
Things begin anew the summer before her senior year when she makes friends with Ethan Hart, a boy with a twisted past, and Allie, his near celebrity status girlfriend, while taking pictures with her new prized possession. Hanging out with them opened her eyes to a lot of new possibilities including Josh Macon, whom she’s secretly crushed on all through high school. No longer the ‘fat girl’, Josh now seems interested in her too.
Long before the day comes to graduate, Jessa finds herself gasping for air. With her vision clouded from tears born of pain as the straps from her precious camera tighten around her throat, clarity sets in. They say that just before you die your life flashes before your eyes. And on the threshold of death claiming her, she finds that partially true. Her flash begins as if to explain just how she ended up on Death’s door. With mere moments left, she has to wonder if trust had come at a very high price. — Abstract from Goodreads.com