From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Seventeen-year-old Camden Pike is tortured by the recent death of his girlfriend, Viv, who died in the car accident that should have killed him instead. When he takes medication for depression, an enigmatic ghost girl appears before him on Viv's memorial street corner. Nina journeyed to Cam's world through a gateway in the exact location of the accident. Her realm is just like his, but in hers, Cam is dead and Viv breathes on. This is Cam's chance to defy the universe and reunite with the love of his life-or so he believes. The plot is comprised of a predictable Cam-Viv-Nina love triangle, with the mystical gateway being the only paranormal element. Cam is a stereotypical American teen: his emotional tumult is deftly handled and his grief-ridden obsession permeates his daily life, with plenty of unnecessary profanity peppering his narrative. Hainsworth's romantic fantasy thriller is sustaining, though lacking in literary merit. Readers would be more satisfied with Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy (Knopf).-Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Camden Pike is bereft. His beloved girlfriend, Viv, recently died in a car accident that Cam survived. They were everything to each other, and Cam’s life without her is a hollow shell. His parents recently broke up, and his workaholic mother communicates with him primarily through notes left in the fruit bowl. One night, while standing at the accident site, Cam encounters a strange, green, glowing girl named Nina who seems to know him well, although she is a complete stranger to him. Nina is from a parallel world and has traveled to Cam’s world through a bizarre time portal. In Nina’s world, Viv is still alive. Anxious to be reunited with Viv, Cam begins to regularly travel through the portal. Hainsworth’s plot suffers from some confusing plot elements: relationships that existed prior to the accident are absent in the parallel world, for example, and the Jekyll/Hyde character of Viv is not well developed. Still, the concept of the novel is intriguing and will likely attract readers, especially romance fans. Grades 8-12. --Eve Gaus