Official Review: Through My Daughter's Eyes by Julia Dye

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Official Review: Through My Daughter's Eyes by Julia Dye

Post by bookowlie » 12 May 2018, 20:56

[Following is an official review of "Through My Daughter's Eyes" by Julia Dye.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Through My Daughter’s Eyes by Julia Dye is a young adult novel about a military family’s experiences from the perspective of the soldier’s daughter. Middle-schooler Abbie Matthews is an Army brat living with her parents in Austin, TX. When her father’s battalion is deployed to the Middle East, she and her mother have trouble coping. Abbie starts having panic attacks and nightmares, while her mother withdraws and starts drinking heavily. The tween finds the situation difficult to handle and begins to see a therapist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this thought-provoking book. The topic of how a family deals with a loved one’s deployment during wartime is realistically portrayed. An only child, Abbie worries about her father being in danger. Her mother, Stacy, gets drunk during the day in order to cope. This leads to her falling asleep and failing to pick Abbie up from school, as well as a drunk-driving arrest.

The characters are all well drawn, including Abbie’s best friend Megan. Abbie’s grandfather is also an interesting character as he is a combat veteran and can relate to the current situation. He becomes a much-needed source of support for Abbie, since her mother has become distant emotionally.

The conversational writing style is done so well that I felt as if Abbie was chatting with me in person. The tween’s “voice” is captured with all the facets of her personality and anxiety about her father’s safety. The description of Abbie and her mother walking like zombies is very apt and gave me a good sense of their state of mind. The author has a real talent for creating imagery, whether it’s the rock climbing wall in Abbie’s bedroom or a going-away barbecue for the soldiers. The section detailing Abbie and her father’s visit to the VA office is particularly well written and showcases the VA’s overly bureaucratic system.

The story is fast-paced and I almost finished the entire book in one evening. The emotions are palpable and I wished I could reach out and comfort Abbie msyelf. Still, there is a rushed feel with time jumps that are sometimes confusing. I thought one scene occurred soon after her dad's deployment and then discovered the time period was nine months later. Also, one chapter ends with her grandfather telling Abbie her mom is in jail. There is no explanation given, although the reader can speculate it’s for drunk driving. The next chapter moves on to a different topic and there is no follow-up on the cause or aftermath of Stacy’s arrest.

The book contains several errors. There are missing words, incorrect word usage/typos within the context, spelling errors, etc. A few examples are: “there is goes” instead of “there it goes,” “one” instead of “once,” and “listed to the adults talk” instead of “listened to the adults talk.” The errors mar the otherwise high quality of the writing.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an engrossing, raw look at the impact of war deployment on a family. I recommend this story to military families and anyone who has felt the ground shift significantly in their daily lives. I was sad to leave the characters behind on the last page and hope the author will consider writing a sequel.

Through My Daughter's Eyes
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Post by Laura Bach » 13 May 2018, 09:54

The topic of the book interests me, even if I don't have a military family. I never wondered what happens in the minds of those left home in war. The husband is the so-said hero, while the wife has to patiently wait for him to return. But no one can know how much it affects her. Thank you for the review!

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Post by Kemunto lucy » 13 May 2018, 10:44

The title of the book suggests that it is a good book. It covers challenges present in families which makes it interesting. Awesome review.

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Post by bookowlie » 13 May 2018, 11:35

Thanks Laura and Kemunto! It was interesting to see how different members of the family reacted to the dad being on a dangerous mission.
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Post by gali » 13 May 2018, 12:32

A YA book about a military family’s experiences from the perspective of the daughter sounds unique. Well done to the author for portraying so well the impact of war deployment on the family. Too bad about the errors, though. Not really my cup of tea, but I am glad you enjoyed it. Great review!
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Post by Libs_Books » 13 May 2018, 14:52

This sounds like a really touching and engaging story - and it was a very helpful and sensitive review, thanks.

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Post by teacherjh » 13 May 2018, 15:20

I teach in a military town. My teen students could relate to this book.

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Post by kandscreeley » 13 May 2018, 16:48

It's too bad about the errors in this book, but I love the topic. I can only imagine how hard it is to be a military brat. We need more focus on how children, especially, deal with the uncertainty. I do enjoy young adult novels, so I'll have to look at this. Thanks.
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Post by irumbadianarose » 13 May 2018, 20:18

Its an amaizing story this could happen to any one in their shoes today,going astray ,and I hav also seen such things happen in my country. People can even go far to lossing their lives more soo peaople who love you as a father.And in instances where the family depended on only you financially every thing falls apart. I love the story and its an amaizing story because I personally know what it means to deploy the person you truely love in the army we all know u either fight or die .wow

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Post by gen_g » 13 May 2018, 22:36

Thank you for the detailed review, the book seems really interesting.

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Post by feranmibodz » 14 May 2018, 07:11

This is a good book talking about the present day challenges in military homes. It helps. Thumbs up

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Post by Vickie Noel » 14 May 2018, 12:02

I can't imagine how terrifying it is for Abbie with her father's deployment to that largely volatile area. I appreciate the fact that the author's imagery is palpable and realistic, especially Stacy's manner of handling the situation. I don't think I have the heart for this, but I believe it would be a source of support to families in similar situations. Thanks for the detailed review.
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Post by Priscah2 » 14 May 2018, 12:57

This is interesting, this book captures what is happing in real life. The topic is pretty awesome. I like it,, but the spelling errors and miss words have to be corrected.

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Post by Jaran2018 » 14 May 2018, 16:23

The title of the book suggests that it is awesome book. It covers challenges present in families which makes it super interesting. Awesome review.

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Post by cpru68 » 14 May 2018, 16:58

It sounds like this one is so relevant to those who are in the military and what the family has to go through to accommodate that way of life. It sounds like the main character was left alone to her own devices and trying to find her way in the world. It's too bad about the errors and the incomplete storyline because this book sounds like it would reach the hearts of many who need support. If it's good enough for a sequel, than the author should make the slight changes in this one and carry on! I enjoyed reading your review.
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