Today we’ll be looking at Through to You by debut author Emily Hainsworth.
Let’s look at what Emily does to hook us on the first page of this novel.
It’s the same dream I’ve been having for the past two months–Viv walking away from glass and fire, her laughter echoing through the night. She’s coming toward me, her lips stretched into a seductive smile. Her hips sway and I want to touch her so much is it hurts. I want to bury my fingers in her black hair. She’s a dark, stunning contrast to the bright flames rising behind her. I anticipate breathing in her scent–it’s like spring– and running my hands over her skin, never letting go. But then she stops and looks away from me. The fire dances on her cheek. I want to scream, but I am mute. I reach for her, but I can’t move. She turns back toward the flames.
I’ve lost her again.
I close my hand into a fist and I crack on eye open. Mike Liu stands at the end of the library table, uncomfortable.
Why It Works
First of all, I’m so happy we are informed immediately that we’re hearing about a dream. Opening a novel with a dream sequence followed by the character waking up with some kind of reaction feels overdone. But this works because we know it’s a dream and because we can feel Cam’s intense longing for Viv, marked by how clearly he sees her and how he sees her – seductive appearance, and how “[s]he’s a dark, stunning contrast to the bright flames rising behind her.”
And then he just says it: “…I want to touch her so much it hurts.”
The concept of flames and their heat amplifies what they had between them.
The fact that he’s been having the same dream for two months raises a question in our minds, making us want to read further. Why this dream? Why for two months? And who is this guy who is asleep in the middle of the day in what we assume is the school library? All things that make me want to read more!