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Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review: Open Heart by Emlyn Chand

Release Date: May 25, 2012
Author: Emlyn Chand
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Length: 352 pages

"Simmi Shergill's life is a mess. Her powers of psychic feeling are on the fritz, and Grandon Township's sudden population boom has brought quite a few unsavory characters to town. She also looks like an over-blown balloon in her size 14 pants, but not even starving herself seems to be helping.

At least she has Alex, the boyfriend who loves her so much he'd do anything for her. Last summer, he even risked his life to protect her from the mysterious boy everyone was convinced wanted to kill her.

Just one problem: she's not so sure she feels the same way. Is Alex really the man of her dreams? Why can't she stop fixating on her would-be killer, Dax? Part of her wants to run screaming in the other direction whenever Dax is around, while the other part longs to run into his embrace, no matter whom she'd hurt or what she'd risk.

Simmi's loyalty is on the line. Whom will she choose—the blind seer who loves her, or the charming telekinetic with "bad idea" written all over him? Emotions run high in the tension-packed book two of the Farsighted series."

Review:

Protagonist: Simmi's life has been turned upside down ever since her powers spiked last summer trying to protect her friends and all those at the Central Park zoo. Now she can barely control her feelings, both romantic and those she aims toward herself. She sees herself as an unsavory size and at the beginning of the book she is starving herself, but it's not long before she discovers she can binge and purge and soon takes to ridding herself of the meals she eats. I wasn't as turned off by her narration as I was about Alex's, maybe because on some small level I can relate to not feeling comfortable in my own skin, and I know that bulimia is a real disorder which makes this book all the more relatable. Her narration wasn't as much annoying as it was sad, it was hard to read about her self-loathing and some of the choices she makes were both shocking and heart-breaking.

Romance: This installment introduces a love triangle for Alex and Simmi, and while I'm all for a good love triangle when I first read about there being on I was just starting to read Farsighted and thus was still on Alex's side. After finishing Farsighted though, I held no love for Alex and welcomed the change of pace and roadbump for the former protagonist. However after reading this book I wouldn't wish what happened on my worst enemy. The choices Simmi makes about her relationship with both Alex and Dax are poorly chosen, yet again after closer observation I realize that if I were in her exact predicament I may have made those choices as well.

World-Building: Since the paranormal nexus that is Aex and Dax has been brewing in Grandon the poulation has nearly doubled leaving a whole slew of psychic new classmates for the gang, though not are as savory as one might think. With the new arrivals comes a new villian, and a possible "Big Bad" for the series. In addition to the new residents, the current ones have begun training their powers again in hopes of developing their abilities more. Also, seeing from Simmi's perspective gives us more information on her home life as well as some family secrets that she never knew until this book.

Predictability: Ironically, without the glimpses into the future this book is slightly more predictable than the previous installment. I think that with the visions Alex had, they could be taken so many ways the the twists snuck up on me, but now it's easier to see twists coming as we don't have a vision that could (possibly) say otherwise. Now, I was still caught off guard about a few things here and there, mainly character's actions and motivations but still things that made this book all the more enjoyable.

Ending: The lack of closure made this ending, there's no real final confrontation, at least not in the traditional sense and though the gang figures out something fairly shocking at the end, I felt as though there could have been another chapter or two to close things up, while still leaving room for the next installment, just not... so much room.

Overall, I'm giving this 4.5 out of 5 stars, this book was great even better than the first even though I did want to scream at Simmi every now and then, well actually most of the time I wanted to give her a lecture about her naivety.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the awesome review, Zachary. I love hearing people's guesses as to who the "Big Bad" for the series is. I don't think anyone has gotten it right quite yet. More mystery ;-)

    Emlyn

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  2. I've seen these books around. They look really good. I want to read them!

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