Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead broke and insanely overprotective, and… oh yeah, he’s blind.
Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, an enticing new girl comes to their small Midwest town all the way from India. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they suggest Simmi is in mortal danger.
With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex embarks on his journey to change the future.
There were two things that drew me to Farsighted: 1) the main character is a guy, and 2) he’s blind. With the slew of female protagonists in YA books it’s really hard to find a good YA book with a male lead and Farsighted is one of them. I felt like I was in Alex’s head and his reactions/emotions were spot on for a teenager who never had a friend before. It made sense to me that he would automatically start contemplating Simmi as girlfriend material because he’s at that age and she’s the first girl—first person, really—to ever talk to him. Even as juvenile as his reasoning is for liking her and how that’s what first motivates him to look into his gifts, it still made complete sense in Chand’s world. He’s always been ignored so if there’s a chance to be in the limelight and get the girl a la superhero style, he’s going to take it. Which he does.
The reason I liked the fact that he was blind was because he’s unique. In a lot of YA books the main character is perfect. Yes, they might have low self esteem or are fighting for their lives but they overcome that by the end of the book/series.They don’t have something that they will have to deal with forever. He’s a unique character right off the bat because the way he describes his world is in touch, smell, and sound. Reading this book made me realize how much authors, and people in general, rely on their sense of sight to tell them what’s around them. Even though we couldn’t see where everything was or what colors they were, Chand does a great job of painting a picture in your head of Alex’s surroundings and the everyday things he has to do to be autonomous.
“I haven’t got much,” I say, holding out a single bill folded lengthwise to let me know it’s a twenty, “but I’d still like to learn.”
It such a small detail, how his money is folded, but it tells you a lot about him and what his life is like. It made me really appreciate Chand’s writing, the characters, and the world she built.
As for the characters, all of them are amazing. Shapri and Simmi are perfect counterparts to Alex and I loved how they each have a different gift. Shapri’s gift, and her inability (read refusal) to acknowledge it made me sad for her because I knew it was just a reaction born out of fear. However, it made sense that she’d react in typical teenage way: 100% refusal and the belief that her mother’s crazy. Shapri preferred to think that than have to really acknowledge what her gift meant. Regardless, I did like the interplay between all three characters, although, I felt the makeup scene was a tab bit contrived.
Overall I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series and see how the rest of the characters deal with their powers.
Stay tuned for a review of Open Heart, book 2 in the Farsighted series, on February 14th.
From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published three novels and three children’s books with plans for many more of each, leads a classics book group with almost five-hundred members, and, of course, runs the whole shebang at Novel Publicity.
The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. While she enjoys all types of novels, her greatest loves are literary fiction and YA. She’s best known for herFarsighted series and is developing a slow but steady following for the Bird Brain Books. She’s eager to see how her women’s fiction novel, Torn Together, will be received by the reading masses.