Open Hearted by Emlyn Chand
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.
Wow, I love it when a sequel lives up to and surpasses the first book. I never felt like I was reading a book that succumbed to second-book-syndrome. Chand keeps it fresh by introducing new characters, both good and bad, and we get to see how the events of the last book have a larger affect than we originally thought.
I didn’t know what to think when I saw that this book was from Simmi’s point of view. For most series I like all the books to be from one person’s point of view since it’s easier for me to follow along. But for the Farsighted series, multiple points of view work. Not only do I think Chand got more comfortable with the characters and the world–which shows in the writing–I think the entire arc needs to be from the different characters perspective. We get to see how each character deals with their particular powers, their fears, and struggles.
I really like how Chand ties their powers with their struggles. With Alex he struggles with his physical and spiritual sight; with Simmi, it’s her powers and her self-esteem. Since her powers are emotions, her emotions being in turmoil affects them. What I absolutely adore about this series is the fact that any issues are handled and depicted in such a way as to make the reader feel like it’s happening to them as well as keeping it true to real life. As much as I’ve never done the thing that Simmi does to regain control (and I’m being deliberately vague here so as not to spoil it) I understood why she was doing it. And the best thing is that it wasn’t glorified. There are those YA books that depict unhealthy actions/obsessions, romantic or otherwise, as normal; I liked the fact that this wasn’t one of them.
The only thing that I didn’t like is that the book ended on a cliffhanger. Unlike Farsighted (review here), which ends with everything getting resolved, you’re left hanging in the balance with Open Heart. I can’t wait for the next book because I really want to know what’s going to happen with the gang and see how they overcome this new hurtle.
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.