Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Hi everyone, so happy to be here today talking about Emlyn Chand's book Farsighted, which I have the privilege of having reviewed. Take a look below at the blurb and excerpt and then read my review. Comment for a chance to win a gift card!!

Blurb:

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 to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, 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 begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Excerpt:

Simmi and I arrive at this rally point together from Mrs. Warszynski’s to wait for Shapri. Several minutes go by. I want to suggest we leave without her but don’t think that’ll score me any points with Simmi.

“You didn’t want Shapri to come tonight, did you?” Simmi asks.

“Well, I—no, I mean, it’s fine. I’m glad she could come,” I sputter.

“You’re such a horrible liar,” Simmi teases, pushing me playfully.

“Hey, that’s not fair. I can’t hit you back. You’re a girl.”

“I’m just teasing you.” Simmi blows a raspberry and pulls her body up onto the circular wall surrounding the flagpole area. I hesitate before pulling myself up too. Simmi scootches over so we touch at the hip. She loops her hand through the crook of my arm and places her head on my shoulder. “I never would have gotten away with this in India,” she says. “But I’m glad I can here. I’m a psychic feeler. I need to be in touch with others.” She pauses and strokes my arm with her free hand. “You know, when I touch someone I can make them feel what I want them to, but I can also sense their existing emotions. It’s almost the same as being able to read minds. Everything important has to do with the heart, not logic.” She lightens her tone. “But don’t tell Dr. Brown I said that, he’d take marks off of my next chem exam out of spite.”

I laugh nervously. Is she like Miss Teak in a way? Can she read my feelings for her? If she can, why hasn’t she said anything? I contemplate reaching over and kissing her, so I can know for sure how she feels. But I’ve never kissed anyone before. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to initiate it. Do I take her out for dinner and a movie first? Or make some lengthy speech declaring my intentions? Do I kiss her, just like that? Or do I ask for her permission before making my big move?

I decide to ask if it’s okay. Simmi is a classy girl. She needs respect. I swallow, hoping the motion will open up my airway, because right now, I’m kind of having trouble catching my breath. “Simmi,” I start.

“Yeah, Alex?” She lifts her head and links her hand in mine, nudging her slender fingers in between each of mine.

“Would it be okay if I…”

“There you two are!” Shapri says, running over to us, panting heavily. “I thought we were meeting in the commons.”

“No, we agreed on the flagpole,” Simmi says, hopping down from the wall.

The moment is gone. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance and the nerve again. My opinion of Shapri transforms from cautious indifference into outright hatred. Why did she invite herself along?

Shapri clears her throat. “Did I—Did I interrupt something here? Maybe a little romance?”

“What? No, no,” Simmi says shaking her head adamantly. “Nothing like that, Alex is like a brother to me.”

Ouch. Pain. Stabbed in my heart. I’m like a brother to her? I guess this means romance is off the table…

My review:

Emyln Chand’s book Farsighted was an all-consuming roller coaster ride that started out very slowly, rose to great heights, sped toward a finish, and ultimately threw me off a cliff.

Let me back up. The book is the tale of Alex, a blind nearly sixteen-year-old boy who is navigating the stormy waters of his small town high school where he bullied for being disabled (and by the way, the author writes this very effectively. I wanted to SCREAM at certain points at the teachers in this school.). Eventually, he makes two friends with two girls who have just moved to town. Simmi, who has just come from New Delhi, and Shapri, who has just come with her psychic shop owning mother from New Orleans.

Alex immediately falls for Simmi, who thinks of his as a brother, and finds Shapri to be very annoying. Alex’s mother owns a local plant show and sings away her troubles, embarrassing her son and seeming pretty disconnected from the real world. His father is distant and strange while consistently being a source of anger in Alex’s life.

Add to all of this Alex’s rapidly developing psychic abilities that seem to focus mainly on a character named Dax who does not live in the town and yet Alex is certain, because of a vision he’s had, is going to end up killing Simmi.

For me, the pace of this book was just right. Chand gives us just enough time to get to know Alex and his life before throwing us off a cliff into the paranormal, psychic problems he is facing. Throughout it all, he is clearly sixteen, clearly self-interested, and clearly in over his head. He is incredibly likable and there are hints about what an incredible adult he can become. Unlike other books of this genre, eventually the adults do act like adults and I was glad for that too.

One thing to be aware of: this is the first book in a series. This story is going to continue and although we are given a satisfying ending expect to me left as I was, mouth open, going ‘oh no, please more.’

I think its clear that Chand is a major talent and I consider myself lucky to have read her book. I’m so glad to have gotten to know Alex.

Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

Author Website: www.emlynchand.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/emlynchand

Twitter: www.twitter.com/emlynchand

GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/emlynchand

Google+: www.gplus.to/emlynchand

Novel Publicity: www.novelpublicity.com

SUPER AWESOME BOOK TRAILER: http://youtu.be/tZjskE5zjzM

Thanks so much for coming by today to read my review and be sure to Comment! –Rebecca Royce

6 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Emlyn today.

marybelle said...

I had to laugh at the "ultimately threw me off a cliff" part of the review. What a way to go!!

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Emlyn Chand said...

Wow, Rebecca. Thanks for the fantastic review! I'm so glad you enjoyed getting to know Alex. He definitely has his faults, but he's a pretty okay guy, and he proves to be a very nice boyfriend in Open Heart ;-)

Would you be willing to cross-post this review to Amazon and GoodReads? Every bit helps new books get noticed, and I'd appreciate it so very much. Oh, and if you'd like to receive an ARC of Open Heart (due out May 25), just visit my website and sign-up for the newsletter.

Thanks a mil,

Emlyn ;-)

MomJane said...

I loved the review, and I love the story line. Great cover too. All in all, I think this is a great post.

Rebecca Royce said...

Emlyn,
Absolutely. I'll stick it up tonight.

Rebecca

Catherine Lee said...

WOW, Rebecca...What a great review! "...Farsighted was an all-consuming roller coaster ride that started out very slowly, rose to great heights, sped toward a finish, and ultimately threw me off a cliff." You have quite a way with words yourself! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As a librarian, I appreciate bloggers who can offer honest, thoughtful reviews.

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com