Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farsighted and Open Hearts by Emlyn Chand Blog Tour


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.


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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.


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For this blog tour I got to read both Farsighted and Open Hearts.  It's always nice to be able to finish up book one in a series and jump right into book two without any waiting.

In Farsighted we meet Alex.  Having been blind his entire life, Alex has never really fit in with the other kids at school.  When visions of the future begin to plague Alex, he realizes that he has just taken not fitting in to a whole new level.  Alex's life begins to change bringing with it new friends and new ideas.

I thought Farsighted was a good beginning to this series.  We are introduced to key characters who are realizing that they have special abilities.  The book is written from Alex's point of view and I feel like I got a pretty good sense of who Alex is and what he is about.  To me, Alex is intense, loyal and serious but also very insecure.  His insecurities are intensified by his visions, especially in the next book.

Open Heart is the second book in this series.  Simmi is the main focus character in this book and it is basically her point of view that we see events unfolding.  Simmi struggles with her self esteem and body image.  She is attracted to someone other than her boyfriend.  

There are a lot of good things going in these first two books but I had a hard time connecting.  The characters all had a strong voice and I felt like I could hear and see them, I just didn't make those emotional connections to them.  I wish the paranormal side would have taken a stronger hold of the story lines and driven the plot forward faster.  It felt like I was in the characters heads a lot and heard a lot about how they were feeling but I was there just too long and too much.  I guess I wanted to see them do more with their abilities and work together to accomplish some great goal against some evil force (which sort of did happen at the end of the first book but it was at the very end and didn't really last too long).  I guess for me it just fell a little short of the mark as far as the plot goes.

But, like I said before, the characters were strong.  Their voices were distinct and clear.  I liked how the author brought in real life family and social circumstances to the forefront of the books.  In Open Heart, Simmi deals with an eating disorder.  I thought the author did a great job portraying the thoughts and feelings that go along with such a hard thing.  

I like the diverse group of characters, different race, different family make-up, different abilities.  Honestly, the characters I am most interested in are Shapri and Dax.  

One thing I really appreciate and respect is the note at the beginning of Open Heart from the author and the dedication.  The dedication reads, "For every girl who has ever doubted herself, felt ugly, or unloved, or undeserving, or struggled through hardships alone.  Reach in and give yourself a hug."  I love that dedication.

And the note to readers goes like this.  "Although Open Heart is intended for a Young Adult audience, please bear in mind some mature situations present themselves during the course of this novel, including steamy make-out sessions, mild violence, and graphic descriptions of Simmi's eating disorder.  Parents of younger readers may want to read through themselves to determine whether Open Heart is a suitable fit for their children."

Thank you, Emlyn Chand for that.  I really appreciate it.

I would add to the author's note of caution that there is swearing in both books as well.


Other books in the series...





About The Author...

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 her Farsighted 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.


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Make sure to check out the FARSIGHTED & OPEN HEART blog tour kicking off Monday, February 4th! 


GRAND PRIZE: Kindle or Nook -- Winners choice!



5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. Im definitely going to be checking this series out.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy them. :)

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  2. Love how the characters are very different. It' such a unique premise:)

    Lovely reviw:)

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  3. Thank you for the lovely review, Aimee. Simmi's book was the most "normal" of the series, and I can promise a much greater emphasis on the paranormal aspect in the upcoming volumes. Shapri's book is out on May 21, and her powers never leave her alone--at least the ghosts that stalk her don't ;-)

    Em

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