anorexia, book, book review, book reviews, books, bulimia, bullying, eating disorders, Emlyn Chand, fiction, high school, love, multicultural books, paranormal, paranormal YA, review, reviews, teens, YA, young adult
by Emlyn Chand
genre: paranormal, YA
Synopsis from Goodreads
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 working as a diet plan. Well, at least her boyfriend, Alex, 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. The problem is, she’s not so sure she feels the same way. Is Alex really the man of her dreams? And why can’t she stop fixating on her would-be killer, Dax? Whenever he’s around, part of her wants to run screaming in the other direction while the other part longs to run into his embrace, no matter who she’d hurt or what she’d risk. Simmi’s loyalty is on the line. Who will she choose-the blind seer who loves her, or the charming telekinetic with “bad idea” written all over him? Emotions run high as the tension mounts in book two of the Farsighted series.
I first read Farsighted because the main character was a blind fortuneteller. I was sucked in because it was written in first person from a blind character’s perspective, something I’ve never seen before. I was afraid that in changing perspectives, the story would lose that je nais se qua. In some ways, it did. It was very hard to rate because, for me, it fell short of Farsighted, BUT in other respects, it’s a much better book for teenage girls. So, I will start with good.
In the interest of full disclosure, Emlyn Chand is my boss at Novel Publicity, but other than a review copy of Open Heart, I did not receive anything for this review, nor is my job in any way affected, but back to the review.
This is a good book for teen girls, especially girls battling with bullying, self esteem issues, or eating disorders. There are tons of books that deal with a bullied main character or wall-flower personality, but far fewer have main characters battling anorexia or bulimia. However, I wish we would have seen Simmi conquer these issues rather than just struggling with them since the perspective changes for book three. In that respect, I give it a 3.
My main complaint about Open Heart is that I hate Simmi. She embodies so much of what I did not like about high school. She’s vain, self centered, unappreciative, greedy, and has one of those mindsets that “if someone else has something, there won’t be enough for me.” I never understood people with that mentality, people who aren’t interested in something until someone else has it, like the world has a shortage of toys and only the toys someone else is interested have value. She’s completely dismissive of other’s feelings and strings them along for “their own good.” I want to smack her in the face. Without any ties or interest in high school drama, it just wasn’t as interesting as reading from Alex’s perspective. It was not poorly written or anything, it’s just was not interesting to me at this stage in my life. In that respect, I give it a 2.
Overall, I rounded up to a 3. I would recommend it to teen girls and parents of teen girls, but I’m worried now about the third book. I think I’ll like Shapri’s perspective more, but I’m honestly not sure any of them will live up to Alex’s perspective.
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