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Farsighted

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Overview

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, 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 ...
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Farsighted

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Overview

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, 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.

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 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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This debut novel and series launch centers on Alex, a blind high school sophomore who longs for a friend. He finds one in Simmi, a new girl from India, to whom he feels a strong attraction. Alex is puzzled and terrified when he begins to have trancelike visions in which Simmi is killed by a boy named Dax—multiple times and gruesomely. When Miss Teak, who works as a psychic, tells Alex that he possesses the ability to see into the future, he becomes determined to save Simmi from a violent fate. Chand awards psychic gifts quite liberally: Simmi is "clairsentient," a "psychic feeler" who can manipulate others' emotions; Miss Teak's daughter, Shapri, a friend of Alex, channels the dead; and Alex's father can read minds. Still, they are credible characters, with Alex and Simmi emerging as especially sympathetic. A showdown between Alex and Dax (who sets loose all the animals at the Bronx Zoo) brings the novel to a surreal and sufficiently suspenseful close. Ages 12–up.
Kirkus Reviews
The blind will see the future in Chand's debut young-adult novel. High school is a miserable place for young Alex Kosmitoras as he struggles to fit in. While the teenage years are tough for most people, Alex faces the additional challenge of being born blind and he is often the butt of jokes and the target of bullies. Alex's home life proves difficult as well, and he is constantly at odds with his distant, impatient father. As if that weren't enough, Alex begins to experience visions, mentally seeing events that haven't yet occurred. Although these prophecies are an unsettling, confusing revelation, Alex's year takes a turn for the better when he befriends Simmi, the new girl in town, and connects with the physic-next-door, Miss Teak, and her daughter, Shapri. With their guidance, Alex explores his newfound "gift" of second sight. And he needs all the help he can get, as his visions soon reveal that Simmi is in great danger; in the middle of lunch, Alex sees Simmi "choking, gasping for air, clawing frantically at her throat" and then dying in his arms. As the visions of her death continue, it becomes imperative that Alex learn to control and channel his physic revelations in order to identify the threat, protect Simmi and avert this deadly future. In spite of a slow start, Chand's story quickly picks up steam as Alex, Simmi and Miss Teak work together to locate the mysterious character that threatens Simmi's life. The mystery is intriguing and, with a few exceptions, Chand's characters are compelling and diverse. Shapri is a standout, as she struggles against her own potential psychic gifts and wavers between feelings of love and annoyance for Alex. Chand also presents runes and prophecies at the beginning of each chapter, and though some readers may utilize these clues to make predictions, the concept doesn't augment the excitement or mystery. Despite a few small hiccups, this is an engaging read that should satisfy its young adult audience.
Kirkus Reviews
Chand's characters are compelling and diverse... Shapri is a standout.
Midwest Book Reviews
A paranormal story line vastly different from the many offerings of vampires, fae and elves... Right away I liked Farsighted
Publisher's Weekly
A showdown...brings the novel to a surreal and...suspenseful close.
Publisher's Weekly
A showdown...brings the novel to a surreal and...suspenseful close.
Indie Reader
A suspenseful and spellbinding mystery that grips you from the very start.
Kirkus Reviews
Chand's characters are compelling and diverse... Shapri is a standout.
author of The Spirit Keeper - Melissa Luznicky Garrett
Alex Kosmitoras might not have a magic wand or vampiric strength and speed, but he is a totally swoon-worthy hero that any mom would be proud to let her daughter date.
author of Forbidden Mind - Kimberly Kinrade
You don't have to be psychic to know that Farsighted is going to take the world by storm. Vampires are so last year.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983930808
  • Publisher: Blue Crown Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet 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 seven 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 was "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 New Adult/Women’s Fiction novel, "Torn Together," will be received by the reading masses.
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Interviews & Essays

Q: What was it like writing from the viewpoint of a blind, teenage boy? Were there any parts of Alex's personality/life you found hard to come up with?

A: You know, it wasn’t as hard to write blind as I initially thought it would be. It didn’t take long to begin “seeing” Alex’s world the way he does. I wrote the entire story without knowing what anyone or anything looked like (except for Alex himself). When it came time to shoot the book trailer, the directors were asking me questions about the scenes and which props they should bring, and I really, really didn’t know what to tell them!

As I got to know Alex better and better, it became easier to tune into his way of seeing things. I read books about coping with blindness in a school setting and spent a great deal of time pondering how I might behave if I couldn’t see. In the story, Alex has always been blind; he’s always known the world to be a certain way. Not everyone understands that, and they have trouble talking about it with him. I gave Alex a tendency to overcompensate. He knows who he is and what he’s capable of, and he wants the world to know it too, so sometimes he overdoes things a bit.

Q: Your cast of characters has international flavor? What's behind that choice?

A: I don’t see why my characters all need to belong to the same culture or ethnicity. What fun is that? Culture shapes our characters in a big way, so by diversifying my cast, I was able to hit on more types of personalities and situations. Grandon is based on my hometown; it’s small and kind of boring. I couldn’t wait to escape and move on to bigger and better things. My home town was mostly Caucasian, but somehow I ended up with a very diverse set of friends even though they made up less than 1% of the student body. Fast forward a few years, and I end up marrying a man from India. He’s from New Delhi, like Simmi. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures; I even decided to pursue my Master’s in Sociology for this very reason. I credit two early life influences for this attraction: 1) My adoration of A.C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, 2) Disney’s Aladdin being the best movie ever.

Q: What was the inspiration for Farsighted?

A: Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense. :-)

Q: What would you like readers to take away from Farsighted? Is there a different message for adults than for teens?

A: First and foremost, I hope that readers will enjoy themselves. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. I also hope that Farsighted is a book that leads to introspection—what would I do if put in Alex’s place? Did Alex ever have a choice or was this path his destiny? What would it be like to see the world the way he sees the world?

I like to think of anything I write as being kind of like a Disney movie, in that the primary audience will be children, but there are extra tidbits for the adults too. Farsighted has been infused with a great deal of research about runes, classic mythology, and Eastern spirituality, but you don’t need to understand any of that to be entertained by the story.

Q. There have been articles written this year about YA being too dark for teens. What are your thoughts on this?

A: I definitely agree. I want to get back to the core of the YA genre, and I attempted to do that with Farsighted. I also think that paranormal has gotten a bit too out there. One thing I hear from readers quite a bit is that the paranormal seems normal in Farsighted. They don’t question the existence of the powers, and it doesn’t seem out there like some other books of the genre do. That was important to me. I wanted my story to be run by the characters, not the fantastic elements. This is a story about Alex, not about a blind psychic.

Q: What motivated you to structure the book around the runes?

A: Remember how I said my Master’s degree is in Sociology? It’s actually Quantitative Sociology. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q: What is your writing process like?

A: I begin with a seed of an idea and work out from there. With Farsighted, I started with Alex and created the rest of the story and characters to fit around him. Using the runes as a structural framework for this novel created an outline for me too. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q: What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

A: I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, love it! My favorite author is JK Rowling. The more I read, the more I realize how brilliant she is as an author. If you remove the dialogue tags from Harry Potter, you still know which character is speaking, and Rowling managed to create an intricate beautiful world without allowing her character development to suffer, which is tremendously rare. I consider her literary God. Suzanne Collins, and JD Salinger are classic faves.

My all-time favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, definitely. The novel has so many layers and entertains on so many levels. Also the characters in that novel seem more real than those from any other I’ve ever read. It’s just beautiful—that’s the only word for it.

Q: If you had to be stuck on an island for a year with three literary characters, who would they be?

A: First up, we’d obviously take Robinson Crusoe. He knows what he’s doing, and he can be the provider. I’ll also take Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games—if we get in any kind of danger, she’d be a great protector. Lastly, I’d take Ron Weasley. Ron and I can live the good life, while the other two make sure we all stay safe and well-fed. I know I would never get bored with Ron around—he’s just 24/7 entertainment.

Q: You’ve taken a risk by going with an unconventional ending. Without spoiling the story for your readers, can you tell us why you made this choice? Are you glad you did this? Do you feel it’s been successful? Why or why not?

A: Yeah, I ended with a cliffhanger, which goes against traditional publishing wisdom. But you know what? I. AM. INDIE! Being indie means taking risks and breaking the mold and, boy, am I excited to do it. The ending is kind of polarizing, people either love it or wish there was more there. The joining thread is almost everyone mentions looking forward to the next book in the series. Farsighted demands a companion, and people see that. I think it was a good decision since this is the first in the series and since I enjoy toeing the line of convention. It’s fun to shake things up.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2012

    Farsighted is a book about gifted teenagers who are trying to le

    Farsighted is a book about gifted teenagers who are trying to learn how to control their power.The book is written from Alex's point of view.A blind boy whose life is not really easy.I really liked Farsighted and i'm glad i read it.
    I gotta admit that sometimes i thought that maybe i was wrong and Alex was not blind,because of the way he knew everything that happened around him.Some scenes from the book were written as though he could see.Well,he is blind and the fact that he knew everything that happened around him so easy ,it was wierd,but also shows how special he is.
    This is my first book that i read in wich the main character is blind,so i'm a little uncertain how to write this.
    Alex's life was i could say normal- if you don't count the fact that he was blind-until two girls caught his attention.Simmi and Sharpi.Since Alex met Simmi everything changes something strange is happening to him.Since he met Simmi he started having visions about a boy ,whose name is Dax,and Simmi's death.Well,he can't actually see what happens in the visions,but he can hear and feel everything.Now his purpose is to save Simmi and stop Dax.
    But what if Dax is afraid and he was misunderstood?Alex doesn't know that.All he can think about is how to save Simmi.
    Simmi and Sharpi are two girls with powers,or gifts how they say in the book.But Sharpi refuses to believe that that is possible to have powers.Her mother is an oracle and she is the one who told Alex about his future.
    Simmi is the kind of girl who believes that everything is possible.I liked her.She is sweet and smart.The way i see it,i think she's perfect for Alex.About Sharpi all i can say is that i didn't like the way Alex used her when he tried to push Simmi away.That was mean,but that was her choice.What i liked about her?She is stubborn.
    Alex's visions about Simmi's death were a little strange ,but when he found out about the fact that he was connected somehow with Dax,i didn't like the way he tried to push Simmi away.Yes,i understand that Alex thought he was protecting her.But c'mon not like that!Alex loves Simmi and he proved that.
    About Dax..what can i say?From what Alex saw in his visions,Dax is dangerous-a bad boy who enjoyed hurting peoples.That's what i thought until Dax explained why he wanted to meet Alex and why he did all those things.Still,i'm not convinced that Dax is one of the good guys.
    This book was different and i really enjoyed reading it.It was something new and unique.I know this review is not one of the best i wrote(all my reviews are in romanian),but this is my opinion.After i finished Farsighted i didn't know how to start the review,but i hope that what i wrote above is enough.Thank you ,Emlyn,for the e-copy.
    I'm sorry if i didn't write everything right.My english is not really that good,but i'm trying!

    Rating:4/5.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Very different

    Very interesting read. Told from the point of view of someone who is blind. Very enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Chapter by Chapter review of Farsighted

    This was such a good book, and I seriously think Emlyn Chand has a winner in her hands!
    I loved the way the descriptions in the book are what main character, Alex Kosmitoras, would be sensing since he is blind. As you progress through the novel, you can really tell that Chand took alot of time and effort in researching on what and how someone who is bling see's or would see things. Because of this, Chand did a fantastic job describing, in detail, how much more enhanced Alex's senses are due his blindness. To even go far as to having Alex snap his fingers to say "yes" shows just how even the little details made this story even more believeable. I will admit that I did find myself snapping my fingers right along side Alex when he would answer yes...don't ask me why, but I just did. This just proves how wrapped up I was in this story!
    There were points throughout the books where I felt sorry for Alex. His thoughts of how he thinks his dad feels about him... to see their interaction with each other. To see how he's treated at school because of his disability. My heart ached for him time and time again! I mean, seriously! What kind of person whould treat someone who's blind the way Alex was being treated at school. This was just one example of how powerful Chand's writing is. She puts so much emotion and personality into all her characters that you can't help but hate who you should hate, and love who you should love. Playing with the heart strings...well played Emlyn Chand...well played.
    I found it so interesting how Chand mixed in Alex's visions throughout the story. She gave just enough information in the visions that she made me want to read continuously to find out what was going to happen next! The little plot twists that she weaves in this tale leaves the reader wondering where this is all leading too, and how will she out do herself at the next twist. But she does accomplish it! Just when I thought I had the ending picked out and was ready to pat myself on the back, she twists it again and I'm guessing all over again. LOVED THAT!
    On of my favorite things about this books is the two (2) potential love interests for Alex, and seeing how he tries to deal with his feelings and understand them. I'm so used to seeing the love triangle formula as female + male + male, that seeing the male + female + female change was fun and refreshing!
    The buildup to thefinal showdown was perfectly executed. Once the action started, it was non-stop excitement! The way Chand incorporated all the character's abilities, and had them working together for the greater good was so interesting to read!
    The ending left off with a fantastic cliffhanger, which just screams "hurry up 2nd book", and it should be highly anticipated. I, for one, cannot WAIT to see what is in store for this cast of characters.
    Emlyn Chand promises to be an excellent writer and story teller with her ability to write attention grabbing storylines. It will be interesting to see what other plot twists she has up her sleeve.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A fun, unique, amazing read!

    I was contacted by the author of Farsighted - Emlyn Chand about a month ago and she asked me to read and review her book for a blog tour she is going to have. After learning more about her book I found the synopsis of Farsighted to be very interested so I decided to give it a go and read the book and I am very pleased that I did. Her book was surprisingly really good. I love that it is not your ordinary paranormal fiction novel. Farsighted takes the paranormal fiction genre to new levels with a fresh, entertaining, and fast paced novel you will love to read over and over again.

    Alex Kosmitoras life has never been easy but full of daily challenges. Why? Because he is blind. Alex sees through all of his other senses with are more in tuned because of his loss of sight. Upon going into a new school he meets two girls Simmi and Shapri (both main character's of the book) ,and learns they all share similar "gifts". Alex will come to learn his gifts are more that he ever knew he had when he begins to see visions of the future. Alex is only now to learn that, Simmi the girl who has a major crush on may be in trouble. With Alex's new visions he keeps seing that Simmi will die and he will do anything he can to protect her from this horrible future he sees. Will his "gifts" save the girl he loves or will it be to late?

    I found reading Farsighted to be quite refreshing. The book was unlike any other paranormal novel I have read. The whole concept of the book is very unique and like a breath of fresh air - Not your normal paranormal read (Vampires, Fairies, Angel, Werewolfs.) I really enjoyed reading about Alex and his gifts and I have never read a book where the main character is blind. That makes for a very fun, and entertaining book to read. All of the characters in the book both main and secondary were well thought out and very interesting with their own stories which gave Farsighted more depth and personalty. The plot within the book was very fun to read with twist and turns along the way which made for a fast paced read and had to keep turning the page to see what would happen. I could tell the author, Emlyn Chand did her research while writing the book to learn more about blind people and as well as people from India's culture. I would very much recommend Farsighted to the YA crowd as well as adults. If you are looking new to read I would so say to give this book a chance. You will not regret you did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    YA Paranormal with Vision

    The first thing that grabbed me was the cover. I couldn't get over his likeness to a teen-age Anthony Michael Hall. Once that happened, I couldn't get Anthony Michael Hall's voice out of my head - I made them one and the same.Could it be coincidence? Alex, the main character, was blind and had a gift of second sight - and so did one of AMH characters, Johnny Smith (although he wasn't blind - he was still disabled and used a cane).

    Emlyn Chand did a fantastic job creating her characters, especially Alex. She took a blind teen and gave him a very realistic voice. She tackled some difficult character traits: a teen, a male, an outcast, and blindness, but she pulled it off and did it very well.

    "Farsighted" was a great young adult novel. It dealt with being young and different and the journey one travels. Each chapter starts with a Rune and a reference of the path that the "traveler" is on. These, of course, coincide with what happens to Alex in that chapter.

    What I found most intriguing about the story, was Alex's point of view and how he "saw" the world. We never really got to "see" his friends or family - just how he "saw" them by smells, sounds, etc. Then when he starts having his "visions" it gives even a more interesting twist, because he visions are with his other senses and he doesn't know what is real or his "second sight" in the beginning.

    These visions prove to be an important part of the story - giving mystery and suspense as you try to figure out who, how and why... It certainly keeps one interested in the story and makes it difficult to put aside, as the need to know grows greater with each chapter.

    Emlyn wrote an exciting young adult story that will please adults as well, and with the suspense and surprise ending, this is definitely one to add to your must read list!

    I received an e-copy of this book from the author to read and honestly review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great read

    When the author, Emlyn Chand, asked for reviewers to join her book tour on Facebook, I let a couple days go by before answering that call. Having been friends with Emlyn on FB for a while and reading things she had posted about the book, I wasn't interested. Even after committing to the book tour I still was on the fence. I was actually pleasantly surprised with how much I DID enjoy Farsighted after I read it. Very well written, fast paced, not one grammatical error, likable characters.

    Alex, the star (or should I say sapling) of the book, is blind and has been that way since he was born. His mother owns Sweet Blossoms, a floral shop, and his father (who Alex just can't seem to figure out)can't seem to find a job so his family never really had much. A sophomore in high school, Alex is use to being made fun of and bullied and has no friends. Until Simmi, a transfer student from India comes into his life. She smells like an Almond Joy. Then enters Shapri, who moved from New Orleans. All three have some type of psychic ability, whether they accept it or not. When Alex starts "seeing" visions, he has no idea what is happening. With the help of Shapri's mother, Miss Teak, he is able to understand those visions, but how to stop what he is seeing before it happens is a different story. Someone is wanting his beloved Simmi dead, but who is this guy and why?

    Although I was enjoying the read, I didn't really start to get into the story until about half way through when things started falling in place and the action really picked up! I actually wanted Alex to be in love with Shapri, she's more outgoing and spunky than quiet soft spoken Simmi. I am looking forward to finding out more about Shapri and Simmi in future books. One thing that I really liked about this read was that Alex isn't a poor me kind of guy. You almost forget he is even blind until you come across a sentence about how something "smells" to him or using his cane. He seems fairly independent, considering he can make his way from school to his moms shop by himself, and he is not afraid to stand up for himself!

    This is a great first published novel for Emlyn Chand. She has created an interesting world that will pull you right in. I'm excited to read book two, which will come out in 2012 (hopefully early 2012 and not later!). An enjoyable read for YA and adults. Farsighted is clean enough for even mid-grade readers getting ready for the transition to YA.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Unigue voice to teenage world!

    Alex Kosmitoras is boy, turning sixteen in few days, he goes to school where he is pretty much only spoken to by the school jerk. Alex is blind, his family poor, his father unemployed and his mother working hard to support them.

    As school begins after the summer, Alex makes his first friend he's ever had in school, Simmi. She's moved in from New Delhi and immediately intrigues Alex with her almond scented hair and lovely accent.

    As fun as the new occurrence is something weird is happening, Alex "sees" other moment in the middle of his school days, and when Simmi's death pops up Alex takes to learn all he can about his "gift" to stop Simmi's murder!

    I loved Alex's character! From the beginning he's very reliable and has a unique vision and voice about his life. It¿s so refreshing to read the first person narrative from a blind young man who doesn't fixate on looks, he "sees" colors, feels textures, and that was just LOVELY to read.

    Alex grows immensely along the book, starting out feeling numbly normal and goes to having a psychic ability! His mother and father play really good and strong secondary characters feeding into the story the twist and the lulls it needs.

    This book is wonderful, a unique view on life, it's a must read for YA fans. The easy beginning turns into a fascination read, into a book you can't stop reading, and if you have to it makes you grunt in disappointment.

    Can't wait to read Emlyn Chand's next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enticing

    Alex Kosmitoras has been blind ever since he got sick from the measles as a child. Because of this, his life has never been that easy. Yet he¿s tried his best not to let the jeering and the bullying by other kids at school get to him. At least, not till now.

    You see, Alex has started having visions ¿ visions that he¿s unable to understand. They all started after having met Simmi, a new girl at his school who¿s arrived from India. She¿s smart. She¿s funny. And she smells like an Almond Joy candy bar ¿ a scent that drives him to distraction.

    He finds himself drawn to her, wanting to know more about her. To delve deeper into the world she lives in. His attraction for her grows day by day, but so do the visions. When his visions start to show that Simmi is in some sort of danger, he knows that he needs to find a way to make them stop. But how? he wonders.

    Alex soon meets Miss Teak, the woman who¿s bought the shop next door to his mother¿s. With her help, he begins to master the powers that he¿s been gifted with ¿ powers that seem daunting and unhelpful, at times. Despite this, he vows to do everything he can to protect Simmi ¿ no matter the cost.

    Setting aside his differences with those around him, Alex knows that time is running out. The visions start occurring more and more and he¿s aware of the fact that he¿s practically running ¿blind¿ with what he¿s gotten so far. As the clock winds down, he soon discovers the path he needs to take and embarks on a journey that will leave him wondering whether the world as he knows it will ever be the same again.

    This was truly a delightful read. Emlyn painted a truly unique take on a paranormal world seen through the eyes of a guy who¿s unable to truly see the world he lives in. We experience his world through his sense of touch, hearing, and smells that allow him to ¿see¿ everything around him. Alex is the kind of guy that any girl would be proud to take him to Mom. I truly recommend reading this enticing book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

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    I don't even like YA

    but I like this! The author is a wealth of knowledge for Indie authors, so I was intrigued when she offered her first book up for review. I like it! I'm not going to go so far as to say that I will enjoy YA stories now, but, I do like this. Multicultural characters makes my heart sing. She took a blind character and made sure the reader could 'see' what was going on. Not only that, I know the school system around a special ed. student and she incorporated all of that into the story so that you had a feel for what his life would be like. I'm really impressed with the story and only hope she writes some old people stuff as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Impressive YA debut!!!

    Think about being sixteen. The overwhelming uncertainty of who you are and the person you will become in the future is a daily part of your life. You have issues with your peers, in addition to your parents. Now, imagine you had to endure all that without being able to use your eyes. Farsighted isn't just an ordinary novel; it's a journey through the eyes of someone who can't see. Alex Kosmitoras was born blind, but ironically enough "sees" much better than everyone around him.

    Emlyn Chand has created a world where each and every reader will experience what it's like to be without vision. She hasn't just written a well-crafted story, the text will transport you into this fantastic world. You become Alex. You smell, touch, and experience what he does. You're the outcast; the one who feels alienated and alone. You're the one being bullied and at the same time shunned by your classmates. And you're the one who eventually starts to know when things are going to happen, before they occur.

    When psychic premonitions of impending doom involving his closest friend start to plague him, Alex knows he must take action. Amid the confusion and uncertainly of what is going on around him, because things aren't always as they appear, he soon discovers he has the power within him to change situations. With the help of his equally gifted friends, Simmi and Sharpi, in addition to his father and Miss Teak, Alex sets off to stop the dangerous Dax.

    One of the things that impressed me the most about Farsighted was the fact that Alex was written as a strong character, despite his "disability." The concept of this YA novel is one of the most innovative and interesting ones I've read in a long time. Emlyn Chand should be commended for her debut offering, not only for her writing ability, but her originality in conveying this story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enticing And Delightful

    Alex Kosmitoras has been blind ever since he got sick from the measles as a child. Because of this, his life has never been that easy. Yet he's tried his best not to let the jeering and the bullying by other kids at school get to him. At least, not till now.

    You see, Alex has started having visions - visions that he's unable to understand. They all started after having met Simmi, a new girl at his school who's arrived from India. She's smart. She's funny. And she smells like an Almond Joy candy bar - a scent that drives him to distraction.

    He finds himself drawn to her, wanting to know more about her. To delve deeper into the world she lives in. His attraction for her grows day by day, but so do the visions. When his visions start to show that Simmi is in some sort of danger, he knows that he needs to find a way to make them stop. But how? he wonders.

    Alex soon meets Miss Teak, the woman who's bought the shop next door to his mother's. With her help, he begins to master the powers that he's been gifted with - powers that seem daunting and unhelpful, at times. Despite this, he vows to do everything he can to protect Simmi - no matter the cost.

    Setting aside his differences with those around him, Alex knows that time is running out. The visions start occurring more and more and he's aware of the fact that he's practically running 'blind' with what he's gotten so far. As the clock winds down, he soon discovers the path he needs to take and embarks on a journey that will leave him wondering whether the world as he knows it will ever be the same again.

    This was truly a delightful read. Emlyn painted a truly unique take on a paranormal world seen through the eyes of a guy who's unable to truly see the world he lives in. We experience his world through his sense of touch, hearing, and smells that allow him to 'see' everything around him. Alex is the kind of guy that any girl would be proud to take him to Mom. I truly recommend reading this enticing book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    Review for Rachel's Book Reviews

    Farsighted
    By Emlyn Chand
    Alex Kosmitoras isn't your average sophomore. For one thing, he's blind and has been since birth. For another thing, he has the ability to see the future. He wishes he didn't though.well, maybe he did. After all, it did gain him a best friend, Simmi, a girl who had just moved from India. He just wished he could control the visions. Most of the time his visions just showed things in the near future, you know, like his dad asking how school was, but then he was struck by a serious one. Over and over this vision came: Simmi's death. Through the new psychic business next to his mother's florist shop, he learned there are two different kinds of visions, ones that will happen no matter what; and those that can be prevented, but who's to tell the difference? And then there is the paradox, what if the very thing he does to prevent the incident, cause her death in the first place? Can he save Simmi's life, and what is the cost he's willing to pay?

    Farsighted is an awesome book. It was new and exciting, it almost made the shelf of fame. The sequel (s) will decide if it goes on the shelf or not (I'll have to think on it, It's a tuff decision.) It was just a fantastic fantasy. One of my favorite things about this series is the dimension. If you want it to be a fun fantasy, it is. If you want it to be deeper, it is. Here is the deeper part:

    I'd say the core of Farsighted is Truth, not only truth but the way that lays influence the truth. That truth is better incorporated if you knew something worse first. It offers a nice insight into emotions, which is the secondary theme of the series. (Along with strength, or what the world perceives to be strength.) In a twisted sort of way, the worse things that happen to us are the best. They make us more determined for the good things and make us who we are and make us better people. Alex is perfect for the symbolism for trials and tribulations. Being blind, he's 10X more likely to listen and has 10X the choice to NOT hear it. Those moments of complete disorientation are the physical manifestation of our emotional incapability's (ours by choice). He's the epitome of human abilities. Because, in reality, we all have our own blindness. It shouldn't be our 'disability' of our lives per say, rather our 'ablility.' Anyway, I love this book, it's definitely a re-reader, and one of my favorites this year. Only one negative, cussing. But I think the story is definitely worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    Actual score 4.5 Every once in a while, I buy tons of books with

    Actual score 4.5
    Every once in a while, I buy tons of books with particular themes. A handful featuring Latino/a protagonists. 4 or so featuring Black main characters. This was part of the fleet i bought including disabled lead protagonists.

    If I'm to be honest, this sat on my shelf for a few months. I'm always afraid of how authors will portray disabilities in books. Usually it find fall under the trope where somehow the disability can be "fixed" and the protagonist will live out the rest of their days able bodied. So soooo happy this wasn't one of them!

    The story follows Alex Kosmitoras, an unpopular misfit, who just wants to be normal. It's hard being normal when every chance you get, there's a run in with the school bully, your parents don't have the money to buy you the things you need and oh yea how could I forget, you're BLIND. Fill in the blanks there's a chance you might just be psychic and you're in for some crazy things to happen.

    At first, I thought that I would feel sorry for Alex. He was born blind and has never had the privilege of ever seeing things. I thought this would be a story highlighting what some people see as disadvantages that come along with having a disability. Alex however, made me forget sometimes that he had a disability. He was written multi faceted, engaging, charming and just about as snarky as any other teenage boy in a YA novel. Yea, he did certain things much different, but he really made his disability work for him. He wasn't moping around being sad about being blind. He had typical thoughts of teenage boy. He strived to do well in school, he wanted to make friends and he fantasized about having a girlfriend. Doesn't get any much normal than that.

    So where does the paranormal element come in? Glad you would ask! 

    Alex is one of many who have psychic abilities. His power? He can see the present and possibly the future. I'm sure his abilities grow in the series as they seemed to grow in this book and it was interesting how this power played out in this particular book. He sees visions how he's always seem them. They're not clear images but they are very real and could possibly happen. I don't think this is the most unique ability but in this particular book, "The Gifted" as they're called, seem to have abilities that are based on the mind. That was really interesting. I loved how it worked in this book. 

    The plot centered around Alex "seeing" one of his friends die by the hands of a crazy person. He must somehow use his abilities to figure out whether it's a future that is going to happen anyways or one that can be prevented. I enjoyed seeing Alex gradually coming into his abilities. Sometimes the lead protagonist get "gets" it and those are the ones i relate less to. The world of psychics seemed very real in this book and It was really nice to see a disabled character written as clever. He figured most things out on his own and when he couldn't he had help from the people that supported him. He had two very present parents, and that's what's missing a lot on YA novels. The parents are just non-existent but here were Alex's parents seeing him through this war with his abilities. I think I appreciated that aspect of it the most! 

    When it came to the side characters in the book, I was pleased to know that both of his friends were Women of Color. Simmi was Indian and Shapri appeared in my mind as African American. Since Alex is blind, he can't really explain what they look like but there are clues that link to this. Simmi constantly mentioned things in her culture, she spoke with a singsong accent(Indian women tend to) and she didn't eat meat. Shapri talked with a slight Southern accent, She moved to Grandon because her family was affected by Katrina and she had sharpness that was undeniably "Sista"like. This fact made me really happy because all three main characters came from marginalized groups. Oh and i think Simmi is plus sized!Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy!!!

    Nothing about the diverse set of characters the author chose to write about seemed forced or fake. It was a genuine story featuring a multicultural set of people. This is the kind of book I always ask for, but writers never seem to listen to my silent pleas. If there are characters that aren't white, it's usually one out of like 5. The fact that the 3 main characters are from marginalized groups makes me feel stupid for not picking up a little sooner.

    My only complaint was I would have liked to know more about the history of "The Gifted Ones".

    I really loved the title and the cover made it easy to see Alex as handsome. I'm not sure if he really looks like that but that's how I envisioned him. The guy on the cover "appears"to be blind and has brown skin like most people of Greek ancestry(if you couldn't tell by his last name). I also liked how he described people by their scents since he couldn't physically describe them. So many descriptions are based on looks that we forget that we have 4 other useful senses.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    This book was so well written and a pleasure to read. I really g

    This book was so well written and a pleasure to read. I really got into the characters and the plot. I love superhero-type stories! But the ending was anticlimactic and unsatisfying. Kinda hate it when books don't finish, instead just end to try to make you buy the next one in the series.

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    This book has been on my TBR for awhile now. It is a young adult

    This book has been on my TBR for awhile now. It is a young adult book, so kept being swept to the back of the pile. This past week I decided I wasn't going to sweep it back again.

    The story is about Alex, who has been blind since birth, and the friends he meets his Sophomore year of school. Up to this point Alex has been an outcast, made fun of and has no friends. He hopes this year will be different. His family has been on hard times, which allows us to see a facet of Alex's personality as he handles the issues that arise from the situation. As two girls, Simmi and Shapri, come into his life, so do the visions and Dax.

    What do you think it would be like to be a blind oracle - to see the future without really seeing? In this story you find out what it's like for Alex.

    In some ways this story was a bit simplistic in parts, however, it is a YA book and I'm not a YA reader. The writing style would be great for any aged YA reader at any reading ability level. The story flowed well and the characters developed over the story. I was hooked all the way through the book wanting to know what happened next. I felt that the author did a great job of writing from Alex's perspective, allowing us to see through his "eyes" - or rather senses. The emotional teenaged ups and downs were evident and well written.

    The next book in the series is available, Open Heart. I'm looking forward to adding that one to my kindle in the near future. Can't wait to find out what happens to Alex, Simmi, Shapri, and Dax!

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  • Posted March 6, 2013

    I loved this book, I love the characters different personalities

    I loved this book, I love the characters different personalities and how they become friends. They each have their own problems and special gifts and learn how to work together. The book is written from Alex's point of view and he is blind, I like how strong and independent he is. I feel sorry for him throughout the book because of his relationship with his father. I however, loved the way the father's story comes out towards the end of the story, and how they all have to work together for a common goal. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series. 

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  • Posted February 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

       I liked this book so much more than I was prepared to. I know

       I liked this book so much more than I was prepared to. I know, I know, I signed up for the tour. But I went in with a negative attitude for some reason, and let me just say that Emlyn blew me out of the water with Farsighted. I loved Alex's voice, and although I have no idea what it is like to be blind, I do know what it is like to feel like an outsider. So I related to him on that level very much so.
        It gave me so much hope watching him grow as a character and then learn to accept things that he previously thought was the stuff of the stories. He had no idea that he was having visions, and he started feeling crazy. But then he met others like him, and slowly began to accept that there is more to the world than he once thought. I liked that Alex was an unlikely hero and what he accomplished despite his handicaps. 
         He meets quite a cast of characters, and I love how they all play into the story. Simmi is sweet and a bit of a mystery to me. I loved what she brought to the story though, and the confidence and protector instinct that she evoked in Alex. I also enjoyed reading about Shapri. I appreciated that she doubted even though she grew up with a mom that was a psychic of sorts and it went straight up her family tree. I like the confidence she possessed in herself and how she is slow to let people in, but once she does, she is loyal to the core, even when they are involved in things she doubts and doesn't believe in.
        The family support is great in this one. I love that they are present and involved in Alex's life, and that he also has other adults that he can trust and talk to. I also appreciated that the parents were realistic. Alex's mom was loving but she hovered. This would drive anyone crazy, and although Alex understands it is protector instinct because of his blindness, it still is a flaw, and that makes it perfect, easy to relate to, and believable. 
         The pacing is good, and the plot flows well. I like how things tie together and while most things were pretty tied up, we do get a taste of a different conflict for the next book but doesn't leave us hanging in a major way. 
         The ending is nothing what I expected, but I think that Emlyn made it work for this story, and I am def looking forward to picking up the next one to see if some of my suspicions are true. 




    Bottom Line: Great fantasy about a blind main character who fights for his friends and to discover his gifts.

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

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    Best Debut Supernatural Fiction 2011!!!

    Description:

    Sightless sixteen year-old Alex Kosmitoras is an outcast, treated by his father and his peers like he doesn't belong -- until the day he meets Simmi, a girl from India that seems genuinely interested in his friendship, (not to mention she smells like a candy bar). So, he thinks maybe Sophomore year won't be so bad -- then the visions start; and these aren't visions of sugar plums, but ghastly premonitions depicting the unimaginable, including Simmi's death. Unsure what to do about his new-found ability, Alex has to decide whether to try and intervene, or let the foretold future run its course. With the help of the new psychic in town, Miss Teak, and her daughter, Shapri, he must learn to control his second-sight and stop what's coming before Simmi, and everything else in his life, become part of the past.

    Review:

    I live for paranormal fiction, especially YA, so when I heard about Farsighted, I had to get a copy! The premise sounded so refreshingly different from what's been floating around the YA publishing pool lately, (vampires, witches, and werewolves- Oh, my!). Not that I mind sparkly supernatural beings, but I am very glad that Emlyn Chand came up with something out-of-the-otherworldly-box. First-off, I loved the cover idea and the way it was designed in monochromatic tones, especially since that is how I envisioned Alex's premonitions. Once I started reading, I couldn't get over how well the characters and their histories were set up and explained. Even if I disliked a character, I still had feelings about them and felt like they could be real four-dimensional people. Alex's character is very well-developed, and I enjoyed witnessing his character grow into the person I saw during the last few chapters. One of my favorite aspects of the book was the use of Alex's point of view through touch, sound, and smell. Even though the people and objects around him were never described through seeing eyes, I could imagine everyone in surprising detail, in part because of all their different personalities. This use of Alex's perspective was integral to the plot, and I must be honest, Emlyn Chand knows how to craft a page-turner. The story has a great flow and is well-thought-out; the twists and turns actually surprised and entertained me. The runes at the beginning of each chapter were really interesting to read about and slightly foreshadowed what was to come, but I was still shocked by certain outcomes, (no spoilers!). The only part I'll complain about is the ending, I really hate cliff-hangers - and not knowing what's going to happen is already driving me crazy. I absolutely cannot wait for Open Heart - Book 2 in the Farsighted Series, slated for release in 2012. Kudos to Emlyn Chand on her amazing debut published novel - the first of many, I am sure!

    Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

    *** I received this book from the author (Novel Publicity) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    Alex Kosmitoras (Pronounced Caas-me-toe-rh-aas as insisted by Al

    Alex Kosmitoras (Pronounced Caas-me-toe-rh-aas as insisted by Alex) was born blind and at fifteen he has adjusted to life well enough. Depending upon his other senses, he can get through school, homework – pretty much everything. But he is treated like an outcast, a freak at school because of his handicap. Well, that seems to be like the life of any blind person, right? Only Alex is different. He has visions of present and future! You may say that it is ridiculous – how can a blind person, who has never seen the light of the day, have visions? Well, like everything else, Alex’s visions are also dependent upon his other senses – he hears and feels it rather than ‘seeing’ them. It’s ironic that he should have the ‘second sight’ when he has always been deprived of the first!

    His life was set. A loving and coddling mother, a father who is nice to him only when his mom is around, zero friends and the school bully’s favourite target! But everything changes when Simran Shergill arrives in the town and enrolls in his school. She is sweet and empathetic. She befriends him and his life takes a turn. He enjoys having a friend and even has feelings for Simmi and they certainly have ‘CHEMISTRY’ together ;). That is when he starts getting visions and that too visions of someone mortally hurting Simmi. What option does he have other than finding that person and trying to prevent the whole episode? So, Alex along with his dad (oh! did I mention that he has his own secrets?) Simmi, Shapri and Miss Teak, embarks on an adventure that is going to influence everyone around them.

    I love the characters in this novel. They are truly lovable. The plot is amazing and so is the flow of the story. Towards the beginning I did feel that it was a bit slow, but later on I realized that the details were necessary for us understand how the characters think and feel and also the dynamics of the relationships. But what I love the most about this book is that at the beginning of each chapter there are one or two lines written that set the mood for the chapters. It’s simply unique and genius of Emlyn!

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Thrilling and sucks you in! If you’re looking for fun nov

    Thrilling and sucks you in!

    If you’re looking for fun novel with realistic characters and a touch of the paranormal, look no further! Emlyn Chand gives us a hero that is far from perfect and at times a little doubtful but faces his demons anyway. I have to say that she has created the best blind character I have ever seen. Alex displays a lot of the little subtle things that make blind people unique and I absolutely loved it. From the snapping of his fingers, to the swaying when standing still, Alex made me smile as throughout the novel he does the little things blind people do but don’t really notice until you point them out to them. I told my fiancée about this and now he’s interested in reading it.

    The story is thrilling and sucks you in. It’s unique and refreshing to see a dangerous plot laid out with a hero that’s not racing to meet it. Alex thinks this whole thing is a little crazy and possibly outright insane but when his friends lives are in danger, he rises to the challenge just like he does every other challenge in his life. It’s inspiring, it shows you don’t really have to have superpowers to conquer the big problems and with an ending you’ll never expect, you’ll leave the reader dying for the next book. I know I am!

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