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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 ...
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.
Praise for "Farsighted":
*Winner, Writer's Digest Self-Published Novel Awards, Young Adult Category, 2012
*Best Multicultural Fiction, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, 2012
*Finalist, Eric Hoffer Award, 2012
*BookBundlz Book Club Pick, 2012
*Overall Winner, Best Young Adult Fiction, Best Debut Author, Dragonfly eBook Awards, 2011
*Bronze Medalist, Paranormal Fiction, Readers Favorite, 2012
*Finalist, Speculative Fiction, Global eBook Awards, 2011
*Winner of the Alternative Booker Award, 2011
*Winner of the WritersType First Chapter Competition, September 2011
"Chand's characters are compelling and diverse... Shapri is a standout." - Kirkus Reviews
"A showdown...brings the novel to a surreal and...suspenseful close." - Publisher's Weekly
"A suspenseful and spellbinding mystery that grips you from the very start." - IndieReader
"A paranormal story line vastly different from the many offerings of vampires, fae and elves... Right away I liked Farsighted" - Tracy Riva for Midwest Book Reviews
Posted March 24, 2013
Book 2 of the Farsighted series by Emlyn chand, Open Heart, was a perfect follow up to book 1. It was wonderful to be reunited with this cast of characters, and will admit that I really enjoyed this one more than the first. Although it does contain a subject matter that is all too real, author Emlyn Chand does a fantastic job in incorporating the difficulties in eating disorders in Open Heart.
Open Heart basically continues on from near where book one, Farsighted, left off. Simmi and Alex are now a couple and are delving ever closer to love territory. Alex remains this sweet, though very clingy, boyfriend to Simmi, and for some reason, Simmi doesn’t seem to reciprocate these feelings.
Having to deal with her disgust with her body, her lack of self-esteem has her careening down a dark and dangerous road, and it seems that per gorging and purging is the only thing that is making her feel somewhat happy. But with Alex’s incessant hate for Dax, who now lives with him, Alex’s animosity rolls off him in waves. And Simmi being a Clairsentience, hiding feelings from her is near impossible.
But when Dax starts to show some interest in Simmi, and they start to delve further into their feelings, Simmi not only has to deal with the strain of her relationship with Alex, but it seems that it also affects her relationship with her bestfriend, Shapri.
As with the Farsighted, I completely devoured this second installment in the Farsighted series. Author, Emlyn Chand, once again shows just how fantastic an author she is, and how well she can capture a reader’s attention.
It was so difficult to have to have to bear witness to poor Simmi and her insecurities. I was truly sad for her to think that the only way she can be happy is to have a size 7 figure and she was constantly doubting the affections of others. And when she started going down the dark road of an eating disorder, I was hoping against hope that her family and friends would open their eyes and see just how destructive Simmi’s behavior was becoming.
I found the times between Alex and Simmi to be very sweet, though somewhat stifling. I don’t think I would have survived as long as Simmi had if I had an Alex who was constantly grabby and needing to show PDAs all the time. And I think I would have flipped my lid if he insisted on joining the drama play because of his hatred for Dax. I kept thinking to myself, “Buddy, if you trust your girl, lay off! You’re suffocating her. Let her enjoy her drama rehearsal!” But then Alex goes and does something so sweet like stick up for Simmi’s honor.
But then we have Dax. The thorn in everyone’s side. I understand the fiasco that happened in book one, and I can see where people can be hesitant when it came to him, but my heart did go out to the guy. I can only imagine how lonely he could be having been ousted by his own parents, and forced to live under the same roof as Alex who can’t stand him. But when it came to Simmi, this romantic, sweet side of him came out and in all honesty, I would have fallen for him too.
I recommend Open Heart to fans of book one in this series, Farsighted and to fans of reads involving supernatural powers. I’m curious to see what happens in the next books in this series! Emlyn Chand has created a cast of characters that finds their way to your heart and mind.
Posted March 13, 2013
In this second installment of the Farsighted Series, the story focuses on Simmi and is told from her point of view. Simmi is now dating Alex, and is once again best friends with Shapri. Simmi has gained a lot of weight and has very poor self-esteem. On top of that, she still feels guilty for the way that she got Alex to be her boyfriend, especially since he is so crazy about her, and she can't quite decide if she feels the same way. Dax, who is now living with Alex's family, stirs feelings inside her every time she sees him that are far from friendship, confusing her even further. Many new people with "special abilities" have now moved to town, resulting in a construction boom. Some of these new people are nice, like Murray, a freshman boy who has a great personality and is a lot of fun to be around and also has the same ability that Simmi does. Then there is Ronnie, who is not so nice. Ronnie is a blond bombshell with a bad attitude, and is also a spoiled brat who is used to getting her way. Even stranger is Ronnie's father, and the things that are revealed about him as the story progresses are even more mysterious. When forced to choose between Alex and Dax, will Simmi follow her heart at the risk of losing her friends?
Open Heart was an interesting second installment in the Farsighted series. I honestly can't say that I liked Simmi's character, though I did care more for her in this book. Simmi is very depressed about things in her life, including her past, and is overcome with grief and shame regarding her weight gain. She is desperate to lose the weight, which results in a battle with anorexia and bulimia, something she hides from everyone the entire time, though I think Dax may have an idea what may be going on. She loves her friends, but is also very self-absorbed and consumed with her own problems, desires, jealousy, and guilt. She cares for Alex and doesn't want to hurt his feelings, and winds up lying to him about how she feels, which only makes things worse. Alex is very moody in this novel and his obsession with Simmi is somewhat codependent. It is admirable how much he loves her, yet concerning as to how much he thinks he "needs" her. He is still very angry at Dax, especially now that he is living with his family, and his family seems to love Dax so much. If you are unfamiliar with the series, Alex is also blind, but has the gift of being a Seer, and has visions.
I did like Dax in this installment and in fact, found him to be quite charming. I even felt sorry for him because of how he has been misunderstood. I did start to like Simmi a little bit more towards the end of the book. For a "big" girl Simmi sure does now how to attract the guys, having both Alex and Dax pining for her, and she has a few "heavy" make-out scenes with them both. There is a devastating tragedy towards the end of this book, which is sad, but also helps Simmi see the truth about some things that have happened, and helps give her direction in making choices for the future. Overall, I found this to be an interesting second installment in this series. I enjoyed all the different ethnic elements that Emlyn Chand integrated in with the paranormal and romantic aspects of the story. It will be interesting to see where Emlyn Chand takes things in the next installment.
Posted March 8, 2013
While I enjoyed the storyline of this book and I managed to finish it in a day, I was let down by my dislike for the lead heroine Simmi, I wasn't really a fan of hers in the the previous book Farsighted but I really couldn't stand her at all in this book.
And while Simmi and Alex are now together the relationship is pretty much one sided, while Alex is in love with her Simmi doesn't reciprocate and instead lies to him and strings him along especially now that she is attracted to Dax whom is living with Alex and his family.
Simmi is hiding a secret, she is battling bulimia, a condition that only worsens throughout the story along with her sense of self-esteem, Dax helps her feel more comfortable and happy with the skin that she's in.
As in Farsighted I really loved Shapri's character, she's not afraid to speak her mind and I'm hoping that she ends up together with Alex, you can tell from the way that she defends him in this book that she really likes him but because she's Simmi's best friend she'd never think to betray her in that way.
I'm really looking forward to the next book which is from Shapri's pov, a character that I really love and which hopefully features a lot more Alex.
Posted February 14, 2013
It was different to see this world from a new set of eyes, as this second book in the Farsighted series is from Simmi's point of view, and the first was from Alex's. Simmi has a different gift, so therefore processes things differently, she of course can see, and she is a girl. So while I ultimately enjoyed her character (even if I despised how she handled certain things) and her voice, it took a bit to get used to the different narration.
She was also pushing away Alex at first, and being harsh with him, but I quickly figured out that was partly due to a self esteem issue. I, of course, had no idea what she looked like, just her smell and personality from Farsighted, so the fact that she is a size 14, a size she thinks is huge, contributes to her insecurities. (I am totally a 12-16 depending on pants, so I get the insecurities and feeling like most everyone is bigger than me.) There were a few other things that I can't really talk about without spoiling that made me doubt her actions, and wonder where she is coming from, because on the surface it is selfish. Maybe it is more because I was in Alex's head for the first book, but I don't know.
It was nice to see the theme of family involvement carried over. I appreciated that Simmi and her parents had dinner together with her little sister, and that they were concerned about her.
The issues of the eating disorder was very realistic. The way she tried to hide it and felt like she had control over something, when she in reality was losing it piece by piece. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and knew that it had to catch up to her. I wasn't really expecting something like this in my fantasy, but the dose of contemporary was unique. I really hope that more healing and understanding about real beauty comes to her as the series goes on.
It was so hard seeing her struggle with her feelings--I guess I should have been prepared from the summary and the end of Farsighted, but it didn't make it any easier. I can definitely see the appeal of Dax but I just think the betrayal is hard. I wish she would have just handled it all differently. I think when she had the first doubts about Alex, she should have backed off and maybe it would have been better. I am also nervous about the turn of events with her gift at the end and really hope that she can learn to control it, and only use for good. I believe she has a good heart, and regardless of some questionable decisions that all teens make at some point, I hope that the negative can't consume her.
As far as Dax goes, I hope that we are in his head really soon, because from the outside I am really liking what I see. He is gentlemanly, and learning to control himself so that no one else gets hurt. I hope that Alex is just jealous and letting that come before forgiveness, and not because he truly still feels or has seen something truly horrible that Dax will do.
Open Hearted is paced well, and I like how the plot continued, although I don't really feel like we are given a true ending to this one. It feels like it just stopped, and I can't wait for the next book.
Bottom line: The Farsighted world from new eyes, dealing with hard hitting emotional issues, and a choice that will hurt someone regardless.
Posted February 7, 2013
Open Heart starts us right where we left off in Farsighted except now we're looking through Simmi's eyes. This book definitely amps up the personal emotions and deals with topics many people struggle with. It's a page turner with lots of deep internal struggles. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.
I really ached for Alex in this one. I loved him and how he overcame his blindness in book one. Through out Open Heart I just felt as if Alex kept getting one disappointment after another. Yet he has such a good heart and is loyal, I really like him as a character. Then there's Simmi, another character who I really enjoyed in Farsighted but in Open Heart I'm going to be honest I started to not like her. I totally felt for her while she dealt with personal problems because I've been there and felt that way, but towards the end the way she handled certain things I was really disappointed in her. I just wish she would have made some different decisions.
However, I must say Shapri really grows on me the more we see her. In book one I liked her, but in Open Heart I love her. I feel like she's finally becoming comfortable with her powers and she's so easy going. Yet at the same time she's bubbly and her heart and head are always in the right place. With that, another character I liked was Dax. I was definitely nervous of the role he'd play but he definitely grew on me. I love his dark hair, pale skin, and green eyes and I also liked how he handled things with Simmi. He admitted his mistakes and handled the relation the correct way and I commend him for that.
Overall Farsighted was definitely enjoyable. We get school drama, personal problems, romance, heartache and all while still in the world of psychics. I give Emlyn props for writing some hard emotional scenes where Simmi's eating disorder is concerned and thought those were done really well. There were still a few things though I wish we're handled differently, but over all I liked Farsighted and would definitely still read the next book.
Posted July 6, 2012
Open Heart, the second of five novels in Emlyn Chand’s Farsighted Series, picks up where Farsighted ends, but with a twist.
The narrator of Farsighted is blind high school student Alex Kosmitoras, while the narrator of Open Heart is his friend Simran Shergill, known as Simmi.
As a reader who is not a big fan of series, I found this twist to be very enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t read series; it’s just that I find many of them unsatisfying. I have so many books on my to-read list that I can often lose track of which book comes next in a series and end up not reading it. That in turn sometimes leaving me feeling unsatisfied, not having enough resolution in the previous book. I prefer series in which each book can stand pretty well on its own, even with a continuing story and characters, in case I don’t get any further.
The Farsighted Series, at least the first two books, aren’t quite as freestanding as I like, but from the start of Open Heart, I was hooked. Having a different character narrate this story gives it a whole new perspective on the ongoing story line. Not only did it quickly pull me in, it also made me determined to make sure I keep track of when each new book in this series is released, as I understand that each future book will be narrated by a different character.
Truth be told, I didn’t really care for Alex in the first book; I liked the story, but not Alex as a person. Simmi, though, tugs at my heart from the start. She is melonchaly, sad almost, but also happy and hopeful at times. Such a typical teenager.
My own heart opens up to Simmi when she talks about her feelings of inadequacy, and eventually develops an eating disorder. It is so easy to identify with her, even though I’m far past the teenage years of my life. Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness are common to most of us, even if not to the degree that Simmi experiences. It would be hard to find any young person who can’t relate to Simmi’s emotions.
Perhaps that’s what I liked best about Open Heart. The series is about a group of young people, and some of their parents, who have various paranormal gifts. Sometimes their gifts help them navigate the maze of life around them, and sometimes the gifts cause some of the tragedies they encounter. The paranormal aspect of these stories is the foundation of the series.
Or is it?
Whether intentionally or not, Chand has created teenage characters who are so real and so sympathetic, that removing the paranormal features would take little away from the impact of the books. Sure, there would need to be different plots, but the characters would remain essentially the same and I would still be invested in what happens to them. And that includes Alex, who didn’t make me like him any better in this book. He’s a good kid, really; we don’t all like everybody in the world is all.
By the end of Open Heart, Simmi is still struggling with her emotions and the impact of her gifts on others, but there’s a strength to her that wasn’t there in the beginning. I’m eager to see where her path leads her, and her friends, even though the next book will be told from someone else’s point of view.
Posted June 14, 2012
At first I was a little put off by the idea that the second book in the Farsighted series was going to be told not from Alex's perspective, but Simmi's. I liked Alex's girlfriend just fine, don't get me wrong, but I'd grown rather attached to the sensitive blind boy. But then Open Heart and Simmi came along and it was like - POW! Author Emlyn Chand had hit another one right out of the park. When I read teen fiction, I try not to read as a mom of three who's in her (cough cough) mid-thirties. I've learned a lot since I was a teenager millions of years ago. However, I think the more mature (in age only) audience runs the risk of missing the point when they approach teen fiction from a parent's more wizened perspective with years of Life Experience under their collective belts. They tend to see the world through a more narrowed focus instead of with a teen's wide-eyed wonder and intense passion. Simmi is a sixteen-year-old girl and has some pretty big problems. Paranormal powers aside, she's dealing with a serious eating disorder, pressure from her parents to get perfect grades, conflicting feelings for two different guys, and some intense jealousy and self-hatred. Now I have no paranormal powers to speak of (although my children would probably claim I can read minds, particularly theirs) and I've never had an eating disorder, but I've certainly experienced all of that other icky stuff that bores into your brain and really wreaks havoc. It's hard enough to go through that when you're older and have a little experience to back you up, but it feels darn near impossible when you're a teenager. Chand could have taken a page directly from my own life at sixteen, and I suspect I'm not the only one who feels that way. And while the mom in me wanted to wrap Simmi in a hug and tell her to just hang in there, things always have a way of working out and that they really will get better, the young girl in me wanted to invite Simmi over to jump on the bed while belting out the lyrics to every Broadway tune we could think of. You know, just to make us feel a bit better. Story aside, Chand's books are visually appealing inside and out. She's a prime example of an indie author who really knows what she's doing and takes great pride in her work. The next book in the Farsighted series, Pitch, can't come out fast enough.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 6, 2012
I Also Recommend:
After the events of last summer, Simmi Shergill is in a constant state of fear and trepidation; being convinced that you are going to die can do that to a person. Her psychic powers and focus are out of control, her boyfriend Alex is all about "I love you"s, she's feeling a strange attraction to Alex's nemesis, Dax, and her weight is making her self-conscious. To top that off, something sinister is happening in Grandon Township, and Simmi may be one of the only ones able to sense the danger. Can Simmi find the good inside herself and free her abilities before she loses everything?
I hate when a series starts out strong only to crumble during the second installment...Thank goodness that Emlyn Chand's Farsighted Series seems quite the opposite! Each book gets better and better, taking the reader deeper into the lives of Grandon's own psychically-charged residents: Simmi, Alex, Shapri, Dax, etc. I thought that Farsighted was amazing, but Open Heart is better! These characters are anything but typical, yes they are gifted, but they still battle with the same fears, insecurities and disillusions that many teens and adults suffer from in the real world. In Farsighted, Alex's blindness paired with his seer abilities made for an interesting plot. Everything was described from his perspective - touch, taste, smell and sound. In Open Heart, Simmi may have all of her senses, but she, like most women, is uncomfortable with the way she looks, delving into self-hating practices - starvation and bulimia. I myself have struggled with self-esteem and weight issues, so I can relate to Simmi's plight. You begin to feel like you are not good enough, even if there are people who love you unconditionally. I was truly affected by Simmi's story and point of view; I wanted to reach out to her, embrace her, to let her know she was not alone. High school is rough enough without the added pressures of looking and being perfect. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and Simmi is one of the most brilliantly beautiful and real characters that I have had the pleasure of reading about.The author has done a wonderful job on Simmi's character mentally, physically and psychically. I am quite awestruck by the book as a whole, it is so much more emotionally raw than I anticipated. Every character has a different background, and author Emlyn Chand is not afraid to tackle anything. She is definitely emotionally-keen, maybe even as psychically attuned as Simmi! Another aspect that I loved was the addition of Indian language and culture; I learned many interesting words and phrases, as well as some new far east mythology. I read this book in about two hours - nonstop - but I wish I would have taken it slower so that I would not have to wait so long for another book. The next book in the series is Pitch, and it will chronicle Shapri's story, so May 2013 better get here soon, because I am impatient and cannot wait to see what happens in Grandon next! Recommended for all readers (YA/adult) who are psychically drawn to the paranormal.
Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)
*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Posted March 6, 2013
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