[REVIEW] Open Heart by Emlyn Chand

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Open Heart (Farsighted #2)
by Emlyn Chand
Genre: urban fantasy, young adult, paranormal
Expected Publication date: May 25th 2012
Pages: 352 (hardcover)

Open Heart

SYNOPSIS: 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 was never a Team Simmi girl. She was more of a prop character in Farsighted, and I felt she was fake-ish and shallow. I said fake-ish because I wasn't entirely sure, but Open Heart came along and confirmed everything.

The deal is, Simmi has thins whole self-loathing problem where she has all these negative thoughts about herself like "omg i'm too fat" and "omg i'm too ugly". It's not a problem though, since that's perfectly normal. Heck, even I feel like i'm an ugly sea cow most of the time. My problem with Simmi is how she deals with her problem. She has all these eating disorders, she lies to the people who care about her, she manipulates them for all the wrong reasons, she takes comfort in the insecurities of other people, and she wants other people stop judging her but she keeps on judging other people herself and sizes them up and makes mental venn diagrams in order to figure out who's better or who's more handsome LIKE IT'S ALL JUST A HUGE MISS UNIVERSE CONTEST. And honestly, her "he's dangerous and I shouldn't but something's luring me in" monologues sound exactly like a typical Bella pining for her smexy but dangerous Edward. -end of rant-

It was extremely hard for me to rate this book. Putting my 'hatred' for Simmi at bay in order to write a proper review is just too mentally frustrating. I mean, Simmi is definitely not a character you'd easily love. But because Emlyn is such a sweetheart, here is a bullet list (Emlyn likes bullet lists!) of what I liked about this book:

  • Alex Kosmitoras. Need I say more? Err I guess i really should explain this further but I can't without spoiling the story, so you need to read the book. *wink wink, nudge nudge* ;D
  • Basically every character in the book except for Simmi. I loved them all. Even the "antagonists" like the popular kids and Dax had redeeming features, and they even had their own little backstory that Emlyn managed to fit in without ruining the whole plot. 
  • The writing! I mean, it's not exactly grand poetry or anything like that. It's more of an easy, flowy type and it's really easy to read but it worked. I actually felt like I was reading Simmi's journal and everything was so vivid. And I have to say, Emlyn's writing definitely improves since Farsighted.
  • It's perfectly paced. It was a really smooth process without any boring bumps in the road, and the build towards the climax was also steady-sailing. 
  • I got a taste of Indian culture yet again! The story was filled with ideas about chakras and Sikhism, and I'm personally really interested in other religions and all that jazz, so it really made my reading experience exciting! And, learning something new is always a good thing.
  • It's not white-washed. Open Heart had all these characters from different races, cultures, and backgrounds. It's really hard to find that in YA novels these days.
  • Okay, this definitely deserves the last-but-not-the-least pimp spot. I really really liked how Emlyn tackled Simmi's eating disorders and self-loathing. She didn't sugarcoat it at all. I know that it is a common problem, and that it is a problem that is commonly denied. Most girls don't even realize they have eating disorders, or they don't even consider it as a disorder or a problem. That's what made Simmi real, I think. She may not be a likeable character per se, but she is very very real. There's a little bit of Simmi in all of us, I think.

Mentally and emotionally exhausting, but definitely not in a bad way. 

4.5 STARS!

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  1. Awww, thanks, Ellie! I'm glad you enjoyed Open Heart despite a hatred for Simmi. That seems to be pretty common among readers actually :-P And you're right, I wasn't going for likable, I was going for real. I was joking the other day that I'm going to have a really tough time writing Shapri's book, since she's so darned likable!

    Oh, and I'm glad you love Alex. Some people hate him too, but others swoon.

  2. Great review! Definitely adding this to my to-read list!


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