Title: Open Heart
by: Emlyn Chand
Published: May 25, 2012
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
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.My Thoughts: 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?
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.
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.
Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead broke and insanely overprotective, and... oh yeah, he's blind.
Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, an enticing new girl comes to their small Midwest town all the way from India. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they suggest Simmi is in mortal danger.
With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex embarks on his journey to change the future.
From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published three novels and three children’s books with plans for many more of each, leads a classics book group with almost five-hundred members, and, of course, runs the whole shebang at Novel Publicity.
The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. While she enjoys all types of novels, her greatest loves are literary fiction and YA. She’s best known for herFarsighted series and is developing a slow but steady following for the Bird Brain Books. She’s eager to see how her women’s fiction novel, Torn Together, will be received by the reading masses.
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