Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review: Open Heart

Open Heart (Farsighted, #2)

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.

Hardcover352 pages
Expected publication: May 25th 2012 by Blue Crown Press
First of all many thanks to Emlyn for letting me read the ARC of Open Heart. It will take you on a journey and certainly open your heart. 

Open Heart starts where Farsighted left off. The return to Grandon has been anything but normal, and the summer was wrought with anxiety for Simmi.  In fact this installment is told through the eyes of Simmi. We get to know her better, see inside her, and see Dax and Alex in a whole new light. It's a combo that works. And makes the second installment of this series a book that totally out does the first one. 

Simmi is anything but perfect. She has her faults and I found myself loving her, doubting her, frustrated with her and at times ready to write her off. ( In-fact I found myself wondering if Emlyn was inside my head when she wrote her.) Simmi is dealing with extremely personal and timely issues. Her struggles with self esteem, self doubt and weight are all issues I have dealt with.  Emlyn writes these in a emotional and engaging way that never glorifies her characters faults, but makes you feel the emotional strain. Simmi is real. She is real and has faults and her motives are not always pure. She is a mess, and she is the main reason this book resonates so well. 

As Simmi and Alex drift apart, Dax takes center stage. I loved that we get to know Dax better. I was so unsure of him in the first book that I felt he was almost a add on. This time he emerges as a strong character that I totally felt for. I wanted him to get the girl, and I wanted him to tell us more of what made him tick. On the flip side Alex was also more dimensional. We got to see the other side of his personalty and I found him extremely clingy and having some self esteem issues of his own.  (It was fun to analyze the characters!) Add to that Chand's trademark of blending multi cultural characters, and her beautiful knowledge of  Hindi culture and tradition, into a seamless plot line. It was a magical combination.  

 For me this book was less about the psychic element and more about the lives of the characters.  Emlyn Chand has grown as a writer and Open Heart just blew Farsighted out of the water. It comes from an emotional and personal place, and is full of the intensity of teenage life. And one does not have to be a teenager to appreciate it.  Anyone who has struggled to find their place and feel loved will connect. All the elements come together to create a storm of emotion, very much like the energy it's characters radiate.  And the best part is this book could be a stand alone. You could pick it up not having read Farsighted and totally connect with the story.  I was sad when it ended. I just want more, and I am finding it hard to wait for Pitch to be done. 

(I do have to say I was taken aback by the fate of one new character. I had to jump up and grab a tissue. I really can't say anything more on it because I am too tempted to write a spoiler when it comes to him. Just watch for Murry. That is all I can tell you. )

Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). Since then, she has always loved to hear and tell stories. When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available throughout the social media Internet world. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


  1. Wow, thank you so much for the lovely review, Becca. I'm so glad this book resonated with you since it is the most personal of my novels. I'm also glad to hear you think I'm getting better. I mean, what higher praise could there be?! :-D

  2. I thought you were great to begin with!!! So I guess that is double good. Can not wait for Pitch. Did I mention that???

  3. Awww, I <3 you. I can't wait for Pitch either. In truth, Shapri is such a likable character. I'm scared to write her, given that both Alex and Simmi could go either way on the likability scale :-P