A great YA read with a touch of the paranormal and a not-so-typical protagonist
I always enjoying winning a contest. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it feels fantastic. And all the more so when the prize turns out to be something I really enjoy. I'm pleased to say Farsighted, the debut novel of Emlyn Chand, makes a great prize.
The story revolves around teenager Alex Kosmitoras, who just so happens to be blind. He's managing his world as well as a blind teenager might—which is to say, he doesn't get along so well with his dad, and he has to deal with bullying jerks at school, but he happens to do it with a cane in his hand. Then suddenly, Alex starts having dreams and visions that allow him to "see" in a way he's never seen before. As he struggles to deal with that and figure out what it all means, he also tries to juggle his growing attraction to a new girl in town, as well as deal with his difficult relationship with his father.
Oh... And did I mention, his visions have to do with what appears to be an imminent murder? And the perpetrator has psychic abilities, just as Alex does?
This makes for a great, tense plot that balances the Sturm und Drang of adolescence. There's drama, all right, but it's adult enough that older teens and even adults will enjoy the story as much as the mid-teens who make up the books primary target audience.
By using a blind protagonist, Chand gives us the type of character we don't often encounter. She does a wonderful job of presenting Alex's world—a place without visuals, but alive with sounds and smells. As a writer myself, I know how easy it is to rely on the sense of sight to describe a room or a character or a scene. Chand can't do that with a character who is blind. But she does so well with tapping the other senses and helping us envision what life is like for Alex that it is a delight to walk around in his shoes, even though he is a moody teen at times. (But who isn't?)
The supporting characters are drawn well, and eventually we get to understand why Alex's father acts the way he acts. I will admit I was puzzled at one point by Alex's mother, who has a reaction to her husband leaving and returning that essentially made no sense to me. But given that the rest of the book is so enjoyable, and given that the mother's reaction isn't vital to the resolution of the plot, I could live with it.
There are some unexpected twists to the plot, and by the end of the book, I was ready for more. Chand is working on the sequel, which I'm truly looking forward to reading. (Hurry up, please! Hahaha!)
Overall, Farsighted is a satisfying read for teens on up. If you like a good thriller with a good dash of the paranormal, you'll like this book.
For more information about Emlyn Chand or Farsighted, visit her website. And if you buy the book, tell her the Chipper Muse sent you. (It always helps writers to know how their readers found their book.)
Copyright (c) 2012 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.