By Emlyn Chand
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Simmi Shergill is a girl overwhelmed by emotions. Not only does she have her own barrage of teenage feelings to handle, she also feels and even influences the emotions of others. Saved from a grim fate by her boyfriend Alex’s powers of precognition, she now enters back into her regular life. But the stress of that everyday life is getting to her. Her powerful emotional influence has frightened her with the responsibility and guilt of forcing others to her own will. Will turning to a dangerous eating disorder help her to regain control? Can she become the actress she wants to be, earning the right to shine in the only thing that seems to bring back her confidence? What are these feelings she has for Dax, the telekinetic boy who sort-of almost caused her death? Why doesn’t she feel the same way about Alex that he feels about her?
This story is a tangle of emotions, just like a real teenage girl’s life. I could relate very closely with the visceral feelings and insecurities of a girl who feels so out of place. Emlyn almost made me feel Simmi’s physical reactions to her emotional states. Though it didn’t contain the unique perspective of the first book of the series, I really enjoyed the perspective of someone beside Alex as a reflection on the first character.
Simmi is a very spicy character, appearing as mild as she can manage though she broils with feeling. I loved the part her culture and family played in her inner struggle, pitting her American teen lifestyle against her Indian family values. Her fears and insecurities add to the tension of the story, where everyday interactions become charged with emotion. I didn’t always like how she reacted or the choices she made, but it forced the reality of her story under my skin. None of us do what we should or react the way we should and I could forgive Simmi’s mistakes knowing I’d mess up too.
I also enjoyed the group of characters she’s put together in Simmi, Alex, Dax, Shapri, and all their families. They don’t work together as a seamless team as often ends up happening in a story. They struggle through, misunderstanding and screwing up, trying to make it through. This brings a tremendous amount of sympathy and heart to the story.
The ending was shocking and chilling, and I appreciated the courage Emlyn had in allowing Simmi’s powers and romantic troubles to come to their startling conclusion, rather than swooping in to save her somehow. It really made me eager to hear more of the story in the next book!
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