Have you ever heard sounds that you were sure didn’t exist? Maybe you smelled something you knew wasn’t in the area. Perhaps you experienced both, maybe even both together. I have and it is scary, so scary that you might think you are losing your mind. Never fear for me. I finally discovered I was having “awake dreaming” from lack of good, sound sleep. But the hero of our next book has not found himself so lucky.
While I was having these episodes of hearing and smelling hallucinations, I had my sight to keep me grounded in the here and now. Imagine, if you will, having to rely on your sense of smell and sound to determine what is around you. If you can’t trust those smells and sounds, how can you tell what is real?
By Emlyn Chand
Publisher: Blue Crown Press (October 17, 2011)
About the book:
Sophomore Alex Kosmitoras, a blind since birth young man is entering his first day of class for the year. His biggest worry is staying out of the way of Brady, who, despite being a bully, is the only person in school to talk to Alex. His next biggest worry is whether he will find a girl he likes who likes him, too.
But from the very first day, Alex has problems. First, he mistakes Brady for his dad because he hears his dad’s voice. The next day, he thinks Brady is picking a fight with him and retaliates only to find it is Alex, who, by retaliating for something that hasn’t happened, starts the fight.
Can his life get any worse? Oh, yes, because he does find the girl he wants, Simmi, but he hears her murder…only it hasn’t happened yet. What is going on? When he stops by the All-Seeing Miss Teak psychic shop next to his mom’s florist shop, Alex soon learns how much worse his life can get. From Miss Teak he discovers what second sight is and how it will affect his life.
Chand does excellent work with the interrelationships of her characters. I found the relationship between Alex, Simmi, and Miss Teak’s daughter, Shapri a reliable representation of a three-way friendship. Alex’s relationship with his parents is a bit more complicated, especially with his dad, but believable. Brady’s interactions with Alex was a little harder to understand since in my school, you worried more about being stabbed than having a few bad words sent your way. I suspect, though, Chand’s take on this might be accurate in most high schools.
Chand does a good job of foreshadowing. I kept wondering when we were going to learn what was going on with Mr. Kosmitoras. I just knew there was something more than Alex could sense. Alex’s first visit to the psychic shop left me wondering if Miss Teak was a ghost. Shapri's relationship with her dad was fairly clear from near the beginning but some readers might take a little time to suss it out. To be sure, it was well done - shown and not told.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes YA fiction with a paranormal bent. Beware, for the astute reader there are small unanswered questions leading into the next book in this series.