Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review: Untethered by Katie Hayoz

by Katie Hayoz
YA Paranormal
350 pages

Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin. In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it. But if there is one thing she’s sure of, it’s her love for Kevin Phillips. She’s willing to stake everything on it –her family, her friends, and possibly her soul.

Sixteen-year-old Sylvie has been best friends with Cassie forever. But everything is turned around when the boy Sylvie’s loved since fifth grade falls for Cassie. Devastated, Sylvie intends to get Kevin by any means possible, even if it involves treachery, deceit, and the dark side of astral projection. She is positive her plans will give her what she wants, but she doesn’t count on it all spiraling out of control.

Untethered explores the intoxicating and dangerous world of jealousy and obsession when coupled with paranormal ability. Finalist in Mslexia novel competition.


The cover on this one caught my attention, and after reading the blurb, I was excited to get my hands on the book.

Sylvie is pretty much a normal teenage girl. She struggles at school, has a friend or two, several enemies, and definitely doesn't feel good about herself. Not only do self-image issues plague her, but it doesn't help that she's constantly being tested for the odd, fainting spells she suffers which seem an awful lot like 'out of body' experiences to her. Not that anyone will believe that. When things at school, and especially things concerning a certain guy she likes, get rough, she spirals into jealousy, treachery and lies.

This book is more of a light paranormal, concentrating on the problems of a high school girl as she struggles with some difficult teenage issues. Sylvie's special abilities sprinkle the chapters but don't take center stage and are kept a little foggy in the same way she doesn't understand them herself. Sylvie's world is very familiar, making it easy for the reader to place themselves in her shoes and sympathize with her. When the paranormal side starts to gain importance, her abilities and teenage problems collide. The resulting mess is believable, understandable, and grabs with a realistic tension, especially when the darkness behind it all hits full force--a very personal one.

Although Sylvie is kind and a good friend, she changes as life pounds her down time and again. Her insecurities lead to some questionable decisions, but it's exactly this which makes Sylvie a character to embrace. She's not perfect. At times, she's horrid. And she's definitely in over her head. She's a character to relate too, and one that shows that things don't always run peachy-keen. Neither is it a simple task to undo damage once it's been done. But there's always hope, and that's the special light which beams through this book and is a concept YAers (and adults) can never hear enough of. 

Summed up, this is an engaging read which takes a slightly different curve into the paranormal world by keeping it fairly grounded in reality. It's something YAers can dig into, recognize, and be carried away in all the way to the last page.

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