Published by Selfpublished on 3 April 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Kindle Purchase
Buy on Amazon |
Since she was five years old, Sylvie has lived with having out of body experiences. They happen when she least expect it, and at school she now has the delicate nick-name psycho. That's what happens when her body goes limp all of a sudden and she comes to feeling completely out of it. Luckily, Sylvie has her best friend Cassie who is always on her side. This year, things are changing, Sylvie's parents are splitting up, her little brother Sam starts high-school as well, and Cassie wants her to finally ask her big crush, Kevin, out.
Untethered is a novel that surprised me on many levels! The story, while having some ingredients that are invariably part of a young adult novel is so original. The paranormal that happens has nothing to do with werewolves or vampires, there are no witches or magic. But astral-projection is a big part of the story, and it is both a blessing and a curse to Sylvie as she tries to figure out how to deal with her parents’ impending divorce, feeling like a pariah and seeing her best friend having become the most beautiful girl ever just over summer.
I hadn’t even really planned on reading Untethered, but a week ago, I met with Katie for coffee, and we had so much fun! I loved her sense of humor, and how passionate she is. So this morning, I downloaded the sample and figured I’d give it a try. Before even finishing the sample, I clicked the ‘buy book now’ button on my kindle, and voilà I had Untethered in its full glory just waiting to be read! And read, I did. Suddenly, the kids were home from school, and I had read a whole book in just a few hours. There is both teenage angst and humor, and the character development is fantastic! Sylvie’s epiphany is awesome when she realizes that her own life might not be as bad as she thought.
Sylvie is such a normal teenager, with her hangups about her friend being so much better than her, going as far as actually wanting Cassie’s life for her own. The insecurities of a late bloomer who is going through some difficult patches is easy to identify with as well. As Sylvie continues to astral-project, she is sometimes accompanied by shadows, and they whisper things to her in a language she can’t understand, until she suddenly does and makes a horrid decision in order to get the life she thinks she really wants, and deserves. Sylvie is also an artist, and in her art class she feels as close to normal as possible.
Through the intricacy of Untethered, the readers get to know Sylvie very well, but we also get to know Sam, Cassie, Kevin and Sylvie’s parents. The writing is really good! I loved the flow of the story, and I also enjoyed the research Sylvie did to persuade herself she wasn’t the psycho the mean-girls were telling her she was. Another thing I really liked in Untethered is that Sylvie’s parents were present. Very often in YA, parents are not around, or if they are, they are not paying any attention at all to their children. Even though Sylvie’s parents were separating, they were present for their children, and they actually had real conversations with them as well. Having the story be in 1st person present tense made a lot of sense, because it made it so that I felt what Sylvie was feeling exactly when she felt it. I also learned things at the same time as Sylvie, and I was just as confused by some things as she were. And with Sylvie being quite self-absorbed and very jealous, I was surprised to like her so much! Even if I didn’t necessarily agree with what she was doing, I understood where she was coming from. And I also knew how she had talked herself into thinking it wasn’t all that wrong…
As Untethered continues, the pace picks up more and more, as Sylvie really needs to find a solution to the sticky situation she finds herself in. And she also has to face both her jealousy and her guilt, while at the same time being honest and daring to ask for forgiveness. If you are looking for a YA story with an original plot, with paranormal elements that don’t fit the norm, Untethered is the book for you! I will definitely pick up another book written by Katie – this debut is really strong!
The thought of my Mom standing in front of the stove stirring something black and sticky brings a smile to my face. She thinks she’s a food alchemist. That she can carbonize dinner and still somehow turn it into something delectable. It never works, but she never gives up. It’s one thing I love about her.
“No buts. come on. You’ve got an interesting face. Great for sketching.” Interesting. A nice way of saying aesthetically challenged.
Dad, too, has his mouth full. Tomato sauce is smeared on his upper lip and he wipes it off with a napkin. “But I rented a Disney movie.” My eyes actually hurt I roll them so hard. “Then I’m definitely going to bed.”
I bask in the night air, taking in the way reality is amplified when I’m not in my body. The whole experience is like it used to be, when I was happy and didn’t encounter the shadows: it’s soothing and lovely.