Monday, September 22, 2014

Review of Untethered by Katie Hayoz


*As spoiler-free as possible*

Phenomenal story with a build up that leaves you hanging on every single word. This book intrigued me beyond belief.

Characters: All are wonderful, real characters you can relate with in many ways. Sylvie. Oh, where to begin! I just wanted to jump in the book and give her a big hug. She really has some of the worst luck—everything from ill-timed allergic reactions to being the odd girl who ‘faints’ at random. It’s like life just keeps slapping her in the face left and right. You just want something to go right for her—something, anything! On top of it all, her best friend, Cassie, has blossomed into a real beauty, leaving Sylvie feeling terribly insecure. And if you’re not like Cassie, high school can be a nightmare that stays with you pretty much the rest of your life. What I dearly loved was watching Sylvie’s progression from an insecure teenager into someone who finally accepts herself for who she is—someone who is far more beautiful than she gives herself credit for. And, boy, does Sylvie learn some valuable lessons in rather shocking ways along this journey of self-acceptance! As for Cassie…ugh…I was so torn! See, Cassie develops a strong connection with the guy who Sylvie’s been in love with for years. Right off the bat, I’m like, ‘Cassie, there is such a thing as the BFF code! You just don’t go there!’ But here’s the thing: There’s more to Cassie than meets the eye. Kevin—Sylvie’s crush who is now pursuing her bestie, Cassie—has those popular guy good looks. Unfortunately, Kevin has some less than desirable friends…and one in particular makes you question whether Kevin is really a good guy or not. I didn’t know what to make of Kevin until the very end. Then there’s Nelson. Yeah, we love Nelson. Oh, he is such a sweetheart! Nelson is the invisible guy who simply wants to be visible…to one girl in particular.

World & Story: Katie does a masterful job of tugging on every little bit of your heart. The school life is detailed so beautifully that I probably could’ve had a panic attack thinking about my own high school experience. Every dirty look, cruel name, embarrassing moment—it was so very real. However, my favorite parts were the astral trips—they were intense, vivid, and exciting. Seriously, it was the next best thing to flying on a broom, Harry Potter style.

Overall: Gritty, raw, real, true to high school life—true to the core of what it means to learn and accept who you are in this world. Another phenomenal treat for the reader: when you really let yourself sink into the story, it’s almost as if the reader has accomplished Astral Projection. We hover over Sylvie, Cassie, Kevin, and Nelson; we wave our arms and try to help them, only they can’t hear or see us. It’s a neat little twist for the reader. Katie has written a truly unforgettable story of self-acceptance, self-worth, and finding the strength to embrace all that you are.

Rating (yeah, I’m holiday-obsessed, so I rate by snowmen. I’m also a giant dork):

5 Magical Snowmen

Project on over to Amazon to pick up a copy of Untethered!

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