I’m always looking for new YA books to read, but recently, everything I’ve found seems to about old plots spun in, well, uninteresting ways. That is, until a friend told me about Otherbound, the recently released, rollicking debut novel by Corinne Duyvis. The most interesting thing about Otherbound? The mysterious connection between Nolan and Amara.
Ever since he was very young, Nolan Santiago has been told he has a rare form of epilepsy—one that comes with both visual and auditory hallucinations. But he knows that’s not really the case. Each and every time he closes his eyes, whether it’s just blinking during the day or while sleeping, he sees through the eyes of a girl, Amara, who lives in a different world entirely. He can experience everything she experiences. At first, that seems like it could be fun: Amara is a mage who can heal all damage done to her own body, which is why she was chosen as a servant to guard and protect the outcast princess Cilla. However, Cilla has been cursed by rogue forces who don’t want her to return to her throne—if she spills even one drop of blood, the earth itself will reach out and kill her. Here’s where it sucks for Nolan: every time Cilla gets injured and Amara draws Cilla’s curse toward herself, every time the earth crushes Amara’s bones and forces the breath from her lungs, Nolan feels it. Amara isn’t aware of him, but Nolan feels the pain as if it’s happening to himself. And he can’t do a thing about it—until one day, he can.
Slight spoilers for Otherbound below.