Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Review of Other Bound by Corinne Duyvis

This book is amazingly unique, with complex characters, a balance between our modern world and an original fantasy world, and a very interesting conflict between the two. I’ve never read anything quite like Other Bound! 

16081758

Series: None!

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary, GLBT

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4.5 stars

Description:

Amara is never alone. Not when she’s protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they’re fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she’s punished, ordered around, or neglected.
She can’t be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes.
Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every time he blinks, he’s yanked from his Arizona town into Amara’s mind, a world away, which makes even simple things like hobbies and homework impossible. He’s spent years as a powerless observer of Amara’s life. Amara has no idea . . . until he learns to control her, and they communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious.
All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan’s breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they’ll have to work together to survive–and discover the truth about their connection.

Review:

This book is amazingly unique, with complex characters, a balance between our modern world and an original fantasy world, and a very interesting conflict between the two. I’ve never read anything quite like Other Bound!

A few months ago, my school librarian Peter approached me with a stack of new books that were extras, letting me pick one to add to my own library collection. Looking through the stack, I was drawn to Other Bound, since the main character’s name was Nolan, which is the unusual name of my one first cousin, and even more because the dedication was written in Dutch (which I understand fluently)! However, it took me a minute to actually read what the title said, which didn’t seem like the best graphic design decision. I’m still not entirely sure if the book is called Otherbound or Other Bound.

Despite an off-putting cover, the first few pages lead to a plot that picks up very quickly, with an introduction to the two main characters and their different situations in life. While at first the relationship Nolan and Amara share is slightly confusing, and Amara’s world is never really fully explained (world building is one thing I would have liked more of in this book), the reader gets used to it pretty quickly and slowly details are revealed.

One thing I didn’t love about the plot was that it remained very similar throughout, without very many “low” points. While this may seem good, since most of the story had a lot of action, suspense, or intrigue, some dips and changes are necessary for the flow of a book. This also made the ending, which involved a fantastic fight scene with magic and possession, seem a little less spectacular, since most of the book before that had also involved the same level of drama and suspense.

I loved the characters in this book. They were all very fascinating, unique characters to typical YA books, with wide range of diversity within the book, but certainly compared to others. Characters in Other Bound are bilingual, Hispanic, disabled in various ways, bisexual, and mute. While this alone is impressive, I specifically loved how all these rare character traits were in a fantasy novel that wasn’t focused on Amara’s bisexual romance or Nolan’s disability. Unlike books like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which take place in modern times and focus specifically on a disability or sexual preference, Other Bound is more like Dangerous by Shannon Hale, or Eon by Allison Goodman, in the sense that it is solely a fantasy book, but the characters are also LGBT or disabled.

Other Bound was a very enjoyable book that I am proud to have as a part of my personal library collection. I am happy it is a standalone, but On the Edge of Gone, another fantasy-disabled book (plus it takes place in the Netherlands!) publishing in 2016, is already on my to-read list.

This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge (In the category of “A Book With An Incredible Fight Scene”). 

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2 comments on “Gwen’s Review of Other Bound by Corinne Duyvis

  1. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge: BINGO!! (#1) | Gwen & Kate's Library

  2. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge FINALE!! | Gwen & Kate's Library

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2015 by in Author: Gwen, Review, School YA Bingo Challenge, Young Adult and tagged , .
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