Five Star Review: Untethered by Katie Hayoz + Giveaway

Untethered by Katie Hayoz

by Katie Hayoz
Genre: YA Paranormal
Paperback, 340 pages
Expected Publication: May 1st 2013
Source: ARC received from author
in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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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.

My Thoughts

Let me just start by saying that Untethered really took me by surprise. I was interested in reading it, sure, but I had no idea what kind of greatness I was in for. I am still blown away by the extent to which I LOVED this book! It is pure awesomeness. Period.

I’m not sure which moral I would apply to this story: be careful what you wish for, or you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s actually a perfect blend of both, wrapped up in a superbly written paranormal twist. When I first started reading, throughout the first several chapters or so, I thought, “OK, this is a good book,” but there wasn’t any real WOW factor yet. But once this story ramped up there was no stopping it! I stayed up until four in the morning to finish it. It was so awesome, I didn’t even regret losing sleep. After three hours of blissful slumber, I grabbed myself two X-large coffees from Timmy Ho’s and kept moving right along. This has been the best book hangover ever. I didn’t even have the desire to start another book. I wasn’t ready to swim out of the Untethered world and dive into something else just yet.

Sylvie Sydell is your typical [paranormal tendency-sporting] awkward teenager with only one friend to her name — her neighbor and childhood friend, Cassie. Sylvie spends her days being tortured by the cool kids in school, and drooling over the boy she’s loved since he stuck up for her in fifth grade, Kevin Phillips. Unfortunately Kevin is one of the cool kids now and rarely looks in Sylvie’s direction. Between that horrific adolescent tragedy, and the fact that her parents have split up, which she thinks is her fault, Sylvie thinks her life sucks and would rather be anywhere, or anyone, else. As if that isn’t enough, Sylvie’s emotions are thrown into overdrive when her best friend, Cassie, blossoms into a beautiful girl over the summer and Kevin, the boy that Sylvie would do anything to be with, starts falling for her. Even Sylvie’s little brother, Sam — a freshman at their high school who is small and dorky — becomes popular in the “cool kids” circle. What other choice does Sylvie have but to go off the deep end?

She commandeers every weapon at the local K-mart and just starts hacking people up. It’s a bloody mess! They turn into zombies… No, I’m kidding! There are no zombies in this book. I don’t even recall there being a K-mart. But the plan she comes up with in order to gain control of her life will blow your freaking mind. Sylvie’s paranormal ability, added to her jealous rage and insecurity, makes her dangerous to everyone, including herself.

I read a lot of books that focus on badass heroines, so in the beginning of the book I remember thinking, “Jeez, this girl is so pathetic, and she’s doing it all wrong! Everything. She’s failing miserably at the game of life.” Sylvie had Nelson, a sweet blue-haired guy with black painted fingernails fawning all over her in Art class, but she was so obsessed with Kevin she couldn’t see it. I wanted to strangle her. I lost track of how many times I shouted at her during the course of this story. Her character development was incredible though. I quickly grew to love her, and was rooting her on as she made her transition to “the other side.” What that means, well… you’ll have to read it to find out. There are many sides to Sylvie Sydell and in the end I enjoyed every one of them.

Untethered is a book for everyone. This is a true YA novel that I will let my young teen read. It’s a coming of age story in a way I’ve never experienced before. It’s a no-brainer to give this book a five star rating. Katie Hayoz has made my list of favorite authors!

About the Author

Katie Hayoz

Katie grew up in Racine, Wisconsin where she acquired an irreversible nasal twang and an addiction for books with a slightly dark edge. She now lives in Geneva, Switzerland with her husband, two daughters, and a very fuzzy cat. She has been an avid reader of YA fiction for years. While she has a penchant for the paranormal, she devours a range of books — along with popcorn and black licorice. She consumes all three in large quantities. Luckily, the books don’t stay on her hips.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Time!

* This giveaway is for one copy of Untethered by Katie Hayoz (3 winners)

* This contest is open internationally

* Winners will be notified by mail after the contest ends & will have 48 hours to claim their prize

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.