Author: Corinne Duyvis
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: .5
Goodreads Rating: 3.93
Published: June 17th, 2014
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.
Weird and exhilarating. Otherbound reminded me a bit of Tandem by Anna Jarzab while still being completely original. I liked the idea of being able to travel between blinks to other worlds, kind of like a movie playing inside your eye lids which never ends and which is very damn real. I loved how special the story ends up being, as well as how unique the characters are. It also reminded me of Vampire Academy in the way Nolan is always inside Amara's head, seeing through her eyes. Though Nolan is certainly capable of doing way more things (and feel more things) than Rose Hathaway ever was.
Amara is a lowly servant girl. Her task if to protect the princess everybody thinks is dead. When the mages orchestrated a coup and took over Amara's world they killed her entire family. The princess manages to escape but is then cursed, and every time even a single drop of her blood touches the air the whole world comes apart at the seams and tries to kill her. Amara is there every time to protect her and take the princess' pain as her own, so is Nolan. Amara has the power to instantly heal which is why she is perfect for the job, Nolan is just in for the ride. The kicker? Nolan cannot control his being in Amara's life, so every time Amara gets drowned or chocked to death or anything physical happens to her Nolan feels her pain. Which is why he is diagnosed with epilepsy, because he just goes into these fits every time Amara is in pain. His life has never been normal and it is Amara's fault. Not that she knows this because she doesn't even know Nolan exists.
This whole set up with Nolan and Amara is as uncomfortable as it sounds. And I love how the author just goes there. Nolan has never had sex, and yet he has experienced it enough times though Amara. Amara doesn't even know Nolan is in her head for almost halfway through the book... awkward. Nolan in the other hand both hates and cares deeply for Amara. Because of his blinking out every other second he lost his leg, and can never live a healthy normal life. He has a very short attention span, can barely do his homework, not to mention maintain a normal conversation. His love for Amara's world also keeps him from being very interested in his own... specially when he starts to be able to control Amara.
While Nolan seems to be having the short end of the stick, his plight is nothing compared with the things Amara has to put up with. She is not to think for herself, she is not to learn how to read, or even to talk. They cut off her tongue to make sure of the last one (this happened before she got her healing power so she couldn't regrow her tongue). She spend her whole life protecting someone who she doesn't even know if she loves or hates, getting killed continually. She is a servant, as she is very aware. Her life pretty much sucks in every possible way. Soon enough it gets worse however.
As many others have pointed out this is a novel that deals with diversity in all it's shapes and forms, but it is also a novel that doesn't make these issues its whole point of being. It is something that is just normal to these characters which is refreshing. I was in it for the fantastic world and interesting characters. The only thing the novel lacked was a funny bone. It did not have any smart talk, or lines where you just laughed your ass off. Maybe it takes itself a bit too seriously. Or maybe writing funny scenes isn't in the author's repertoire. Not that it truly matters because the book still stands on it's own but I personally like a smart ass character here and there.
The ending was intense. I felt like this book could potentially be extended. It could totally have a sequel with the ways things were left. Really, nothing is keeping the bad guys from coming back... Just a thought. It is certainly a novel that was worth the wait.