BOOK REVIEW: Untethered by Katie Hayoz

Title: Untethered

Author: Katie Hayoz

Publisher: Katie Hayoz

Publication Date: April 03, 2013

Format: ebook

Number of Pages: 352

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


yg - Copy

“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.”


“I love the library: the hushed voices, the smell of books, even the way the wrinkled old ladies behind the desk look at you like you’re up to no good.”


That moment when you literally left your body behind

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Sylvie Sydell is suddenly, uncontrollably, and unpredictably slipping out of her body.


Sylvie’s best friend for already 11 years Cassie is now popular. Cassie changed for the better (or not?). After 11 years of being best friends and sticking with each other, Sylvie remains as the weird and awkward “psycho skinny Sylvie Sydell” while Cassie became popular, friendly and more beautiful. And she is now dating the ultimate love of Sylvie’s life Kevin.


Sylvie’s parents are separating. Sylvie blames herself for what is happening to her family. She thinks that if maybe she’s not weird, or if she doesn’t even exist at all, maybe her parents will still try. Maybe her younger brother Sam will still have a complete family. Maybe her parents are still together.


Sylvie loves art. She is an artist but also a total “loser” – if that’s what you called people who almost have no one in school but except for one or two. She has this incredible talent of identifying different shades of colors such as Ivory Black, Red Ochre, Burnt Sienna and more (which I find really cool). People think she is a “psycho” because of her sudden faints in fact Thori Thompson is calling her the “psycho skinny Sylvie Sydell”. She tips over her toes, then she’ll faint.  She got hurt, then she’ll faint. She’s eating, then she’ll faint. She feels angry, then she’ll faint. Name it. All through these years, people have always believed that she’s just passing out, what they don’t know is she’s already slipping out of her body; suddenly, uncontrollably, and unpredictably.


Untethered talks about typical teenagers’ life that no one can ever truly understand except the teenagers of this generation ourselves, best friends growing up, families falling apart, love triangles, and obsession.


First of all, I hate how so in love – or should I say obsessed – Sylvie is towards this Kevin. She’s so obsessed with him to the point that she is willing to give up everything just to have him. The reason why Sylvie is so in love with this Kevin is so typical, totally cliché. Kevin saved Sylvie from some bullies on 6th grade. And because of that, the young Sylvie Sydell thought he was a hero and that’s it! 6 years passed and she still can’t get over it. Worse, she’s becoming more “in love” with this guy as the time goes by, even if he definitely doesn’t like her.


The story will open our eyes to the subject of astral projection. First things first, I have read books about OBE (out of body experience) but never heard of astral projection. Reading the blurb, I thought that this will be just another typical book about a soul being out of its body – one book that has the same concept is <i>Every Day by David Levithan</i> – but I was wrong. Astral projection is very different from that. And it’s not entirely safe – for your body and for your soul.


Although I’m already used to this kind of story – love triangles, besties’ quarrel, and out of body experiences or OBE – I still find this book gripping, intriguing, and worth reading. It’s the kind of book I am looking for. It’s the kind of book that has the power to get me out of a reading slump. I can actually finish it within a day if it wasn’t for the school stuffs, because it is just really a page-turner.


Every single page since the very beginning contains too much emotions. That’s the reason why I couldn’t even stop reading it. Every words used, are perfect. The only thing that I didn’t liked are the emotions the main character has. She’s too jealous, insecure, self-loathing, desperate. At first, I am really glad at how the emotions in this book can consume me, but as the time goes by I got pretty exhausted. Reading this eventually became very exhausting. I got exhausted on how insecure, jealous, selfish, envious and self-loathing Sylvie is to the point that I almost don not want to finish it. I got her point. I understand her but still, things could have been better if she did not let things happened, if she did not made things happened and if she did not let these emotions control her.


I love Sylvie’s character. Although she became a little bit frustrating and her thoughts became depressing, I still find her character so likeable. There’s something unique with this female main character that will make you love her even though she is really annoying and frustrating at some times. As a reader who knows what the heroine will do is already wrong and you can’t even yell at her saying “SYLVIE DON’T DO THAT. SYLVIE DON’T DO THIS.”, reading her journey of diving into so many troubles in her life that she created is still a very engaging and entertaining journey. You will see her learn and that’s one of the reasons why you should read this. It will make you smirk thinking “I TOLD YOU”. It will also make you smile, laugh, roll your eyes, frown, blame her, and want to hug her.


The writing is very good. It’s the kind of writing that makes me crave for more, need more. From the relatable characters, the issues being tackled, the convincing plot, infuriating, annoying but still lovable main character and the narration, everything went perfectly altogether.


Lessons from Untethered?


  • People change. No matter how you don’t want them to, even if you stop them, people will still change. And so are you.


  • Chapter 28 “Watch What You Wish For (Because you’ll get something else altogether)”


  • Telling the truth, because “the truth will set you free.”


  • Accepting reality.


  • Love yourself. Embrace your flaws. Just love who you are. No matter how ugly you feel, you don’t have any idea how someone out there sees you so beautifully like you are such a precious gem. There’s always someone out there, waiting for you to notice.


  • Be contented. It may feel like things around you are not a loss, and that you don’t really want and need them in your life, but once you lost them, you’ll see and realize how grateful you should be.


  • Judging people will lead you nowhere.


  • We often think that we already know a person, what we don’t know is what we’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. We need to dive deeper to truly and deeply know a person.


This book has a very nice trick. I didn’t saw it coming. I love the twist. It’s shocking.




I’m giving a 5/5 stars for Untethered. A gripping, full of drama and slightly depressing read that talks about some teenager’s issues. I recommend this to everyone but most importantly to teenagers. Surely most of you will relate BUT just a little reminder, you might not be able to take the emotions of Sylvie. But why not give Sylvie Sydell a chance?



“Blood sisters, blood sisters as long as we live. Always together, we always forgive.”



Disclaimer: Thank you Xpresso Book Tours for providing me a copy in exchange of an honest book review.







5 of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

khi7032949Katie 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.

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Thank you!

-Karina 😊

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