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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,426 ratings  ·  484 reviews
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. Eve
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Amulet Books
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  2,426 ratings  ·  484 reviews

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Wendy Darling
3.5 stars A lot of things to admire here--particularly a fantastic premise and a clear commitment to writing about characters that are not the usual white, straight, able-bodied, cookie cutter characters. Fantasy's combined well with more modern POV, and it's nice to have YA that doesn't cater to a typical relationship "norm," even within the heterosexual one depicted. And yet, for all that it's a perfectly well-executed story, is well-written, includes danger and intrigue, and has so many merit ...more
Oct 12, 2012 marked it as novels-i-wrote  ·  (Review from the author)
As Goodreads is a place for reviews, I want to use this space to share these four starred trade reviews:

“Rich worldbuilding, convincing nonheteronormative relationships, balanced class issues, and nuanced, ethnically diverse characters add to the novel’s depth. The well-paced action builds toward an unexpected, thrilling conclusion that will leave readers eager for more from this promising new author. Original and compelling; a stunning debut.—Kirkus Reviews

“Debut novelist Duyvis smoothly inte
Emily Anne
Sometimes a book just sneaks up quietly behind your back... and then slaps you. Hard. That basically sums up my reading experience with Otherbound. I had been intrigued by Otherbound for some time. So, when I had the chance to read and review the story for free, I gladly grabbed the chance!

However, I never expected to be so immersed in Nolan and Amara’s story. The writing and settings were exquisite. And, at the end of Otherbound, I felt as if I had lost a friend. This book will stick with me f
I think we’ve all seen those posts where some douchebro is like “not every thing needs a bisexual low-income mute woman of color who use sign language or a one-legged epileptic Latino guy”. Those examples are done in the spirit of spiteful condescension, like it would be TOTALLY RIDICULOUS to have a story like that. Which is why it gives me exceptional pleasure to say:

Go home boys, Corinne Duyvis has just pwned you all.

Otherbound is heart-pounding page-turner that sweeps you up in a thrill ride
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an ambitious story. Not only does Duyvis create a believable fantasy world (inspired in part by the Netherlands) with its own messy history, politics, cultures, geography, and rules, but she also grounds Nolan’s story in our own world, then successfully ties them both together. In some ways, Otherbound is a portal fantasy, but it’s a portal fantasy with a lot more challenges and complications.

For one thing, when Nolan’s mind is with Amara, his body remains here with no one at the helm. A
I struggled for a long time about how to rate this book and how to write this review, because here's the thing: Even though this book wasn't my favorite, reading this book and seeing things here and there on the internet has made me a huge fan of its author, Corinne Duyvis. And even though this was a "meh" book for me, there are several really awesome things about it that make me absolutely sure I'll be recommending it over and over in the coming years.

Otherbound has two protagonists, Nolan and
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars I believe. Otherbound is an outstanding YA fantasy novel with good world building, realistic characters and a fine ending. I also appreciate that the author included homosexual characters in her story and surprise, surprise! She also allows her male and female leads to NOT fall in love with each other.

The main characters in the book have been put into difficult situations and I like how they must face those situations in realistic ways--with no easy way out or shortcut, and I admire t
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Disability was really woven throughout the entire story here, and it was so interesting! A book unlike anything I've read before. ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An inventive and gripping debut! I was lucky enough to pick this up at ALA Midwinter and it was one of the first books I started reading. I was instantly intrigued by the concept of Nolan seeing another world whether he blinks.

One thing I feel Corinne did so well was conveying both the wonder AND the alienation and trauma of having an ability like this. In that, it brought to mind, of all things, The Time-Traveler's Wife. In the real world, everyone around Nolan thinks he's having seizures and h
If I were to write a wishlist for YA, this book would check so many boxes: queer characters, nonwhite characters, non-European fantasy settings, interestingly limited magic systems, multiple portrayals of disability, serious examination of the meaning of individual agency, and a smart reworking of older tropes.

And all of those aspects I loved! Nolan and Amara in particular were fascinating characters; Duyvis has clearly put a lot of thought into the way their life histories affect their perspec
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!! genre-saving ya fantasy!!! great premise, outstanding worldbuilding, lovely characters. corinne duyvis has a wonderful way of incorporating diversity in a way that doesnt seem awkward or token-y at all, but just natural, like real life. i liked this even more than her other book, on the edge of gone, and now i cant wait for her next one!

representation: one main character, nolan, is disabled (prosthetic foot and fantasy epilespy) and has indigenous mexican heritage (nahuatl)
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an interesting book - a quite unusual fantasy that I’m struggling to sum up quickly, but that was wonderfully written.
Sue (Hollywood News Source)

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

I wanted to rate this four stars, but the last thirty percent dragged. I couldn't bring myself to. Even though that is the case, Otherbound have a lot of selling points. I would still heartily recommend it to YA readers.

Compared to its peers, this book is distinctly progressive. The premise is quite unique. It reminds me of Sense8’s cluster, except they are only filled by two people.

Meet Nolan, the disabled, Latino main character who resides at the contemporary world.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya
Wow. Where to begin when discussing this book? It's part fantasy, part contemporary, and with the possession-of-other-people's-bodies element, I'd even say it could claim to be part horror. It's got real-feeling characters of many ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities/disabilities. It's got beautiful, evocatively descriptive passages as well as sections full of action and revelations that had me flipping pages with bated breath.

In short, this book has one of the more original and creat
Robin Herrera
This book was SUCH a joy to read. I loved all the way the characters were described, and the clothes, and the way this didn't feel like any other fantasy book I'd read. I also really loved the way a romance between two people of different statuses actually took into account how the status difference affected their relationship. (I'm a fan of "Unequal Pairings," as they're known by TV Tropes.)

The way it ended, too, made me really happy. I refuse to give anything away, but the way it was written,
✨    jamieson   ✨
overall the concept was soo interesting and I really liked how it manifested in the book. This is kinda like sense8 in a way? I also really enjoyed Nolans chapters, but I found Amara's not as strong. The worldbuilding was also not all there for me

Such promises. Such intriguing plot. Otherbound had everything I’d been looking for quite a long time.

Physically disabled leads (Goodness, I’m tired of perfection).

A lead of colour.


The book had what should have been an engrossing storyline. A disabled boy from Arizona, Nolan, had power to switch into the mind of a girl every time he blinked, Ammara, from the otherworld, tasked to protect the cursed princess she serves. At first Nolan could see through her eyes, then he learned to t
Kayla Whaley
I knew I was going to love this book (because, I mean, look at the summary--how could I not?), but I LOVED this book. LOVE. Hearts in my eyes forever love. The world, the characters, the relationships, the premise, the plot, the execution, the language, the everything were all excellent and endlessly fascinating. PLUS! DIVERSITY! People of color (as main characters), people with disabilities (as main characters), queer people (as main characters). WHAT?! So much love. So yeah. Loved. (Full discl ...more
Mary Summer
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OTHERBOUND twists a contemporary fantasy and a high fantasy into a thoroughly satisfying pretzel of awesome. What I like best is how unique the story is. The plot, the characters, and the setting are all unlike anything I've ever read before, and I've read a metric ton of fantasy. For one of those elements to be unique is impressive. For all three to be unique? That takes work, and vision, and talent. Corinne Duyvis clearly has these things in spades. ...more
129 pages in and I just can't do it anymore. It's really laggy and nothing really seems to be picking up for me. I really wanted to enjoy this one but alas NOPE. :( ...more
I'd actually started reading a different book, which I honestly liked. It had a cool setting and premise, but about 30 pages into it, I realized I'd have to deal with yet another predictable heterosexual romance. And I just didn't want to. At that point the girl the hero was clearly gonna fall in love with, hadn't even been introduced, but I knew it wouldn't be long. I could be mistaken, of course, maybe the romance will be great! But I couldn't handle it.

So I picked this up instead. And god, a
Elle (ellexamines)
3.5 stars. This book has a great concept and interesting characters, but somehow it didn't grab me as much as I'd hoped.

Basic rundown of the concept: Whenever Nolan closes his eyes, he sees all events from Amara’s point of view. Amara lives in a different world, where she's a slave to lost princess Cilla. Cilla suffers under a curse, and Amara is forced to take Cilla's pain onto herself whenever Cilla bleeds. Which is a lot. This relationship between Nolan and Amara has been going on for years
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OTHERBOUND is a fantastic YA debut by Corinne Duyvis. I’d already wanted to read it when I first heard the blurb–about a boy transported into the mind of a girl living in a different world–but I never thought I’d be so lucky as to get my hands on an ARC. Everything about this book was done amazingly well. I was immediately drawn in to Nolan’s Earth-based life and his urgent struggles to appear “normal” in spite of his apparent seizures, a consuming side-effect of his travels. Likewise, Amara’s w ...more
Rachael Allen
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Corinne Duyvis is phenomenally creative, and I want to steal her brain. Or, you know, just borrow it for a day when I'm plotting my next book. I loved the idea of Nolan's traveling to another world taking the form of epilepsy. I loved how the story alternated between Nolan in our world and Amara in the other world (the way Duyvis did this in the text is particularly clever!). And the world - so well done. I loved Cilla, Amara, Maart, and Jorn (well, I hated Jorn, but you know what I mean). The c ...more
Oct 12, 2012 added it
I loved every single thing about this book. The characters are fascinating and complex and their growth and change is PHENOMENAL. The plot is twisty and thrilling and compelling. The world building is amazing and rich, and I want at least five more books set in the Dunelands.

Read this book at your earliest convenience. You will not regret it.

More detailed review to come if I ever manage to pull my thoughts together. Or I'll edit this with a longer version of OMG THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD.
Kristen Lippert-Martin
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You will not want for world-building in this amazing, unique, genre-blending tale! I mean, if you're going to genre-blend and challenge reader assumptions, you'd better make sure you get both genres you're bending exactly right and make sure those assumptions you're challenging are conveyed in a spot-on voice. There is not a feeling/portrayal/word in this book that doesn't ring true. A deeply emotional, thrilling, beautifully written, and utterly believable (especially the fantasy!) novel. ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is unlike anything I've ever read. It blew me away. It's wildly creative and set in one of the most richly imagined worlds I've ever encountered. Seriously, the world building in this book is just mind-blowing. Without giving anything away, I'll just say that this book is dark and twisty, and I recommend it to anyone. ...more
Amy Parker
This book blew me away. The characters were wholly real and so well constructed. The plot had me gasping in parts. A fantasy that will appeal to readers of tons of other genres. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Otherbound was a hard book to rate. There's a lot of stuff that I loved and that it does really well, but then there's some other stuff that left me confused and needing more. When it starts, we're with Nolan as he attempts to buy more notebooks. He writes down everything he sees when his eyes are closed, which is everything that Amara is seeing, hearing, and thinking. He has no clue who Amara is, but he's been in her head for a long time, and she shows no signs of being aware of him. But then s ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything like this before... It was absolutely amazing. I'm so thankful that I got sent this for review out of the blue by Amulet; I am forever grateful! I will have my full review up soon, because right now I don't know how I can put how I feel about this book into words.

Updated June 2, 2014

Thank you to Abrams for sending me a copy to read in exchange for an honest review!

Otherbound was such a unique book. One of the greatest things about it is that it is told in two, entirel
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Amanda Sanders - Book Review 4 1 2 Jun 18, 2018 08:02PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis → Start Date: July 15th, 2014 11 17 Jul 19, 2014 07:57PM  
A for author 1 10 Jun 11, 2014 06:51PM  

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Corinne Duyvis is the critically acclaimed author of the YA sci-fi/fantasy novels Otherbound, which Kirkus called “a stunning debut;” On the Edge of Gone, which Publishers Weekly called “a riveting apocalyptic thriller with substantial depth;” and The Art of Saving the World, which K

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“That would make it easy for Amara. Not having a choice was always easy. It was always safer. However bad things were, you kept your head down and did as you were told in order to avoid worse.

The world always wanted people like her to believe those lies.

You were never safe as long as you were at someone else’s whim.

Amara’s eyes met Cilla’s, dark and beaten and haunted.

Not having a choice was the worst thing in the world.

Amara pushed the knife down. Nolan didn’t stop her. And in that moment, with her enemy’s knife in her own hand, a point pressing on Cilla’s arm, Cilla’s skin familiar against hers, relief sneaked up on her and refused to let go. Because what she’d told Cilla wasn’t true. It wasn’t that she couldn’t go back to her old life; she could. If she went back, she’d hate herself, but it meant survival. It might be worth it or it might not be, and she’d never have to find out because it would never happen. She wasn’t going back.

It wasn’t because of what Maart wanted, or because of what Cilla asked, or because of what Jorn said. She’d made the choice. It was hers alone. This or nothing.

Blood welled up from Cilla’s arm. Amara let the knife clatter to the ground. She reached for the cut. She was almost smiling now, a desperate smile that had her lips trembling, that came with tears burning her eyes.

This or nothing.”
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