Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan @NetGalley

Title: Gift

Author: Andrea J. Buchanan

Publication date: March 27th, 2012

ISBN:9781453219614

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Daisy has an electrifying secret that could save her life--or kill her.

High school sophomore Daisy Jones is just trying to get by unnoticed. It doesn't help that she's the new girl at school, lives in a trailer park, and doesn't even own a cell phone. But there's a good reason for all that: Daisy has a secret, unpredictable power--one only her best friend, Danielle, knows about. Despite her "gift" (or is it a curse?), Daisy's doing a good job of fitting in, and a gorgeous senior named Kevin even seems interested in her! But when Daisy tries to help Vivi, a mysterious classmate in a crisis, she soon discovers that her new friend has a secret of her own. Now Daisy and her friends must deal with chilling dreams and messages from the beyond. Can Daisy channel the power she's always tried to hide, before it's too late?

Extra features include:

- A short graphic novel telling Vivi's story.
- Danielle's journal, revealing her deepest thoughts.
- Lyrics and video links for Kevin's music (songs composed by Fredrik Larsson, otherwise known as YouTube sensation FreddeGredde)

Review:
I received an e-copy from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Another one of my NetGalley impulse reads. I had read a few reviews from other bloggers that I follow who were quasi-impressed with the book. I was curious whether this shortie (155 pages) would live up to the praises. I actually thought this was going to be more of a witchy-type of book instead of being about a ghost. When you think of gifts that is what you think of naturally, right? When I started to realize while reading that it wasn't what I thought, I had to completely go into it blind. I didn't reread the premise to refresh my memory on what it was about after my misunderstanding. I simply kept going to see how I would feel about it without any refresher course.

This story starts with Daisy finding Vivi in a bathroom after taking a fair amount of pills. She quickly finds out that Vivi was attempting to reconnect with her ghost boyfriend that she claims is her soulmate. Daisy, always the skeptic despite her own otherworldly attributes, doesn't quite believe Vivi but she is willing to listen anyway due to an overwhelming draw to her. She feels like Vivi and her are supposed to be friends and she wants to know why.

Not long after that, Daisy's best friend, Danielle, is dragged into things. Danielle and Daisy start sharing an interesting psychic connection that they never had experienced before. They chalk it up to the physical body challenged friend of Vivi's. Eventually their world just completely gets consumed by the paranormal to the point where they start having to delve into the past to understand their present. Along the way, Daisy inadvertently draws in the handsome, odd, senior Kevin. There are, quite literal, sparks from the moment they meet and she confides in him rather easily.

Now it is up to Vivi, Danielle, Daisy, and Kevin to figure out how to help Vivi's ghost friend, but what do they truly know about him and what is his connection to all of them?

This book kind of read like it would fit more into the middle grade genre than the young adult. Some of the situations seemed a bit more like a PBS special than anything. The overall theme of the book seemed more a lesson in "don't talk to strangers" than any real spooky ghost story. I did, however, like the back story of how the girls have been connected in the past. That was the book's saving grace as far as I was concerned. The rest of it was just... not there for me. The conversations between the characters were supposed to be funny but it was that comedy that, once again, younger individuals would relate to or find humorous. I just kept wincing and hoping they get past it fast to get back to the meat of the story. I had to muscle my way through the book because I really wanted to set it down and read something else for a while. I am never one to start something I don't plan to finish and so... I did finish... reluctantly.

Gift is a book that would appeal to the younger generation of the young adult genre.

Available at:
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