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)
|Publisher:||Open Road Integrated Media LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Andrea J. Buchanan is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book is the multimedia young adult novel Gift , published by Open Road Integrated Media. Her other work includes the internationally bestselling The Daring Book for Girls and seven other books. Before becoming a writer, Andi trained as a pianist, earning a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.
Visit her at www.andibuchanan.com and www.openroadmedia.com.
Read an Excerpt
By Andrea J. Buchanan
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2012 Andrea J. Buchanan
All rights reserved.
I found her in the bathroom of the 300 building. Slumped in the corner, pressed up against her own reflection in the mirrored wall, she could have been crying, or sleeping, or ignoring me. But I knew as soon as I saw her that something was seriously wrong.
'Vivi?' I knelt down next to her. I wanted to be reassuring or helpful but, truth be told, I didn't know her all that well. I didn't know why Mr. Terry had asked me to go find her. We didn't even sit next to each other in class, let alone hang out together. I could tell he'd been able to read the confusion on my face when he asked me to check up on her and find out what was taking so long. He'd handed me the long wooden block, smoothed and shaped and branded with the words HALL PASS by some other student years ago, back when the school still had a shop and woodworking course, and said, 'Just go check it out. You're the only one I trust to actually come back to class.' With a smile, as though we had some sort of understanding.
I understood nothing about Vivi, only that she sat in English class furiously drawing in a notebook and occasionally talking to herself. But she's the kind of girl that nobody notices unless they actually look at her closely, so her strangeness was unremarkable. She was simply lost among all the personalities in the room. Cheerleaders, student government leaders, goths, mathletes. And the other people, like me, who didn't seem to fit into any category. I suppose in this sense Mr. Terry was right; Vivi and I were of a sort, and maybe we should be friends. But she was intense. From the first day of my first year at Castle Creek High this past fall, I had been a little wary of her.
I'd checked the bathroom nearest English, but it was empty. In the 200 block, it was the smoky den of black-eyelinered, green-haired ditchers, seniors who laughed at my prissy sophomore cough upon entering, and at my hasty retreat.
I was going to go all the way up to the main buildings, where the faculty bathrooms are, but I decided to check into 300 before I went that far.
And there she was, on the floor. As oblivious to me as she was to everyone in class, where she would sit, head down, pen moving, until the bell rang.
'Vivi? Are you all right? Mr. Terry sent me to get you.'
She raised her head and it lolled back as though she were drunk, or a baby. Her eyes, when she opened them, were frighteningly blank-looking and filled with tears.
'He's not here,' she whispered.
'No—Mr. Terry isn't—'
'He's gone,' she said, and broke into a sob. Her right hand unclenched and a bottle of Advil PM rolled onto the floor. It sounded empty.
'Vivi, oh my God—' I grabbed her shoulders, shaking her a little as her eyes closed and her head rolled from side to side. I felt my own eyes flood, and my body prickled with adrenaline, the rush of not knowing what to do but having to do it anyway. 'How many of these did you take?'
'You don't understand,' she sobbed. 'It's the only way we can be together. I just have to sleep, and then—'
She stopped suddenly, focusing her heavy-lidded eyes on a space above my head.
'Patrick. You came back.'
A smile briefly transformed her face as she closed her eyes and slumped to the floor.CHAPTER 2
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'
We sat in English class, everyone trying to ignore the poem Mr. Terry had up on the board.
'So, 'Ozymandias.' Crumbled statue in the desert. Anyone care to interpret this for me? Explain it to me like I'm five? Don't all jump in at once,' Mr. Terry said to the utterly silent class.
There were no takers.
'Scott? Angela? Daisy?' Mr. Terry tried to make eye contact with me, but I pretended not to notice, suddenly very interested in the blank piece of paper on my desk. I had come to learn, after a few cluelessly enthusiastic responses in class, that answering Mr. Terry's questions impressed him but did nothing to increase my popularity among my classmates. I tried to sink lower into my desk, willing myself to be absorbed into the plastic, and turn completely invisible. I looked across the room where Vivi sat, as usual, her head down, her hand moving as her pen flew across the page, writing something unknowable.
'Vivi Reyes,' Mr. Terry said, like a command. 'We haven't heard from you in a while.'
The tension in the room spiked. Everyone could feel how audacious this was, to call on the girl who had tried to kill herself.
It was two weeks to the day since Mr. Terry had sent me to find her. Two weeks since I'd struggled with her and the empty pill bottle and the smooth wooden hall pass to get her to the nurse's office, and sat with her while she slept. The nurse had let me stay for a little while, but then she'd said I should go back to class, because she was having Vivi taken to the ER just to be on the safe side, because who knew how many pills Vivi had actually taken. I'd told her what Vivi had said, that she'd just wanted to sleep, but the nurse said better safe than sorry, and I knew it was going to be bad, because Vivi would have to have her stomach pumped. I squeezed her hand before I left. It was cold and limp. She didn't squeeze me back.
That day, after being ejected by the nurse, and realizing I'd missed all of History, I'd made my way to Chemistry, where Mrs. Crohn gave me a sour face and a late mark despite the note from the nurse explaining my tardiness.
The other kids in Chem who had observed the whole thing unfolding in English eyed me as though they were seeing me for the first time. What's up? Where's Vivi? Is it true she tried to kill herself? I thought about Vivi waking up in the hospital. Would she remember that I'd found her? Would she remember what she'd said to me? I felt oddly protective of her and whatever she was experiencing, and the sudden curiosity from my classmates felt opportunistic and wrong. I shook my head in the general direction of all the whispers as Mrs. Crohn ahem-ed everyone into silence and announced, 'Electron configurations, people!'
As I opened my book to the right section, a note slid onto my desk, pushing into my elbow from the desk behind me. The note had been folded our special way, so I knew it was from Danielle. I opened it up as stealthily as I could under Mrs. Crohn's all-seeing gaze and saw that it contained only two words: What, in block letters with 3D shading, and happened, in floating bubbles. I thought about how Vivi had looked up above me before she closed her eyes, as though she were willing herself to float away. I wrote back 'Tell you later' in my regular old handwriting and folded the paper in half, not even fancy note-passing style, pushing it back to Danielle's desk while Mrs. Crohn faced the board.
'I'm just saying,' Danielle said at lunch that day after I'd finished recounting what happened, 'it doesn't surprise me. I mean, it surprises me, but it doesn't surprise surprise me. I mean, she's kind of ... intense, right?'
'Yeah,' I'd said. I'd been trying to remember what I'd noticed about Vivi in class before our episode in the bathroom. 'And really good at drawing and stuff. And scary smart.'
'Well, duh, she's in all the honors classes,' Danielle said. 'But ... wow. I didn't even realize she had a boyfriend, let alone a whole dramatic breakup storyline going on. That's wild. But I still have one question.'
'What?' I'd asked, hoping Danielle had some insight. I'd been turning the event over and over in my mind, trying to figure it out. When I'd returned the hall pass after Chemistry, Mr. Terry had joked, I gave you a hall pass, not a get-your-friends-out-of-school pass before turning solemn and saying, I appreciate your helping Vivi today. I hadn't realized the situation was quite so serious. I didn't know how to talk to Mr. Terry when he wasn't joking, and my stomach felt suddenly twisted up inside, so I'd just nodded and then left before he could say anything else. But I couldn't stop wondering: Why had Mr. Terry sent me, of all people, to go after Vivi? Why had Vivi allowed me, of all people, to see even the tiniest piece of her sad story?
Did they both somehow know?
Danielle laughed. 'Who is this Patrick dude? I mean, seriously, he has got to be pret-ty hot to make a girl want to kill herself. And I haven't seen anyone that hot around here.' When Danielle laughs, her whole body laughs. She's tall, and her blond curls frizz out around her, and her arms and legs are long and awkward, and when she laughs they move around as though she has no control over them.
'Ha ha, very funny,' I'd said, but she was already scanning the lunchroom, looking for potential suicide-inducing hot guys, and I was pretty sure she wasn't listening.
When Vivi returned to school the Monday after I'd found her in the bathroom, I'd sought her out by the lockers before first period. She seemed suddenly fragile to me, and I resisted the impulse to stand in front of her like a human shield against the loud and indifferent locker traffic.
But before I could even ask how she was, she looked me straight in the eye, her face tense, her own almond-shaped eyes focused with an eerie intensity, and said, 'Let's not talk about it, okay?'
'I just wanted to make sure you were all right.'
'I am.' As breakable as she seemed, in some ways she struck me as being so much more mature than the rest of us. She dressed like she was going to a job interview, or had recently escaped from Catholic school, with carefully pleated skirts and crisp shirts that had buttons instead of cartoons or semi-ironic pop-culture references like the rest of us. Her dark-brown hair was always shiny, her skin unblemished; she had a purposeful gravity when she walked that seemed unnatural for someone who wasn't yet a grown-up. She seemed like the kind of person Mr. Terry called an old soul. Even though I was shorter than her, I felt lumbering and awkward in her presence. Fundamentally not cool.
'Okay,' I'd said.
'Okay,' she'd replied. And then she'd closed her locker and turned away, leaving for class without waiting for me.
I'd stood there for a few moments, buffeted by the waves of students heading to class, when suddenly she whirled around to face me again, her brown eyes trained on me with their vulnerable kind of intensity.
'We do have a connection, you know.' People streamed around her, but she was oblivious. I felt uncomfortable for her all of a sudden, so intense and so sure of herself that she didn't notice or adhere to regular-life rules about fashion or blurting out weird things like that. And yet I also felt envious: She was so directed, so focused, none of the stupid high-school stuff seemed to matter. She just stood there, in the middle of the hallway, looking calm, if slightly crazy, while everyone edged around her, backpacks nicking her as they pushed past.
'We are supposed to be connected in this life. But I don't know when and I don't know why, and Patrick said it's not quite time. So let's not make it complicated.'
'Um ... 'Patrick said?" I'd asked. 'Who's Patrick?'
'Yes,' she'd said, ignoring my question and cocking her head as if she were listening to something over the PA system. Then she looked at me again. 'So. Thank you for the other day. But let's not talk about it until it's time.'
And then she'd walked away, without me.
And she hadn't talked to me since.
She walked past me in the halls like I was a stranger—like all of us were strangers. And even though the rumors about what had happened had already begun to spread, giving her a kind of perverse celebrity, she didn't seem to notice. Not like she was ignoring us, or like she was the queen of everything, but as if we literally weren't there.As if she could see right through us. She smiled as though she had a secret the rest of us didn't, something that made her calm, able to ignore the whispers and speculation swirling around her as she walked the school halls.
Danielle couldn't understand why it bothered me. 'Let it go,' she'd said. 'So what? A weird thing happened and she doesn't want to talk about it. I probably wouldn't want to, either. What's the big deal? I know you're, like, special and all, but are you also now her guardian for life or something?'
I couldn't explain it to Danielle, or even to myself, really, but it just felt important.Something had happened when I'd found Vivi, and like it or not, we were, as she said, connected.
'Vivian?' Mr. Terry repeated, pulling me out of my reverie.
I felt connected to her now, as all eyes in the room looked to her, waiting to hear what the girl who had tried to kill herself might have to say.
She looked the way she always did: ethereal, fragile, haunted. I realized as I felt the suspense build that I didn't know if she could answer, if she could take the stress of answering. I almost butted in to save her, but she suddenly looked at me—almost as if she understood my impulse—and then she spoke.
'It's like the poem is about the remnants of something that used to be,' she said.
Mr. Terry nodded. 'Go on?'
'It's like,' she paused. 'Sometimes something monumental happens and it feels monumental to everyone. But sometimes a monumental thing only feels that big to the people experiencing it.'
As she spoke, I heard her voice crack with emotion. My heart started to race as I worried for her. Even from my seat I could see her eyes shining bright with tears she struggled to keep from spilling down her face. I had a feeling she wasn't just talking about the poem. She was talking about what had happened to her. About Patrick.
'And then it's nothing, it's just wreckage, just a broken statue in the desert.'
She looked angry now, and her face was flushed, like she was trying very hard to do something. Everyone seemed surprised by her sudden passion. Had she ever spoken this much in class before, about anything? I shivered; suddenly I was very cold, the air-conditioning in the room raising goose bumps on my forearms.
'But when it's all you have, does it matter?' she continued, agitated, her hands moving as she talked. 'Does it matter that it's just a shell of its former glory? At least it's something, it's a message, it's a fragment, but it's real, it really was something, even if it isn't anymore.'
Mr. Terry walked toward her and put his hand on her desk, effectively ending her soliloquy.
'An impassioned reading. Now, everyone: Write about it. Write an essay about the poem, a poem about the poem—write about what Vivi just said about the poem. I want your interpretation of what this all means. Twenty minutes. Go.'
I sat blankly at my desk, watching Vivi try to compose herself. She looked as though she might pass out. Mr. Terry came by and gently knocked on my head. 'You too, Daisy. Just because I know it's all in here doesn't mean I don't need it on the page.'
I turned away from Vivi, who sat at her desk with her eyes closed, and I began to write.
When the twenty minutes were up, Mr. Terry said, 'Everyone, hand your pages in to Daisy,' and I heard the grumbling around me begin: Ugh, who else, of course, teacher's pet.
'She is not my 'pet,' she is my minion,' said Mr. Terry, grinning. 'There's a difference. Look it up.' I could feel my entire face blushing from the negative attention as my classmates grudgingly passed their pages my way. 'Oh, come on, people, hasn't it dawned on you yet? You are all my minions. There will be plenty of time for each and every one of you to do my bidding.'
Excerpted from Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan. Copyright © 2012 Andrea J. Buchanan. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
“A fantastical and historical ghost story that benefits from . . . the presence of young love.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This smart paranormal novel is more than aware of its predecessors, and subverts them brilliantly. Gift is smart, striking, and I hope the first of many YA novels from Andrea Buchanan.” —Saundra Mitchell, author of The Vespertine and The Springsweet “A good story that doesn’t rely on tricks and gimmicks.” —VH1’s blog, The FABlife “CREEPY. I think that's the word we're looking for here. WEIRD, dark, disturbing, with a Gothic feel.” —Tanita Davis, author of Mare’s War
The audience will be primarily a teen female population, although "young adult" fiction often spans younger and much older.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This story is mainly about a girl named Daisy who has an extraordinary power, she is electric. She can mess with any electrical device; and has to practice yoga and meditation in order to be able to control her ability. This story has 4 main characters, 3 girls and a boy, Daisy, Danielle, Vivi, and Kevin. Each of the characters has an important role to play. Daisy is electric, Vivi can talk to a ghost, Kevin is Daisy’s Boyfriend, he is good at research, and has a form of epilepsy that plays into the story, and Danielle is Daisy’s best friend, who feels a bit left out of the group, though she does have the same dreams as Daisy. Well I don’t want to give the story away, but it was quite good. It started out really slow, and I kept thinking, how is this all going to work together. There is the new kid, Kevin, who has a history of being in a metal institute. Danielle and Daisy who believe they are reincarnated and are both having the same dreams from another life. And Vivi, who communicates with a ghost, but she can communicate with him better if Daisy is around, since Daisy’s electricity helps him to channel. The story picks up about 1/3 of the way in and the pieces start to come together, but the ending is a twist, one I never saw coming. I would recommend this book for 6th grade- adult. The characters are in high school, but the reading level is not super difficult. This book would be enjoyable for both a girl and a boy since there is both a lot of action and mystery, but also a bit of romance for the girls. This book has no swearing, sex, or compromising circumstances. As a teacher of parent, there should not be a problem recommending this book for your kids to read. I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books, I do so in order to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books to your kids.
“Gift” by Andrea Buchanan is an animated and entertaining read. I enjoyed the characters and found the story intriguing. Daisy must somehow disentangle her dreams and learn to channel her unnatural ability before it is too late. Determining who is a friend or foe is hard enough in high school without including the supernatural. The witty comments keep the atmosphere light while the mystery and suspense keep the reader turning pages. “Gift” is sure to appeal and satisfy a wide range of readers with its assimilated mystery, paranormal, and romance. Andrea Buchanan delivers an extraordinary tale of suspense with her book, “Gift.” Each character is appealing in his or her own right, which is refreshing and appreciated. Often there is a character that is terribly abrasive or implausibly perfect; this is not the case with Buchanan’s cast. I found myself interested not only in the fate of the group, but quickly became invested in the individuals as well. The similarities between the personas in the dreams and the people in reality are immediately evident making the sequence of the dreams a powerful story narrative. The story effectively transitioned from the dream world to modern day reality while captivating the reader in both realms. Daisy, our female protagonist, possesses an otherworldly bond with electricity that has forced her to be an outsider her entire life. Daisy’s only friends, Danielle and Vivi, accept Daisy’s condition but never fully embrace its implications. Kevin, Daisy’s love interest, is much more empathetic and relates to her in such a way that ultimately a genuine connection develops. The element that truly unites these individuals, however, is Patrick. Throughout the book, Patrick is an enigma. The characters, along with the reader, question both his existence and his purpose. The cryptic dreams and ambiguous Patrick keep everyone guessing and create quite a compelling plot. I recommend this book to teens and adults alike; the traces of paranormal and romance develop an appealing backdrop for the prevailing mystery genre.
This book surprised me. I went in expecting it to be mediocre and it was great. I loved everything about it. The plot was interesting and just complex enough to keep you on your toes. The story drew me in and I couldn't put it down. I found myself switching the pages further and further just to see what would happen. The characters were average. Daisy and Kevin were developed and I could understand them. Danielle and Vivi were flat one dimensional characters. They could have used a makeover. Overall, I would recommend this book to all young adults who love to read. The Gift by Andrea Buchanan was a treat to read.
Also has its own minecraft map!
It was amazing! The author just hooked you right in from the start. I just didn' like chapters 4-9 because they were kind of slow. But then it picks up and then you get the twist ending. So good and I reccomend it for all readers.
Normally I’m not a big fan of ghost stories. When it comes to supes my preference is normally witches, vampires, and then werewolves. However, my curiosity got the best of me after I read the synopsis; I became instantly intrigued. I have to say, out of all the books I’ve ever read, Gift has one of the best and most-alluring opening chapters I’ve ever seen. By the time the first chapter ended I was was desperate to read on. Gift starts off with introducing our main character and heroine, Daisy Jones who is in a serious predicament. She’s been searching throughout her school for a fellow classmate, named Vivi. She finally finds Vivi keeled over in a girl’s bathroom, clutching a bottle of Advil PM. (This is the part where I knew I was instantly hooked.) Vivi: "“You don’t understand,” she sobbed. “It’s the only way we can be together. I just have to sleep, and then-” She stopped suddenly, focusing her heavy-lidded eyes on a space above my head. “Patrick you came back.” A smile briefly transformed her face as she closed her eyes and slumped to the floor." Crazy right!? At this point I had a dozen or so questions bubbling in my mind. Was Vivi going to be okay? What drove her to OD? And also, who the heck was Patrick?! At the time I was unaware, but I soon learned that this first chapter was but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the crazy, mysterious, and awesome, that is Gift. It’s a slight spoiler… but Vivi does end up living through this first incident and in doing so becomes quite close to Daisy, and Daisy’s best friend, Danielle. The three girls quickly discover shared experiences revolving around bizarre dreams and visits with a supernatural entity. Early on in the book we find out that Daisy has a very peculiar “gift” that she constantly wishes she could give back. She’s able to manipulate energy in a some-what uncontrollable way which causes her to steer clear from electronic gadgets such as TVs, celephones, mp3s, etc. in order to hide her anomaly. It surprises everyone including Daisy when they discover her gift is connected to “Patrick” and the weird things that begin to happen. Gift is all about the three girls, and a boy named Kevin (he comes along later) who are desperately trying to figure out what some crazy shared dreams mean and what “Patrick” really is and wants with the girls. Towards the end I was kind-of able to guess the big revelation, but the majority of the book; I was stumped. I think that Gift’s plot was really unique and I loved how they fit a little Greek mythology into the story. Instead of incorporating Greek characters, the author took a different approach by incorporating Greek themes instead. I give this book a 3/5 star rating because there’s some parts I didn’t care for. For instance, I mentioned that the first chapter hooked me right in, however the chapters following were kind of a slump for me. The story was moving very slowly and only my deep need to know what or who “Patrick” was, kept me going. I was also confused in how Gift ended in the sense that I wasn’t sure if we could expect a sequel or some type of continuation. I really hope there is another book because Daisy had a tiny, family revelation and it never really played out. If there is another book I’m anxious to see if we get more on that development.
Gift gives you a little of everything. It’s a Paranormal, Mystery, Sci-Fi, mixed with rock-n-roll, a little Greek mythology, and even has two novels within as it includes an extra graphic short story. Andrea J. Buchanan definitely created an intriguing storyline that had me flipping pages to find the answers to the mystery who, what, and where in this novel. The four teenagers were fun and cute characters. Buchanan mashed different genres together to give a fantastic new twist in this Paranormal. Daisy has just started school at Castle Creek High, and is hoping to keep her gift under control. Daisy also has a best friend, Danielle, who knows about her gift, but when Daisy is asked to help Vivi, who is more than a little strange, all three girls are going to find out they’re connected to each other, and the connection is a deadly one. When Daisy meets Kevin, who’s a senior, he will become the brains that help the girls to figure out their connection to each other and to Stone House. Daisy and Kevin also make a connection—a love connection. Kevin is a super great guy when it comes to Daisy. He’s definitely committed to her, and he would have to be when Daisy has a sarcastic best friend like Danielle. Danielle’s mouth never stops, but I do love this girl. She has no problem voicing her opinion. Gift is an enjoyable, fun read with these four teenagers. Plus with Vivi's graphic short story and Danielle’s journal and Kevin's song that he sang to Daisy at the end of this novel you get a more in-depth look into the characters' personality. I recommend Gift as a great read.
Gift was a so-so read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. Daisy is a loner, but she doesn’t mind. She’d go by unnoticed by everyone, if she had the choice. But unfortunately for her, she has a secret power only her best friend – and only friend – Danielle knows about. She can send out electric waves and feel another person’s energy. Telling Danielle about is was tough enough, but then she’s stuck with Vivi, a shy, mysterious classmate in crisis, who has a few secrets of her own. Vivi is convinced she can talk to her soulmate, Patrick. While the book hs an intriguing premise, and it’s that premise that drew me to the book in the first place, it fails to execute it well. Daisy is kind of like a Mary Sue on fire. Not only can she feel other people’s energy, then she can suddenly create force fields, then there’s ghosts, dreams of the past, soulmates. It’s all too much when cramped into one book. There weren’t enough explanations for why certain things happened, and all in all, it felt more like a middle grade than a young adult book. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan is a very interesting read. Many supernatural stories seem to have similar traits. The characteristics that are frequently used include reading minds, vampires, werewolves, witches, and demons. In this story the main character has a gift of controlling electricity. Ok so she really has not learned much control. She is easy to relate to. I also found I was intrigued by her interactions with the other characters. When she was excited I found I was excited. When she was mad, I was mad, but for a different reason. When she was sad, I was always a little sad as well. Any author who can evict emotions from a reader is an author that will be added to my favorites list.
I liked the concept of the novel, but there were some things about this book that completely failed. First off, the opening chapters were confusing. It felt like a romance brewing between Daisy and Vivi (because of Daisy’s obsession with the other girl) and then it abruptly switched to a very long explanation about Daisy’s powers. There were quite a few instances where the author said what was happening rather than letting the story reveal the plot. I felt very confused for most of the book, as the reader is left purposely in the dark about very important plot details. I would have rather had some of it revealed early on into the book so I had some inclination as to why the characters acted like they did. I understood that Daisy wasn’t able to use electronic devices, but how could she have survived high school with the high usage of computers in the classrooms. Students today can’t avoid computers or televisions or calculators. Not in a public school. I don’t buy how someone could have not figured it out. How does she type up her reports? Pass a typing class? Research in the library (most documents are electronically recorded)? Also, it did bother me that Daisy could use a house phone. It was a normal everyday phone. If the author wanted to be somewhat plausible, then she would have made Daisy use a rotary phone. It’s still electronic, but it doesn’t run by a computer chip like every other gadget that Daisy messes up. The subplot involving Mr. Terry wasn’t handled logically. There is no way that a male teacher would ever house a female student in his home, especially without getting explicit permission from the principal. I have several family members who are teachers and if these exact circumstances happened to them, they might house such student over-night if that student was on the street. But only a single night and come morning the principal would immediately be made aware of the situation. If the student wouldn’t return home, then CPS would be called. And even if the teacher was stupid enough to house a student of the opposite sex at their home for a prolong period of time, once the principal was informed of the situation, the teacher would immediately be suspended fired for not notifying the principal. It doesn’t matter what the person who ‘told the principal’ said. The simple fact is that the teacher was not acting appropriate. I just don’t think that there was enough research done to make sure that the events that happened in the book were plausible. And for that reason alone, I think I have to give this book a very low rating. It’s not the worst book I’ve ever read, but it’s one that I surely won’t ever recommend. Still, the author does show potential to write a much better book. I might still check out another book by Andrea Buckanan. (F+) (I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)
I recomand this book to teens who love a good paranormal story. This book has no swearing, sex, or compromising circumstances. There should be no problem recommending this book to your kids. Hope you like it:D
Overall I give it a 4.4 out of 5 .. Fun, unique paranormal read! Plot (4/5): This definitely wasn't your average YA paranormal book. With a unique plot and strong, entertaining and very likeable characters. Daisy's struggle to remain normal and keep her secret hidden becomes difficult while she and her friends try to discover the reason behind the paranormal ties that bind them together. It keeps you guessing! Characters (4/5): The characters are so fun. You've got Daisy the main character who's struggling with a "gift" that is dangerous unless she stays in constant control of her emotions and the ability itself. Which is enough to keep anyone in a constant state of worry and stress. Danielle her BFF is so funny and sarcastic I love her. The things that come out of her mouth at times adds enjoyable entertainment factors to the situation. Vivi is your classic mess that you can't help but want to take care of. Kevin is sweet and caring and really comes through for Daisy. Even Mr Terry one of their teachers has his comedic moments and Daisy's mom has her moments of coolness. It's got a well rounded cast. Pacing (5/5): I feel like everything moved along pretty fluidly. There wasn't a time really where I was feeling it was sluggish. Ending (5/5): So the ending was great. I was very pleased with how things wound up. And the last bit at the very end was so cute and sweet. A real "awww" type of moment! Overall Satisfaction (4/5): I really liked this book. The characters were likeable and except for a few times here and there when I wanted to strangle one or all of them at some point. But that's pretty much true about any book I've read. Seeing something going on as the person reading and observing and you want to scream at these people "Oh my gosh how can you not see this happening?!" But if they did... it would make for a more boring story am I right? It was a lot of fun to read and discover how everything and everyone tied together. I would more than likely read this book again and I recommend it to paranormal lovers out there!
Fun read, good mystery, well developed characters. This is a well written supernatural mystery wot checking out. I enjoyed the characters and story development and pace.