Book Review: Gifted by J.A. George


ashley | With a title like Gifted, it’s easy to make a lot of assumptions about the premise of the book and tap into everything I’ve read about people with gifts or special powers. But the synopsis here made it sound like this would be a unique and imaginative story and I was really intrigued when J.A. George offered me a copy of her book for review. I love it when books don’t disappoint. Nothing about this was misleading, if anything, the synopsis doesn’t give the book justice! I really loved the characters, the story, the way it all came together. This was an enjoyable and quick-paced read that ended far too soon.

Ava is a great character. She is easy to relate to, she isn’t too far on either side of the spectrum and she seems like your typical young girl wanting to lead a typical young life. She has image and self-esteem problems, she has a good core group of friends, she, like everyone else, is just trying to find her way in life. Until she stumbles upon a terrible scene and her life is changed forever.

But it wasn’t just Ava who kept me interested, there was a large group of characters who were all equally interesting for many different reasons. There wasn’t a single character who annoyed me, there wasn’t a single character who I didn’t wish was my friend. They were all individually crafted but as a group, they all came together so well. Of course I especially liked Baleigh though, her kick ass smart ass attitude is one to admire.

This book was very balanced as a whole. As soon as Ava was opened up to this whole other incredible world, the book didn’t just drop the old one. Sure, Ava’s interests in the old one kind of started to fade away, but the characters we met initially didn’t just suddenly disappear and the new characters we met weren’t completely overshadowing. I liked how well each side of things fit together; even though it left Ava pretty much right in the middle and not sure what to do about that.

I also enjoyed that the romantic aspect wasn’t super easy to come by. The attraction was pretty immediate but it’s not like other stories where it automatically trumps anything else and they are unnaturally fused from that moment on. In fact, there really isn’t that much of a romantic element other than the initial blossoming and I thought this was handled really well. It drew me in, didn’t just throw it at me to accept.

Of course the magic of Hayven and the gifts that the title alludes to are the best parts to focus on. George isn’t necessarily coming up with brand new ideas, but she’s certainly presenting them in newly creative ways and weaving together different elements to create the overall picture. A picture which I really enjoyed seeing form. I liked exploring this new world with Ava, but I also really enjoyed trying to unravel the darkness that was brewing behind it all and figure out what it was Ava was supposed to do with some of her new found knowledge and gifts.

I can’t say enough about how much I loved this book. Seriously, everything I love about books was included here. In fact, it actually defies a lot of clichés that totally drive me crazy; there is no “chosen one”, the love interest doesn’t leave his relationship for the new girl, the girl doesn’t ditch all her old friends when she finds this new exciting world (even though they do kind of drift). I really liked how George avoided falling into some of these traps that a lot of books fall into. To me, that makes this stand out among everything else.

Like I said, I can’t say enough about my love for this and I actually felt my heart plummet when I turned that last page and realized I was left standing on that dreaded cliff with no more of the story to read. This is a series I will definitely be continuing as soon as possible and this is a book that I have to recommend to anyone who is into this genre. It doesn’t recreate the genre, but it is certainly fresh enough to reignite the excitement and adventure that books like these are supposed to cause. I haven’t been this excited about a series in a really long time.


more information

april 13, 2016

copy provided for honest review by
author j.a. george