Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review of The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert



"If science is right, then I am crazy. And crazy is dangerous." 


      In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she’s going crazy. After her complete freakout at a high school party, her family is too. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill. 

      Tess is determined to fit in at her new school, despite the whispers and stares. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she’s unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something—that he might somehow be responsible. 

      But what if she’s wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?





     I used to say I didn’t read much YA. I can’t say that anymore. I have discovered that I’m not too old to enjoy a youthful story. This particular book also fits well on the psychological thriller shelf, which is really my cup of tea. Although not as terrorizing as many PTs, the reader has to decide between what is reality and what is mental illness. The real draw for me is the twisted mind stuff—not necessarily the thriller part—so this book was right up my alley. (Think Secret Window or A Beautiful Mind.)

     For much of the beginning, I did think that the story would really appeal more to teens and twenty-somethings (my grandgirls) than my peers (a.k.a. old lady friends)—there’s a lot of high school social life stuff going on. But I was still entertained. Very entertained. 

     The main character, Tess, appeals to me from the beginning. Empathy pours out for this poor girl who is ostracized from the crowd, with her sanity hanging by a thread. Her world is one in which mental illness is shunned to a much greater degree than even in today’s world. It is considered a defect—even a danger—not worthy of being allowed to exist in society. Stack that kind of pressure on a mixed-up outcast teen! You. Will. Care. About. Tess.

     The story moves along at a good pace. I like Ganshert’s writing style—revealing Tess’s thoughts throughout the dialog. There are plot twists right up to the last page. And speaking of the last page…

     This book is the first in a three-part series. They are not ‘stand alone’ stories, but a continuing chronicle of the main characters’ experiences. Though this book is a good read without the other installments ***TINY SPOILER ALERT***—it has a cliff-hanger ending.  END OF SPOILER You will want to read the next.

     I have to be honest—I downloaded this eBook only because I am familiar with the author Katie Ganshert and it was free. The YA genre was a new branch for Ganshert, who has written many novels in the inspirational contemporary romance genre. I’ve had this eBook since last year, and finally decided to read it.

     I loved this story so much I am buying the other two books of the series! WARNING: Do NOT read the summary of parts two and three if you don’t want any spoilers. I just did and I was so… Nope. Not gonna tell. But the description does let you know what happens after the first book--something I didn’t want to know yet.

     If you can’t fathom reading about high school crushes and popular kids, don’t read this book. But if you want a thoroughly enjoyable story with mystery and a lovable underdog, I highly recommend this one. I’m giving it five stars! And I just now bought book two, The Awakening. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!



 *UPDATE: I finished The Awakening and immediately purchased The Gathering. Loved book two even more than the first! I couldn't put it down. I went on to finish book three in a couple of days. I made excuses to sneak away and read. I highly recommend these three books.


This series is one of those where you don't want it to be over. It was amazing! There are lots of surprises in the plot. The characters were great. The pace was excellent. The only negative is there is no fourth book in the series!
 
Do read them in order as they are not stand-alone
stories, but a three-part tale.

This story would make an awesome movie!

2 comments:

CrazyCris said...

Sounds intriguing! If you like psycological suspense you need to check out "Los Renglones Torcidos de Dios" by Torquato Luca de Tena (hope it's been translated to English, not sure). It's about a female private detective who passes off as a patient in an asylum while looking for someone who sent her client threatening letters. Or is she there as a patient herself? For you to decide!

"I have discovered that I’m not too old to enjoy a youthful story."
-> I've never outgrown them myself! :o)

Lily Robinson said...

Cris, that sounds good, too! I hope I can find it in English.