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Count your books with me! Mwoarh!

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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Book Review-Gifted 1 and 2 by Marilyn Kaye

Book 1-Out of Sight Out of Mind
Amanda has always had an unusual talent-if she feels sympathy or pity for someone, she is transported into their body-sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours. So by being mean to everyone, she can stop it happening. But this time something has gone wrong and she is trapped in the body of super-nerd Tracey. By living Tracey's life, Amanda is introduced to the Gifted class where all the students have similar gifts which are kept secret for their own safety. Jenna, the mind reader knows Amanda's secret and can maybe help her and Tracey.

Although this book is about 13 year olds, it is surprisingly good. There is not too much emphasis on the bullying(a bugbear of mine with YA characters)-it is about Amanda struggling to retain her mean image and yet trying to improve Tracey's life while in her body. We have the Gifted class teacher who is trying to protect her pupils and teach them how to control their gifts, the moral dilemma of when to interfere using your gifts, and the evil student teacher who wants to exploit the kids.

Book 2-Better Late Than Never
Jenna likes to play the part of the tough goth girl but all she really wants is a family. With her mother going into rehab again, Jenna gets to live with fellow Gifted student Tracey for a few weeks. When a man claiming to be her long lost father comes to meet her, her friends are skeptical about his motives but this is what Jenna has been waiting a lifetime for.

This book is centered around Jenna and Amanda but with a look into the sad life of Ken and the improving life of Tracey. Jenna is much nicer in this book and it is easier to have sympathy for the life she has had. You know that this man is using her yet you can understand how much she wants to believe in him and a better life. Tracey is trying to look out for her new friend and I like the way that Amanda's interference in her life has turned her into a confident young girl.

Amanda is struggling to retain her popularity now that she is in the Freak Class, with Nina trying to take her place. Her plan to win it back includes dating Ken but as she gets closer to his life, her sympathy for him places her into his body instead. Now she understands how hard it is for Ken to deal with his gift of talking to the dead.

If you want to be picky you could say that it was obviously going to end up bad for Jenna but to be honest I don't think the author was trying to keep it a secret! There was a lot to like in this book. Amanda is finally starting to look at herself through others eyes and she does not like what she sees. The love that she develops for the dead boy was such a touching story and it really shows that Amanda is not as bad as she tries to be. I like her character development. It seems that each time she goes into someone's body now, she learns something about herself and helps her host in some way.

I'm going to look for book 3 in a trade and see what happens next!

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