Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan

Book Review:

Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan has an interesting premise with Daisy’s mysterious gift and some hints of ghostie messaging, I thought it would be a fun pre-Halloween read for teens and fans of YA stories.

Daisy has a good heart and a huge secret, one that she found difficult to tell her best friend Danielle. In the grand scheme of things, Daisy really isn’t too different from any other high school sophomore, even if she doesn’t have as much money.  In fact school is not nearly as bad as she expected until she befriends Vivi, and is told of Vivi’s spirit friend Patrick.  Vivi is troubled and rather obsessed with Patrick, and is contemplating suicide to be with him forever.  But, there is more to Patrick than meets the eye, and soon Danielle is dreaming of long-ago events, not all pleasant, as it appears the spirits are attempting to finish that which was undone. 

Just alone, with the clever voicing of Daisy, her ability to ‘read’ energies and her unique perspective on people and the events around her, the story has a wonderful premise.  Then we add in the information about and from the other characters: Danielle and her diary entries, Kevin and his music, Vivi and her art, and even the younger teacher’s attempts to interact with the teens on their own level and the kid’s reactions: it all manages to bring a sense of realism to the story that feels and appears familiar.

The ghosties in this story are cleverly materialized and actually carry a decent creep factor as they maneuver about to bring about their own resolution – but it’s really up to Daisy to figure out the puzzles presented. Unfortunately, there was a great deal of explanation and threads that seemed to bog the forward progress, and while there were tangential links from the paranormal elements to the ghosts, and even Daisy’s ‘gift’, there were moments where it felt as if those connections were so loose as to be unimportant.

Buchnan did, however, manage to avoid most of the typical YA / Teen tropes, drama mostly came from the characters and the events unfolding around them, rather than from any messy romances.  I had a bit of an issue with her ‘gift’, why only some electronics would short out and others wouldn’t, and a clear ‘where it came from’ explanation would have helped as we watched Daisy struggle with control and the burden of the knowledge that she was exposed to.

I did enjoy this story: fast reading with enough clever twists despite some pretty clueless moments as characters missed what was plainly in front of them, and a bit of a quick wrap up at the end.  A good choice for when you want that ‘chill-inducing’ story to while away the hours.

Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan

Title: Gift
Author: Andrea J. Buchanan
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Open Road Integrated Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 259
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 7 minutes
Rated: three-stars
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See this Title on 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)

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Andrea J. Buchanan

Andrea J. Buchanan is a New York Times bestselling writer whose newest book is the young adult novel GIFT. Her work includes The Daring Book For Girls, Mother Shock, and six other books. Both GIFT and the digital short-story WAKING UP have free, downloadable, playable Minecraft maps based on the stories. Before becoming a writer, Andi was a classical pianist; she studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where she earned her bachelor of music degree, and continued her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, earning a master’s degree in piano performance. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

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