Pub date: March 27, 2012.
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 cute 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? (netgalley.com)
Daisy’s got an issue that I can somewhat, nominally, empathize with: she kills technology. She doesn’t have a TV, computer, cell phone, nothing too technologically current because she’d just drive it crazy. I feel that. With the trail of computer deaths in my wake, and the shrapnel of other miscellaneous freakazoid technological malfunctions I’ve had to deal with, I immediately connected with Daisy. I understood her. Of course she’s an extreme but such is the way of books. A boring blue screen of death on a PC is nothing compared to spastic fire alarms or igniting a computer lab.
I didn’t really love GIFT but I didn’t not like it either. It was okay. I was entertained enough but at various points in the story I felt a little put out by it, like it was a chore to read. It dragged a bit with the dreams the girls were having, what Vivi’s deal was, Daisy trying to deal with her issue (considering she’d been dealing with it her entire life her “dealing with it” now seemed kind of forced). But it was interesting nonetheless and I kept reading until the end so I could see what would happen. The pieces laid themselves out for the ending pretty early on but there is a twist in there that I kind of didn’t see coming so I enjoyed that. It’s always nice to be at least a little bit surprised by a story.
I liked reading Daisy’s humanity, especially towards the end. She is a very strong-willed character but she has flaws and I loved seeing them. It grounded out what is rightly a fantastical story into something a bit more realistic, considering. She rationalizes, she reasons, at times she caves to temptation. I really liked that. I felt like I could relate to that, unlike some other YA heroines that seemingly stand strong the entire time. I need humanness.
Vivi and Danielle I felt were a little underdeveloped. They were just kind of there floating along in Daisy’s plot while things kept happening. Not that they weren’t involved but as characters I just felt their existence was to serve Daisy. Kevin was the same way except his entire being I felt was a contrivance. He just felt like he was shoved into the plot because that might have been what was “supposed” to have happen. Daisy needed a love interest and someone else to connect to. Kevin served that purpose and that was pretty much it. He provided information when it was required, he supported Daisy when she needed it and he was the perfect level of weirdness to complement hers. It just felt too easy. Their personalities were okay. I didn’t dislike them. They were just really plot-serving.
The story itself was okay. The whole reincarnation/past lives things interests me by default and I liked the way the past was brought into the present in this one. It used people and manipulated them and it really took the wind out of its implied sails but again, it made it more real, for what that’s worth in a paranormal story. I didn’t find the set-up or execution floofy but I did think, in the end, Daisy’s powers were pretty irrelevant to it all. It was a means to be used but I don’t think it deserved the emphasis that it did. I felt the past life issue was so much more relevant and should have been brought to the surface more than Daisy’s electrical abilities. It wasn’t bad but I wasn’t crazy about it either.
Like I said overall it was okay. I wasn’t thrilled with it but it wasn’t terrible. A decent read if you don’t have much else to do. It does stand out a bit from the rest just because of Daisy’s ability and the past life thing which I did really like. And the plot isn’t crazy centric on the love interest, another plus. And there’s only one, love interest that is. Even bigger plus. Ultimately this one didn’t leave much of a mark with me but I’m sure others will find the awesomeness that dwells within and give it the love it deserves. There’s nothing all that wrong with it. It just ultimately wasn’t for me.