Critique| Gifted by J.A. George & GIVEAWAY

4.5 Teacups
4.5 Teacups

**I was sent a copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion**

GiftedTitle: Gifted (The Hayven Series 1)
Author: J.A. George
Publication Date: April 13, 2016
Format: Kindle Book
# of Pages: 273
Synopsis: There is no chosen one in this story.

Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.

Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.

If I’m completely honest, I enjoyed this book much more than I was anticipating and I’m absolutely thrilled. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you’d know that I have been in and out of a slump since late February/March. I’ve read a handful of books that I’ve really enjoyed, but so far most of what I’ve read this year has hit the mark.

Thankfully, Gifted hit the nail right on the head and has definitely helped to pull me out of my slump. I really liked Ava, and I thought that she was an extremely likeable and therefore relatable character. I think her reaction is perfect for the situation; if  I started hearing voices in my head, I too would try to play it off, and gradually think I’m going insane. She has average struggles with body image (no matter how much she tries to deny it, but don’t we all?), boys, and her “friends.” She deals with them like any other person in her shoes would (by talking to her best friend, having a good cry, or sleeping it off), and although she’s going through all of this stuff in Hayven, I think she manages to balance things quite well.

I didn’t care for her initial group of friends, at least once they started to show their true colors. I felt that something about Toni was…off, especially in the way that she seemed to talk Ava into doing things she didn’t really want to do (don’t even get me started about what happened at the club). I felt that Toni was whiny and inconsiderate of Ava, which really made me dislike her. However, with the way that the plot played out, and Ava finding a new group of friends that actually cared for her and she felt apart of, I completely understand why J.A. George wrote her that way. It made saying goodbye to them a whole lot easier. I felt like applauding when things finally clicked for Ava and she realized that Toni probably thought she was a pushover and Ava finally stood up for herself. She didn’t need the kind of friend who ignored her advice and thought only of herself in her life. Not when she had the friends she made in Hayven.

That being said, I really like the group of people Ava met in Hayven (I’m looking at you Theo, Baleigh, Peyton, Faye, Ollie, and Lucas). I felt like we got a good sense of each person’s character as Ava met them, and I completely understand why Ava loved being around them so much. They have each other’s backs (Baleigh is hilarious), and you can just feel the bonds that they’ve all made with each other. The only thing I didn’t like though, was that Ava going from friend group to the other completely was abrupt. There wasn’t any major falling out, and them not talking to her was for an extremely petty reason (at least that’s what it felt like for me).

I can’t wait to see more of Madrina and the rest of the Cliders because the backstory and build-up was incredibly intriguing to me. I loved learning about what had transpired a thousand years before and hearing about the aftermath of what had happened. The ideas of everyone’s different gifts is also interesting, and I can see how all of them will come together quite nicely in the rest of the series. I wish we would’ve had a smidge more action, but overall I really enjoyed the plot and I thought that the backstory was necessary to give us a good foundation/understanding for the rest of the series.

I highly recommend this book because it’s got a great cast of characters, an awesome start to a series, and an epic battle in the works. PLUS the author has been kind enough to send me 2 digital copies to giveaway to you guys!

Terms of the giveaway

  1. Leave a comment with your name, favorite read of the year so far or why you want to read Gifted.
  2. Click on the below to let me know that you’ve commented! (You will be required to enter an email so I have some way to contact you and send the prize).
  3. Officially enter the giveaway here. Good luck!

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