Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick Review: Gifted: Better Late Than Never by Marilyn Kaye


Gifted: Better Late Than Never (Book 2 in the Gifted Series)
by Marilyn Kaye
2009 Kingfisher
Genre: Young Adult
Softcover Edition
ISBN:978-0-7534-6300-0

3.5/5 Stars

Summary (Press Release)
Tough rebel Jenna Kelley secretly dreams of a conventional life with normal parents. When her mother ends up in rehab, Jenna is shocked by the sudden reappearance of her long-lost dad. Jenna can usually read anyone's mind, but this stranger is a total mystery. Before long, streetwise Jenna finds herself walking straight into danger...

Jenna has a secret. She's GIFTED. And she's not the only one...

My Thoughts
This is book 2 in the Gifted series by Marilyn Kaye, and events begin where book 1 left off with Tracy, Amanda, and Jenna continuing to meet in the Gifted class, trying to learn about and control their unique gifts.

Jenna's alcoholic mother enters a two-week rehabilitation program and Jenna is forced to live with foster parents during this time. To her secret delight, Tracey's parents had petitioned to have her come live with them during this time, and Jenna enters a loving environment such as she has never in her short life experienced. As she becomes comfortable with her surroundings, her dad re-enters her life and wakens her hope of living a normal family life with a proper home. But Tracey and others in her group become suspicious of Jenna's dad's motives and try to convince her to be more careful around him as she knows very little about him.

While I understood how Jenna felt in this situation, and how desperately she wanted to believe in her newfound father, I found the storyline a little too pat. It was very easy to see where it was going and how her father was especially interested in her mind-reading abilities. I wasn't at all suprised when I discovered the truth; to be honest, I was somewhat disappointed at the way the events unfolded. I felt unsatisfied with the ending to Jenna's storyline, but I do like how the group is learning to protect and care for each other.

What I did really like was Amanda's storyline. While I'm not a big fan of Amanda, she is the most interesting character. Amanda's inner struggle to re-discover her emotions and to admit she is a very sensitive and caring person was a very interesting storyline and I enjoyed it tremendously. To watch her go back and forth from the mean persona she needs to uphold her 'queenly' rank to the conflicting emotions she has about other people is fascinating. When she body snatches into another person and sees herself through other people's eyes, she is actually disgusted by her other-Amanda behaviour and is upset by how other people talk about her behind her back. I loved watching Amanda's character development and look forward to more in the next series of books. I think she is changed forever and I am keen to see where this goes.

There are some very interesting and quirky characters in this series and I hope to learn more about some of the other students in the gifted class. Emily and her ability to look into the future is featured in the next book, HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

This series is appropriate for grade 7 and up.

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