Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review: Gifted: Out of Sight, Out of Mind by Marilyn Kaye

Gifted: Out of Sight, Out of Mind (Book 1)
by Marilyn Kaye
2009 Kingfisher
229 Pages
ISBN 978-0-7534-6283-6

3/5 Stars

Summary (Press Release)
Amanda Beeson is Queen Bee at Meadowbrook Middle School. If you're not friends with Amanda you're nobody. But one morning gorgeous, popular Amanda looks in the mirror and sees a very different face staring back at her. The Queen Bee is about to get a taste of life in someone else's shoes.

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

My Thoughts
At first I was surprised when I learned this book was about younger teens - 13-year-olds to be exact - as it reads more as though it's about older teens than younger ones. There are the typical stereotypes: popular, pretty, mean girl with all of her butterfly friends around her; cute, popular boy who used to be an amazing athlete with a big secret; tough, wise-cracking juvenile delinquent who can read minds, but has a tough home life; and nerdy girl whom nobody notices except when they're picking on her clothes, her hair, or anything else they can find to pick on.

Amanda is known as the Queen Bee around her school and is one of the meanest girls. She waltzes around, verbally harrassing anyone who does not meet her high standards, and that usually means everyone, including her friends. What people don't know about Amanda is that her snotty and mean behaviour is just a cover-up to hide intense emotions because if she gives in to those emotions, she could accidentally switch bodies with the person for whom she feels emotion for, and she just can't let that happen. For when she does switch, she also feels their pain as well as their emotion. Yet, one day when geeky Tracey Devon has the nerve to approach her table in the cafeteria, she allows herself to feel pity for Tracy, and the next thing she knows, she wakes up in Tracey' body. Suddenly she is living Tracey's life as Tracey, being treated like a nerd, and having people trip her and slam doors in her face, something Amanda has never experienced in her life.

Then suddenly, she ends up in one of Tracey's 'special' classes and discovers a class for special kids with special gifts and she is intrigued. Could there possibly be more people like her out there?

It took quite a while for the story to get going in this novel. We are introduced to eight other characters with special gifts, but other than Jenna, we really didn't learn a whole lot about them. This helps keep the confusion to a minimum and should keep the series interesting. So far, the grade 8 angst has been kept to a minimum, except for some scenes where Amanda/Tracey was mercilessly teased, but it was needed for the story as it was Amanda who was doing the teasing and the Amanda/Tracey character got to see what she was like and how other people reacted to her. She even heard what people had to say about her behind her back. I enjoyed these scenes as I didn't always like Amanda and how she treated people; she needs to get some of her humanity back as she copes with the switch.

Overall, I enjoyed the book Out of Sight, Out of Mind. It was fast-paced and easily understood, with some plot twists. It was also very addictive as I read it in one sitting. I will be starting book #2, Better Late Than Never as soon as I am able.

Recommended for grade 7 and higher.


Post a Comment