Gifted by H.A. Swain

January 19, 2017
Published By: Feiwel & Friends on June 14, 2016
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (336 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Rating: FOUR POINT FIVE STARS
Gifted
~Amazon~
In Orpheus Chanson's world, geniuses and prodigies are no longer born or honed through hard work. Instead, procedures to induce Acquired Savant Abilities (ASAs) are now purchased by the privileged. And Orpheus's father holds the copyright to the ASA procedure.

Zimri Robinson, a natural musical prodigy, is a "plebe"--a worker at the enormous warehouse that supplies an on-line marketplace that has supplanted all commerce. Her grueling schedule and her grandmother's illness can't keep her from making music--even if it is illegal.

Orpheus and Zimri are not supposed to meet. He is meant for greatness; she is not. But sometimes, rules are meant to be broken. Here is a thriller, love story, and social experiment that readers will find gripping--and terrifying.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

Orpheus and Zimri describe the well known tale of boy meets girl across town and discovers the humanity in us all. But the setting is a Dystopian world where Artists' are made for the wealthy through a surgery  that gives them a Acquired Savant Ability. In this world music is not owned, it is broadcast for a fee and anyone who recreates it is guilty of copyright theft. Orpheus and Zimri have natural ability's for music, when they meet begin to explore how to use it outside of the system. The writing and characters were very well done. Although some of the dialogue was cheesy at times.
"Just a little brain surgery and POOF you wake up a genius. The hilarious part being, Plute parents pay for their kids to have the surgeries, then people like my father make a fortune off their talents, and we call this Art."
This world is clearly an allegory for how our society treats celebrity's as demi-gods and celebrates art like everything else, according to it's market value. The most interesting feature of the poor side of town occupied by Plebe's is that they can only shop once a week at a store called Black Friday. In this store, shoppers risk being trampled and grab what they can. In this world Zimri and Orpheus have to confront the real injustices around them motivated by greed, with little to no resources. Zimri with her original music reaches out to the masses who are searching for something more authentic, while Orpheus struggles to go against his father's wishes. 
"She underestimates the greed in the world. How much money feeds the beast. And the bigger it gets, the more money it takes to keep it going. It's viscous."
The chapters were formatted as if the book was one long song, chapters were verses and included chapters called Chorus and Bridge. The book changes perspective between Zimri, Orpheus, and a omnipresent narrator who speaks during the chapters titled Chorus. There is some romance, but it wasn't forced or out of place. The ending is the only thing I struggled to suspend my belief with, but it does wrap up the narrative well. I would recommend this for fans of Young Adult, sci-fi drama's with some surprises and characters that don't disappoint.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Swain lives in a crooked house in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, a barkless dog, and two rescue cats. She is the author of four novels for young adults, two kids craft books, two novels for grown ups, and numerous short stories, personal essays, and non-fiction articles.
Website http://www.heatherswainbooks.com
Twitter HeatherASwain

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