Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: Gifted by Karey White (Whitney Finalist)

Title: Gifted
Author: Karey White
Enjoyment Rating: 4/10
Referral: Whitney Finalist-- General Category
Source: Library copy
Books I've read this year: 16

I kicked off this year's Whitney reading by diving into Karey White's Gifted, which is a finalist in the General category and also eligible for Best Novel by a New Author. Gifted is told from the point of view of Susan, who adopts baby Anna in the opening pages of the novel. As Anna grows, it becomes evident to Susan and her husband Brent that their daughter has unusual gifts-- she doesn't get sick or hurt, people never argue when she is in their presence, and all of the kids in her class learn things effortlessly. Susan and Brent struggle first with accepting their daughter's gifts and then with how much they should tell her about them.

Gifted is perfect for a reader who wants a sentimental, feel-good story. It starts out like every good talk in the Mormon church-- with a definition of "Guardian Angel" from a dictionary and an online encyclopedia, and a quote from a General Authority. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the book has an overt "message" and therefore feels a bit didactic. If that's the kind of story you're interested in reading, then this one fits the bill. However, the plot basically consisted of Anna growing up (and I predicted the end within five minutes of opening the book), and White's prose is so bogged down in tiny details that at times Susan sounded like my mom giving me a recap of her day more than a narrator giving only the pertinent details that would enhance a narrative.


Nicole said...

Oh good its time for the Whitney books. I love reading your reviews of these particular books.

Scott / Lori said...

Hi. I came across your blog and have to say I couldn't disagree with you more on your review of the book Gifted. I felt this book was thoughtful, not predictable, and had a message that many could interpret in many different ways. I am surprised at your dislike for this book and since the Whitneys are for fiction by LDS authors it should not come as a surprise to readers that such books may contain some religious overtones. I look forward to seeing how you rate some of the other entries.

Anonymous said...

I hope your review won't discourage others from reading this book. I thought it was a wonderful story of family and friendship. I read it last fall and spent days thinking about it. I loved it and think many of your readers would love it, too. -Leah

Anonymous said...

I read the book "Gifted" and loved it. I didn't feel it was preachy at all. I thought it was a wonderful story with great characters. Like "Leah" said, I hope this review won't discourage others from reading this lovely book that honors family, friendship and love. -Karen

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