I've realized something as I look at my Goodreads stats for the year so far. I'm getting pickier and pickier in my reviews. My good 'ole favorite authors are only scoring 3 star reviews from me. I've only handed out a few 5 star reviews. But I've gotten very lucky with the self-pub books I've read so far this year. And it's not that I'm necessarily easier on these new authors. It's just that they've done a fantastic job using their original ideas to build their worlds and characters. No longer am I tripping over typos and grammar errors!
Liz Long's Gifted was a complete surprise for me! I received this book in return for my honest review. As a self-pub, I wasn't really expecting much.
I'm not a fan of the circus... there I said it!
They creep me out. But Ms. Long's book was so easy for me to get into and stay engaged in, I found it extremely hard to put down! I kept wondering what was going to happen next. I can remember only two times there were actual spots where I felt like I could comfortably put the book down and stop reading.
Lucy has just lost her mother and she goes to re-join the circus. When she arrives, she's very nervous because she was last there as a child with her family but they left the circus to have a normal, "human" life. A lot has changed since then. The owner of the circus, Mr. Sheffield Donovan, pairs Lucy up with a girl named Delia who introduces Lucy (and the reader) to the circus. The circus has become the place where the "gifted" can come, live and be themselves; not have to hide their gifts.
MANY reviewers have said this book is like the X-Men meets the circus ~ that is so true! It's that kind of fun. And I never knew how much I loved murder mysteries! I mean, I've read J.D. Robb but it's been a while. Gifted had a great murder mystery plot that had me guessing players all the way until the near end.
And, yup, there's a love triangle. I personally LOVE Gabriel for his incessant pushing of Lucy to loosen up and to let go of her feelings. These two have some fun dialogue and I love the way Lucy can hold her own and doesn't act the way you expect her to. All I'll say is that there's a reason for Lucy's reactions. If you want the answer to that after you read the book (and you SHOULD read this book if you're looking for a fun urban fantasy that geared towards the older young adults), then go over to Liz Long's blog post about it and read her answer why.