In a world where religion no longer exists, the government rids the world of genetic defects by force during pregnancy, and people with mental illnesses are removed from society, Teresa “Tess” Eckhart’s world shatters when she starts seeing things no one else can. After having a breakdown during a séance at a party, her family drops everything to move across the country to get Tess help at the privately ran Edward Brooks Facility, a mental health rehabilitation center.
Trying to start fresh at a new high school where no one knows her past, Tess meets Luka Williams, the most popular boy in school. As it turns out, Luka has secrets of his own and experiences the same things as Tess. When they start to unveil the truth behind what has been deemed as a mental illness, they discover that dark forces are rising and they must play a part to stop it.
I loved, loved, loved the premise of this novel. It had me hooked from the very first page, and had enough mystery woven throughout to keep me guessing, but also enough answers along the way so I was rarely disappointed. The world building was phenomenal, and through Tess, I felt like I was part of this intriguing world where science is the driving force of society and religion is non-existent except for the few who keep their faith hidden.
The characters were the driving force of the story, and Tess Eckhart was multifaceted and relatable. All she wants to do is fit in and be normal, which is impossible for her because of what she sees lurking in the shadows and appearing in her prophetic dreams. I felt for her throughout the normal and wanted to hug her as her world started spinning out of control.
I also enjoyed the slow romance between Tess and Luka. She lucked out that the hottest, most popular boy in school also happened to be experiencing the same thing she does, which brings them even closer yet also threatens to tear them apart.
The one thing I didn’t like about The Gifting was that it didn’t have a complete story arc. Even if it’s part of a series, I felt that the ending was abrupt and readers could have been given at least some answers and a conclusion and still have a cliff hanger to propel us into the next novel. Apart from that, The Gifting was one of my favorite novels this year. I highly recommend it to those who like young adult fantasy/dystopian type worlds, paranormal romance, and books that explore the what-ifs of different societal stigmas.
Links: Amazon Free at the time of this post!
About the Author (from website)
Katie Ganshert is slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive, award-winning author of inspirational fiction–love stories mostly, about flawed characters wrestling with matters of life and faith. She also writes young adult fiction under the nom de plume, K.E. Ganshert. When she’s not busy penning novels, she enjoys spending time with her family, drinking coffee with friends, reading great books, and eating copious amounts of chocolate.