Author: H.A. Swain
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Summary: 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
So I just finished reading an ARC of Gifted by H. A. Swain. I’ll be honest and say that I almost didn’t finish this book. It took me a while for me to get into it. There were so many unexplained acronyms and just things I didn't understand.
Gifted is set in the future. Split between the upper class, the Plutes, and the lower class, the Plebes. The Plute’s live in the big city and get whatever they want. Around the age of 15-18 they receive an ASA (Acquired Savant Ability), making then geniuses and prodigies. Nothing is ever really real in the city. The Plebe’s live outside the city in Nowhere. Where most of them work as warehouse workers.
Orpheus Chanson is the son of the owner of Chason Industries, the one who developed the ASA. After Orpheus gets into a fight with his father, he leaves the city and travels to Nowhere (in his flying car) to get away.
Zimri Robinson lives in Nowhere and is a warehouse worker. She lives for music and performing, but it's illegal to reproduce any music that isn't yours. She always having private concerts and releasing her music onto pirate radio waves.
When the paths of Orpheus and Zimri cross, things become complicated. Orpheus attempts to hide his identity by giving himself a different name, Aimery. And Zimri is trying to raise money to help her sick grandmother by performing private concerts (little does she know that Orpheus already paid the bill when he found out he was the lady he almost hit when his flying car crashed).
After Orpheus found out Zimri was able to sing, he brings her into the city to meet a famous producer. But by Orpheus having Zimri record a song of hers, it gets stolen. After returning back to Nowhere and the two find out the song was stolen by Arabella (a new singer from the city who just received and ASA), they go on to try and prove everyone wrong.
Zimri and Orpheus put on a concert for the public after finding out that it’s legal to perform original music. When she performs her stolen song, private investigators storm the building. They take her to trail and put everything against her. Saying she stole the song.
(Spoilers ahead) After being found guilty, Zimri is scheduled to get her brain scrubbed so she can never feel pleasure or feel anything for music ever again. Of course she is able to get away and resolve everything.
In the middle of all this, Zimri and Orpheus start to fall for each other. I feel this happened way too fast though. It was more of insta-love seeing as most of the book took place over the span of only a week or so.
Overall, I did end up liking the book, but not as much as I was hoping to.