Book - 2017
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An entitled boy whose talents are bought meets a girl whose gifts are natural in this futuristic thriller from H.A. Swain, the author of Hungry .

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. However, her grueling schedule and her grandmother's illness can't keepher 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.

Gifted by H.A. Swain is a thriller, love story, and social experiment that readers will find gripping--and terrifying.

Praise for Hungry by H. A. Swain:

"Swain's near-futuristic dystopia explodes onto this well-trod genre with a fresh idea, tense plotting, and relatable characters.... Fans of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Lois Lowry's The Giver will flock to this story." -- School Library Journal

" Compelling.. . A female protagonist who isn't staunch, heroic, and perfect is increasingly rare in dystopias, so Thalia's fumbling around for the right path is refreshingly different." -- The Bulletin

"An alluring adventure in a future without food... Emotionally satisfying. " -- Kirkus Reviews

Publisher: New York : Square Fish, 2017.
ISBN: 9781250115256
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Swain
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 22 cm


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Oct 24, 2017

Gifted combines reality with a dystopian that is sure to leave you in a blissful sense of completion in your journey through reading. Somehow all the myriad thoughts recollect and combine into one novel in which you end up favouring the characters from their introduction. Zimri Robinson is in love with everything related to music and can’t keep away despite being scolded ever since she was a young girl to stop making instruments from toys or humming when she worked. She has known all her life that it is illegal to make music as a Plebe, a worker in the warehouse where every Plute’s wish is sent to them by drones. Meanwhile Orpheus Chanson can have it all if he gets and ASA in music, his father’s specialty. But why does Orpheus shy away from what every Plute is having, the key to success and to increase their ratings in the Buzz? The two are never supposed to meet, know each other, see each other but they do and that’s what sparks a sole change that may change the morals that bound the world of art to artificial intelligence rather than pure talent. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this dystopian stand alone because the author wrapped everything rather nicely. However the first chapter is confusing, talking in terms we don’t yet know or understand. I wish that author could have been a bit blunter and told us properly what the background of the story was rather than speaking in mysterious thoughts. Otherwise a great read, Zimri was the perfect definition of spunk with brains!
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Alena_T Jan 16, 2017

A thrilling read that explores a future where art and music belong only to the upper class, and genius is manufactured. I was pleasantly surprised by the book's intelligence and the depth of the main characters, whose backstories were thoughtfully woven. The dystopian reality Swain has constructed is an imaginative, yet certainly conceivable, future based on concepts inspired by Amazon, drones, celebrity status and a Spotify-like music model. The result is a fascinating, thought-provoking read that will surely encourage further discussion.

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