When I heard that Katie Ganshert, one of my favorite women's fiction authors, was releasing a YA series as K.E. Ganshert, I knew I wanted to read it. I even purchased the Kindle version of book one, The Gifting, but I never quite found the time to read it. Recently, when Katie asked her reader friends if anyone would be interested in listening to and reviewing the audiobook versions of the first two books, I knew this was my chance to get caught up on the series.
If science is right, then I am crazy. And crazy is dangerous.
In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she's going crazy. After her complete freakout at a high school party, her family is too. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill.
Tess is determined to fit in at her new school, despite the whispers and stares. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she's unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something--that he might somehow be responsible.
But what if she's wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?
Can I just state right now that I love Luka? I've seen enough readers gushing about him to know that I'd probably like him, but he really is so great. His relationship with Tess (which we only see from Tess' perspective) develops slowly and surely, and I love how much he cares for her. I also really like Tess; Ganshert did a great job of portraying the insecurity a teenage girl feels, especially when she's "different."
The story is set in the near future, and it focuses on a topic we don't talk about often enough—mental illness. Because science has "proven" that God doesn't exist, anyone who experiences the supernatural is deemed mentally ill and can be relegated to a mental hospital. Tess is one of those people, and as she seeks to figure out what's "wrong" with her, she learns there are others like her. But the more she learns, the more danger she finds herself in.
I absolutely loved the way The Gifting unfolded, all from Tess' perspective. And I loved how quickly things moved for the majority of the story—it was fast enough to keep my attention but not so rapid that I became lost or felt like I was missing something.
The only thing I didn't like about The Gifting was the lack of Luka in the opening chapters (which felt like an eternity in audiobook time). It was understandable, though, as the events in Florida, before Tess' family moved and she met Luka, were necessary to the plot. Overall, I loved The Gifting, and I can't wait to begin The Awakening!
As for the audiobook, I really enjoyed it. I still would rather read a book than listen to it—because I can read it much faster than I can listen to it—but this production is very well done. Narrator Heather Masters did a great job, and listening to The Gifting was a very enjoyable experience. 4-1/2 stars.
Buy the book. (The Kindle version is currently FREE!)
Buy the audiobook.
Read my reviews of Ganshert's adult titles Wildflowers from Winter (5 stars), A Broken Kind of Beautiful (5 stars & my favorite read of 2015), An October Bride (5 stars), and The Perfect Arrangement (5 stars).
K.E. Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."