Book - 2016
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In Orpheus Chanson's world, the human brain has been mapped and patented, and geniuses like him are no longer born or honed through hard work. Instead, only the most priviliged sect of society can purchase and use ASAs, or Acquired Savant Abilities. However, Zimri Robinson, a natural musical prodigy, is a lowly worker at a warehouse. For her, making music is illegal, although she finds time to, even with her grueling schedule and grandmother's illness. Orpheus is destined for greatness; Zimri is not, and their paths were never supposed to cross. But sometimes, rules are meant to be broken. --
Publisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250028303
Branch Call Number: YAF SWAIN, HEATHER
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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