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Gifted by H. A. Swain


by H. A. Swain

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In the future, people aren;t born geniuses. They don't become geniuses through hard work. They don't become geniuses by earning degrees from colleges. And if you are in the lower class of Plebes, forget even having a chance of being a genius. The Plutes are the only one who get to be geniuses, and then they are owned. Orpheus's father is the master of the music industry; he controls all music creation and sale. And in order for Orpheus to take over the family business, his father wants him to have the surgery that will make him a musical genius. Orpheus has seen first-hand the damage that can be done if the surgery goes wrong, and he does not want to endure the same fate. When he tries to escape, he learns more than he bargained for: his parents don't really care about him as a person, he discovers his true passion, and he finds love in an unexpected and forbidden place. As he lives the Plebe life, he starts to realize just how selfish and entitled the Plutes are, and wonders if he really wants to go back to that life. Part love story, part social commentary, this book is an interesting look at a possible future. This is an interesting story, if a little Romeo and Juliet-ish. but I love Romeo and Juliet, so that was fine with me. The idea of having a surgery to become a genius is a fascinating, if scary one, to me, but it may not be as far off as I think it could be. The one part of the book that was a little off for me was the dragonfly imagery and thread that ran through the book; maybe I was being dense while reading, but I just couldn't connect the pieces for why the dragonfly was important. I knew it had to be because there were several references to it, but the author just didn't make enough connections for me to get the importance. After I read, I did some research, and the significance of dragonflies in mythology make sense to the story, but I didn't get it while reading. Good story, though. I haven't read many books focused on music, so this was a nice change in view of the future. ( )
  litgirl29 | Sep 7, 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 privileged 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. --… (more)

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