REVIEW by @BunnyBethA : Gift by Andrea J Buchanan – Release Date 3/27/12 (@andibuchanan)

High school sophomore Daisy Jones is just trying to get by unnoticed. It doesn’t help that she’s the new girl at school, lives in a trailer park, and doesn’t even own a cell phone. But there’s a good reason for all that: Daisy has a secret, unpredictable power—one only her best friend, Danielle, knows about.

Despite her “gift” (or is it a curse?), Daisy’s doing a good job of fitting in—and a cute senior named Kevin even seems interested in her! But when Daisy tries to help Vivi, a mysterious classmate in a crisis, she soon discovers that her new friend has a secret of her own. Now Daisy and her friends must deal with chilling dreams and messages from the beyond. Can Daisy channel the power she’s always tried to hide—before it’s too late?

The world was much younger place when I was a high school sophomore.Telephones were big, black, and had dials.My family celebrated when Rochester Telephone granted us a private line. There was no internet, no video games, and color television was a luxury. A girl in my class got sent home because she was wearing culottes, and the dean of girls thought her attire was too “casual” for school.
But one thing wasn’t different back in the dinosaur days of my youth: No one wanted to be different, to stand apart from anyone else.
My friends and I, we wanted to be liked, to blend in with everyone else. 
I don’t think about my high school days too much, because I’ve now got a lifetime of experience, good and bad, to draw from.
But Gift reminded me what it’s like to feel different. All of us are good at some things, not so good at others. We are all gifted, in unique ways. I’ve never been good at sports, but have always loved to read. I can’t draw worth beans, but my son and two of my grandchildren are good artists. 
Suppose you were a high school sophomore and you had a special power, the ability to do things few people can. Things that your friends might find too strange for words.
That’s what high school sophomore Daisy is struggling with, a gift that’s hard to control, that she can’t talk to anyone about.
Gift is written for a young adult audience, but I enjoyed reading it a lot. Something very special happens when the characters of Daisy, Danielle, Vivi and Kevin get together. Despite being very different, these four young people learn how to work together to take on a powerful enemy. Daisy’s friends help her to accept, and deal with, her special gift. I love it when young people, especially young females, step up and fight for what they believe is right, despite being scared spitless. Not many of us have to fight evil, but we all must stand up for what we think is right, in our day-to-day lives, throughout our lives. 
There were a few things about Gift that I was not wild about–Danielle’s snark got to me sometimes, as did Vivi’s timidity. And I was kind of bored by the graphic novel and journal at the end of the book. But I’m hoping that Andi Buchanan writes another Daisy/Danielle/Vivi/Kevin adventure, because  Gift is an entertaining tale with a few little twists. I’m always hooked when a writer creates solid characters and lets me drift away from the real world for a few hours, allowing me to raise my eyebrows (a bit) in appreciation. I’m also comforted that not everything has changed in the years since I was a high school sophomore. Maybe I’m not a dinosaur after all!
I give Gift 3.5 stars, well written and entertaining, a book I would be glad to share with one of my grandchildren, and one I hope you take the time to read.

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