Monday, August 25, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Gypsy by Trisha Leigh

Title:  Gypsy
Series: The Cavy Files #1
Author: Trisha Leigh
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Pages: 376
Goodreads Rating: 4.35/5 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Content Rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)

Summary from Goodreads: Inconsequential: not important or significant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant

In the world of genetic mutation, Gypsy’s talent of knowing a person’s age of death is considered a failure. Her peers, the other Cavies, have powers that range from curdling a blood still in the vein to being able to overhear a conversation taking place three miles away, but when they’re taken from the sanctuary where they grew up and forced into the real world, Gypsy, with her all-but-invisible gift, is the one with the advantage.

The only one who’s safe, if the world finds out what they can do.

When the Cavies are attacked and inoculated with an unidentified virus, that illusion is shattered. Whatever was attached to the virus causes their abilities to change. Grow. In some cases, to escape their control.

Gypsy dreamed of normal high school, normal friends, a normal life, for years. Instead, the Cavies are sucked under a sea of government intrigue, weaponized genetic mutation, and crushing secrets that will reframe everything they’ve ever been told about how their "talents" came to be in the first place.

When they find out one of their own has been appropriated by the government, mistreated and forced to run dangerous missions, their desire for information becomes a pressing need. With only a series of guesses about their origins, the path to the truth becomes quickly littered with friends, enemies, and in the end, the Cavies ability to trust anyone at all.

Gypsy was taken in as a baby by a secret group that shelters (and experiments on) children with abilities, who they've dubbed the Cavies. But while Gypsy's friends have impressive abilities like invisibility, super speed, and the ability to set things on fire, Gypsy can only see the age at which someone will die when she touches them. This ability is not only not particularly useful, but it makes Gypsy constantly feel like she's walking among the almost-dead. She would love nothing more than to live a normal life. But when the Cavies are "rescued" from their captors and forced out into the real world where they have to pretend to have no abilities at all, Gypsy suddenly isn't so sure how well she can adapt to the outside world after all.

To make things more complicated, just as Gypsy is settling in, someone attacks the Cavies and injects them with a virus that increases their powers. They suddenly discover that the people who held them are not the only ones who know about their abilities - and that they may have more enemies than they realized.

What I loved:
  • Superpowers!  I loved the idea behind this story. Gypsy and her friends have been raised by some secret group that is constantly pushing them to the limit of their abilities. Of course, you have to wonder who these people are and what they're training the Cavies for. And the idea of teens with superpowers has always been a favorite of mine - what teen doesn't wish that they had them!
  • The characters. Leigh did a great job of creating characters who I was invested in. Each of the Cavies had their own, distinct, strong personalities and they all dealt with the transition to the "real world" in their own ways. My favorite of the Cavies was Mole, Gypsy's best friend (and possible love interest?). I loved the bond between these two characters. Once Gypsy gets out into the real world, she meets Jude, another one of my favorite characters. While there isn't a huge romance in the book, there is definitely a little bit of a love triangle with Mole and Jude (with small hints of a quadrangle with another character as well - I wasn't so crazy about him - I'll talk more about him later).
  • Discoveries.  Throughout the book, Gypsy and the other Cavies make quite a few discoveries about themselves - their families, their backgrounds, the people who raised them. There are tons of mysteries that unfold throughout the book and I really enjoyed discovering the many pieces of the puzzle that came together. The Cavies never quite knew who to trust, and I was never sure either!
  • Family relationships.  This book explored family relationships and what makes people bond as a family. The Cavies have been the only family that Gypsy has ever known and when the group is torn apart, needless to say, they go through a difficult transition. On top of that, some of them have newfound family members and they suddenly have to navigate those new relationships - it can get pretty complicated and overwhelming!
The negatives:
  • Dane.  Dane is the one character that I wasn't crazy about. Gypsy immediately became friends with him when she started at her new school and it just seemed way too obvious that something was going on with him. I didn't get why Gypsy wanted to trust him so much and his motivations never made a lot of sense to me.  Plus there were hints that Gypsy might have felt an attraction to him as well, and I didn't really see it or want the triangle to turn into a quadrangle.  Parts of the storyline that involved Dane seemed a bit unbelievable or forced to me, but it didn't ruin the book as a whole.
    If you're looking for an interesting new YA paranormal book, then I'd recommend picking Gypsy up! With fun characters and lots of surprises, this one was a winner! 4/5 stars.

    ***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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    About the Author
    Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

    Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

    Trisha is the author of The Last Year series and the Whitman University books. She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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