Thanks so much to Reagan of YA Book Bridges for reading and reviewing “Gifted” – hopefully she will have more to say on the sequel “Twin” when it is released in 2013.
Check out her review and the rest of her blog here:
REVIEW: Always leery of self-published books that are immediately ebooks, this review was accepted with misgivings; however, Hulse’s debut turns out to be a pleasant surprise. There are few editing mistakes which are typical in self-pubbed ebooks and the writing is impressive.
But…on to the meat of the issue. The main character and the other characters’ stories are what really drives this book. Evie is confident, if even headstrong, and readers will admire her pluck. Her shining qualities are her loyalty and dedication to sincerity. The interesting thing is that while she never says something she doesn’t truly mean, that doesn’t mean that she’s always truthful. It’s difficult to create a character with principles who is also human but Hulse has accomplished just that. Seth is a loyal friend to Evie but his own story isn’t glossed over and readers will feel Seth’s struggle clearly as a subtle compliment to Evie’s conflict. Piers, too, is a fully fleshed-out character and Hulse does a great job of making the reader feel just as pulled toward Piers as is Evie. It is also refreshing to see parents play an actual role in the story. So many times characters’ parents are marginalized as uninvolved or struggling with their own demons in order to give the adolescent main character free reign. Hulse manages to capture the right balance between parents who are involved and in tune with their child while allowing interactions between characters to take place in realistic, sans-parents settings.
The plot itself is a treat. Hulse infuses a tired, talking-to-the-dead scenario with twists and turns that make it fun to read. Every time it seems the ending is predictable, Hulse throws in another twist that makes readers rethink their predictions. Ultimately, the plot is not so different than other paranormal romances but Hulse is able to craft the story in such a way that it never seems tired or cliche.
Hulse is one to watch and with three more installments in the Evangeline Devine series, there is much to look forward to with this author. Much like her small but spunky home of Jersey, Hulse is an ebook author who packs a punch. Teen fans of paranormal romance should definitely include this series on their To-Be-Read lists.