Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Review: Ungifted by Gordan Korman

The bad news is, I haven't posted in about 3 weeks.
The good news is, you have a post right now to read! Check out the review of Ungifted, by Gordan Korman, below!
By Gordan Korman
Cover Courtesy of Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. It's usually more like Don't try this at home. So when the troublemaker pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he's finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students.

It wasn't exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn't be a more perfect hideout for someone like him. That is, if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level. And that becomes harder and harder as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything). But after an ongoing experiment with a live human (sister), an unforgettably dramatic middle-school dance, and the most astonishing come-from-behind robot victory ever, Donovan shows that his gifts might be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.

My Review: I''ve been meaning to read this book since a few years ago, and I'm happy I finally got around to it during the break. I think the most striking things about this book is the diversity of characters and their relationships. Donovan is a pretty strong protagonist, and actually seems to be the best described risk-taking character I've ever read about! His impulsiveness is explained as if it just exists! He wants to be reckless just because, and in my opinion, there's no other way to explain that. I think some authors put in a background story sometimes to explain why the character is like who they are, but I love the fact that Donovan's character is the way it is because that's just who he is! No one explains why some characters are nice, so why should an author dive into depth why someone is reckless?
The author also does a good job with the characters, especially the characters from the ASD, who undergo a large amount of character development. The plot is also engaging, and it moves forward at a comfortable pace.
There were a few complaints I have with this book. I don't understand Noah at all, and why he is trying to fail out of school and try to end up in a place that would be even less stimulating to him. It makes me wonder why his parents didn't enroll him in a school that was even more challenging to his mind. I also thought Katie's POV sounds like she was 14, not 26. The language she uses did not reflect her age well. In addition, I don't feel very convinced Donovan impacts the school very much. Though he made his peers feel more like people with actual lives, I need more proof that he was important to them. I simply don't buy that he changes their lives. I also don't understand why Donovan chooses to be friends with the Daniels, who may be nice occasionally, but get Donovan in trouble quite often.
Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars. It's an enjoyable read!

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