ARC Book Review: Ungifted by Kelly Oram

Please Note: This is a review for a second book in a series. There may or may not be spoilers as much as I try to avoid it. You can find my review on the first book, Chameleon, here. But I think this one is worth reading because I liked this sequel better than the first book.

Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

Title: Ungifted
Author: Kelly Oram
Publication Date: February 20, 2014
Publisher: Bluefields
Series: Supernaturals #2
Format: eARC
Acquisition: Free from the Author

Even though her father is running for President of the United States, Grace St. Claire is as normal a girl as they come. She’s clumsy, shy, and an outcast among her peers. She even manages to nearly die in a freak accident in front of the entire school. But when Grace survives a vampire attack she quickly learns that she is anything but ordinary.
There’s something about human Grace that has all the supernaturals around her going crazy. Her best friend’s brother suddenly wants to date her. Her worst enemy has sworn to protect her even against her wishes. Someone with very powerful magic wants her dead, and the vampire that attacked her has developed an obsession with making her his eternal mate.
In order to survive—and not as Count Dracula’s undead bride—Grace dives head first into the terrifying world of the supernatural. She teams up with a charming but mysterious warlock who strolled into town causing trouble and spouting stories of a Prophesy and Chosen One that looks exactly like Grace. Together they must figure out why Grace is different, who wants her dead, how she’s connected to the Chosen One, and who they can really trust.


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I read the first book of this series around 5 months ago, but I cannot really remember much of the details. I just remember the characters, and not liking it as much as I would have wanted. So I was pretty afraid to try this one out, but I’m glad that I did. I think that this was a definite improvement as compared to the first in the series, and I might just look forward to the next one. I don’t think it’s perfect though. I actually love-hate this book. Like in Chameleon, I soon started finding myself to hate the main character, which led to me not enjoying this book as much as I would have hoped.

Grace St. Claire, daughter of an American presidential candidate, is quite the unfortunate protagonist. It’s sad how Grace’s relationship with her father is so broken beyond repair, as her father obsesses over politics and leaves her feeling unwanted. Most people didn’t want anything to do with her unless they’re using her to get to her father. It was so easy for her to just be invisible and to fake her way through high school where most people call her “Dis-Grace.” It doesn’t help that she’s also really clumsy and attracts attention anyway. But when she turned 16, a lot of things changed for her starting with a murder attempt, and now the supernaturals are after her – each of them with their own intentions. Grace must fight the emotions that overwhelm her and fight to stay alive. Honestly, Grace was pleasant enough for the most part. It’s just her stupidity that leave me infuriated. A lot of bad things that happened were rooted from her poor behavior.

I think the supernatural I hated the most would have to be Andrew De La Cote, the vampire, mostly because he was evil. Antagonists are mostly meant to be hated, I guess. Andrew developed this obsession over Grace that made him insane. He resolved to threatening, blackmailing, kidnapping, and other heinous acts. He just wouldn’t take no for an answer. But what I really couldn’t condone was Grace’s actions about the matter. She wouldn’t tell others about the big threat he poses and she wouldn’t allow others to kill him or stop him. I honestly don’t understand this, and things just went spiraling down from there. It caused a world of hurt for many.

But this book isn’t full of unlikable people. Grace had Cynthia, a really great best friend, who isn’t perfect and has a dark secret, but who honestly cares about Grace. And there’s also Cynthia’s older brother, Preston, who understands what it’s like to be burdened with expectations and responsibilities being the soon-to-be-alpha of the werewolf pack. He has probably given Grace a relationship that is real and not based off of anything else. And there’s also Ethan who always comes to Grace’s rescue. Grace and Ethan actually hate each other a lot, and I honestly don’t know why Grace hates Ethan. As far as I see it, Ethan only acts arrogant and teases her. I’m not really sure what else is there to hate so I cannot accept how she acts towards Ethan, especially until the end. Ethan is actually a complicated character that I learned to love more once I got to know him and I hated how Grace couldn’t see that. She’s the narrator of the story and she gives the facts, yet she can’t see it for herself. It was annoying!

Ungifted was actually a totally different story from Chameleon as new people were introduced. Chameleon was Dani’s story while Ungifted is Grace’s story. It felt like both books were introductions to Dani and Grace, revealing their own purposes and personalities. Some questions I had for Chameleon were given answers in Ungifted, but I think that there is still so much more to find out. I must point out that I liked how the two books somehow intersected, despite not doing so completely.

I’m obsessed with Russ Devereaux to say the least. Was it weird that I knew it was him even before he introduced himself? And I totally squealed when he did. He was one of the few rays of sunshine in Chameleon, and he surely didn’t fail me in this book either. What can I say? Russ is just charming and funny. It’s definitely hard not to love him. A lot more was shown about his character, and he may be the main reason why I want to read the next books. I’d love to see how he develops as a warlock, and I’d surely love to know his unexplained connection to Grace. And I also loved the bromance.

It was also great to see Duncan Moore again. I loved him in Chameleon, and I didn’t know that he was so revered among the community. He’s one of the oldest supernaturals around, and he wants nothing but to help others. I think he gets conflicted with the higher ups and is forced to do things that aren’t so good, but he definitely cares for those who might need his help. He also provided much needed information to the story.

The romance in this book was pretty messed up; thus, it wasn’t even marked as a romance book. I don’t think it can even be considered as one with the way Grace got involved with so many different guys, yet never even really having anything serious to do with them. It’s quite hard to know what’s good or bad, especially since the supernaturals do not think or feel the same way as humans do. I think there could have been something, but it just wasn’t given. I keep on wondering how things will end up for Grace on this front. Also, I must warn people that there are inexplicable attractions going on in this series because supernaturals aren’t normal.

I loved the start of this book, and it gave me so much hope that this would be a really good read. But my enjoyment faltered somewhere along the middle, but it was still bearable. It just really went snowballing down near the end until it just crashed. I must say that this book was intriguing and amusing enough to finish from night until 8am in the morning. I loved how the connections were formed from Chameleon to Ungifted. I think what I hated about it was mostly Grace and the plot.

Somewhere near the end, it was just hard to put the smile back on my face. The way things turned out just annoyed me and made me hate Grace so much. I don’t know why, but the series books that Kelly Oram has written have fallen flat for me. I think it’s because she’s too intent in leading the books to the sequels, but it just leaves its readers frustrated rather than pining for the next one. That’s how I feel anyway. I loved all of Kelly Oram’s standalone books, and the only series book that I absolutely loved was Being Jamie Baker and she didn’t even write that with the intention of having a sequel.

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OVERALL, Ungifted was a lot better than I expected it to be, but still not perfect. This book was still interlaced with Kelly Oram’s wit and humor that always provides great amusement. I also loved how Kelly made connections with the first book to the second even if the stories were on different sides of the big picture. Up to this book, I don’t really know what the big picture is, but I hope to see it in the upcoming sequel. Also, there were just some characters and developments that I really hated that hindered me from loving Ungifted. I think the ending fell a little flat for me. But there are a lot of characters that I simply loved or got to love once I knew more about them. I would definitely read the sequel. I just hope that there wouldn’t be another one after that sequel because I’m not really enjoying Kelly Oram’s writing when she does it with sequels in mind.

RATING:

4-star

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Disclaimer:

  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.
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