Okay, so you may know that this book was no where near my to-read list, nor had I ever even heard of it before I picked it up. But I was at the library, unable to find any of the books that are on my to-read list, and I was browsing the YA section and saw the shelf for Ursula K. Le Guin. Now, I tried reading one of her books back in grade ten, a book called The Fairy Godmother, and I got a few chapters in and found it completely uninteresting--so much that I stopped reading it. Then last year my dad and I were talking about books and when he said I should read Le Guin, I told him that I tried her and didn't like her writing style at all. He said that he didn't think I had been reading one of her better books, so last week when I saw her name and had nothing to read I decided to try again.
At least I finished this one. It certainly wasn't bad. There's nothing wrong with her writing style at all; in fact I quite like it. The thing with this story was that although it was interesting, it wasn't particularly exciting. And I prefer action over description (not solely, of course, but I don't like a book that is nothing but description if you know what I mean). Gifts had nothing to draw me in. I liked the characters but I didn't love them. I felt like I didn't learn very much about them. I think the concept, the characters and the world were all good, it's just that the whole book was a little bit on the same level, and the ending was very anticlimactic.
Oh dear, I sound really critical, don't I? I'm not trying to be. In this case, I know that Le Guin is a good author, and I know that a lot of people love her work--and probably a lot of people would disagree with what I have said about this book. But I still say that the book wasn't for me. As a said to my journal yesterday, it's good, but it has nothing on my all-stars.
That being said, I did still bookmark a couple of passages to quote to you:
To see that your life is a story while you're in the middle of living it may be a help to living it well. It's unwise, though, to think you know how it's going to go, or how it's going to end. That's to be known only when it's over. --pg. 15
We scarcely know how much of our pleasure and interest in life comes to us through our eyes until we have to do without them; and part of that pleasure is that the eyes can choose where to look. But the ears can't choose where to listen. I wanted to hear the birds singing, for the forest was full of their spring music, but mostly I heard only the men yelling and guffawing, and could only think what a noisy race we humans are. --pg. 155
And with that, I think I'm done with this review. I suppose I should give you a quick synopsis of the book before I go: Gifts is about a boy named Orrec who lives in the Uplands, a placed inhabited and ruled by people with powers, or gifts, different ones according to each family. Orrec's family has the power to undo. And the story is basically about him hiding from his supposed gift while his father kind of feuds with another brantor (ruler of a domain/head of a family) named Ogge. I say kind of because there is very little action. That about it, along with a bit of a friendship/love story between Orrec and his best and only friend Gry. It's a beautifully written story of little substance. But you're welcome to disagree with me if you want.