Review: Gypsy by Trisha Leigh

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Gypsy by Trisha LeighGypsy by Trisha Leigh
Series: The Cavy Files #1
Published by Author on May 13, 2014
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller
Pages: 376
Format: eARC
Source: Author
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars

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.

I’ve read five previous novels by Trisha and I’ve liked them all. Gypsy definitely seemed like a safe bet, since this one, of them all, seemed like it was the most up my alley interests-wise. The subject matter is definitely Christina-bait, though I didn’t know that until I actually started, since the cover made me think it was about ghosts. Sadly, I think this may be my least favorite of Trisha’s books. There were definitely things I liked about it, but a few quirks really irked me.

The Cavy Files sounded like a really weird series name to me, and it took me about half the book to understand why it works, btu that does end up being really cool. The Cavies are the main characters, and they all have powers. They’re sort of X-Menish, but with their own special abilities and challenges. The coolest thing, I think, was the shared mental clubhouse that the ten Cavies could visit while zoning out in the real world. I also liked how varied the powers were in utility, and that the MC, Gypsy, is the least powerful.

The Cavies have grown up together at Darley, an old southern plantation. They’ve been educated and tested by scientists all their lives, told that they’re safer here because the real world would fear and despise them for their powers. What they don’t know is that the end result of that would be them getting locked up in a place with powers comparable to Darley. Anyway, a reporter reveals that children are being kept on this creepy plantation and the kids are rescued. Many, like Gypsy, discover that they have a remaining parent or grandparents. They all have real names. One of the aspects I liked best of Gypsy was the settling in process and how difficult it is for most of the Cavies. I also enjoyed the reflections on what pop culture had gotten wrong about high school.

Each Cavy has two names: their name given to them at Darley and their birth name. The names from Darley relate to their power, though sometimes I don’t understand how. Gypsy’s racist (and the book does reference this) moniker refers to her ability to see when a person will die. The names were my biggest obstacle in the book. Once the second set of names are revealed, I had a really difficult time connecting up the two names. If it had been one switchover, I probably would have managed, but Gypsy/Norah switches back and forth constantly.

Worse for me were the Darley names. Gypsy’s actually one of the better ones. Reaper’s a pretty cool nickname, considering that her power can kill. Flicker fits, since she can teleport. Some of the names, though, threw me out of the book every damn time I encountered them. Athena, for example, is a dude, who has super hearing, but who I could not keep distinct from Goose to the degree I just had to look that up. Athena was named for the Greek goddess, because “of his super hearing and the way people associated her with owls.” Was there really no better referencey name for someone with super hearing? Then there’s Mole, who, despite having fire powers, is named for the fact that he’s blind; I love that he’s depicted as so strong and self-sufficient, but that seemed really awful. Then there’s Haint, who can go invisible. Is it that she “haint” even there? I’ve since learned that it’s a SC term for a ghost, but that’s what I thought whenever I saw it and this name made me physically twitch.

There’s a lot of diversity in Gypsy, which is great, both racial and the inclusion of characters with disabilities. I just wish that the cast had come more alive for me. Gypsy, since she’s the main POV, character is most fleshed out, followed, I think, by Mole. Gypsy’s irritating swears (“Oh, goodnight nurse”, “Shitfire”, and “Oh fits and starts” are some examples) and metaphors got on my nerves, as did the fact that she was REREADING Gravity’s Rainbow. I mean, really. The best relationship development of the book was the one between Gypsy and her father. He’s very sweet and trying very hard to make her feel welcome. Throughout, I had a lot of trouble remembering precisely who was who, partially because of the names and maybe because the cast was so large.

The romance aspect was, like the rest of the book, both the best and the worst. I have high hopes in this department, because there’s a definite reverse harem happening for Gypsy with Jude, Dane and Mole. I am all about reverse harems and so I am loving the dynamic that’s forming. Unfortunately, in this book, Gypsy’s pretty dead set on the one guy I really don’t like. Or, actually, I don’t hate him, but he’s so boring and conventional.

The plot I do like. It’s one of those books where the kids really don’t ever seem to have great options. Darley was obviously a mess, though they didn’t realize it. Normal life might not be possible for most of them. The government certainly doesn’t seem like it will given them a good life either. Everything’s a mess and there’s no way to know who to trust. I enjoy these sorts of plots, because I think they make things more unpredictable. The setting in Charleston is also well done.

So yeah, I’m kind of all over the place with Gypsy. I kind of want to read more, because reverse harem and powers, but I’m not sure if I can handle all the nicknames anymore.

Favorite Quote:

Nothing looks as beautiful when you’re living inside it.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif huh x-men

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