How did I not pick this as one of my BOTM picks that month? It seems so in my wheelhouse. Bruce Holsinger’s The Gifted School is about elite parents, crazy friendship dynamics, is multi-POV, and has that private/magnet school aspect I clamor for. It’s kind of insane that I waited so long to read it–but I ultimately did a trade in one of the BOTM groups and ended up really enjoying the book! It’s kind of like Big Little Lies without the murder? But sometimes I did want someone to get murdered (Beck, lol).
Told in alternating POVs, The Gifted School is about a group of friends and their families dealing with their lives as the admissions process for a new magnet school for exceptionally gifted children threatens to tear them all about. There’s Rose and her daughter Emma Z, who likes horses and her best friend, Emma Q, who is the daughter of Kevin and Samantha–they’re both assumed to be brilliant, but every parent thinks that about their child. There’s mother Lauren, a widow with two kids: Xander, who seems to be a genius, and Tess, who appears to be a wild teen on a downward slope. Plus there’s Azra, the mother of twins Charlie and Aidan with her ex, Beck, and his new wife, Sonja. They’ll play the game of the new magnet school, but will long-held secrets, lies, and a chance at being special throw their lives into complete turmoil?
I really enjoyed this book! It’s drama and elitism and intrigue and I love guessing what secret is going to explode before it does! I also loved the POVs–they’re so varied. We hear a lot from Beck and Rose–but also from Xander, and Tess, and the Emmas. It’s all about learning what we can about these people and their lives in this suburban Colorado dream house kind of situation. We even hear from the maid of the group whose grandson is trying for the magnet school as well. It’s got all the perspectives, examines the weirdness of the idea of gifted children, touches on some great family dynamics, and I was just a big fan!