Book Review: The Gift by Louise Jensen

the-giftWhat’s it about?

The perfect daughter is dead. And a secret is eating her family alive…

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

My thoughts

I’m afraid I jumped on that bandwagon to see what the fuss was all about with this book and I’m afraid I was left waiting for more.  I’m aware I’m in the minority as every other reader I know has loved this book and this is somewhat an unpopular opinion.

I found the whole cellular memory an interesting concept; although I felt I needed to suspend all disbelief for this premise to work.

My main problem was that I didn’t gel with Jenna, I found a number of her actions, decisions and conversations implausible that made me eye roll rather than fear for her.  I found myself getting irritated with the plot rather than absorbed in the intended thrill for example the number of times artists and songs were referred to; it felt more like name dropping than trying to evoke an atmosphere.  It’s just a cold…repeated over and over when it clearly isn’t just grated rather than added to my sympathies and concern for Jenna and what did happen to Nathan? Why did he not take this further?

Shame really as I’ve heard the author’s debut novel, The Sister, was exceptional.  Having said all that, the book had a good ending with great pace with a culprit I didn’t see coming. Sorry!

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source:  ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 354
Publisher: Bookouture


  1. 17th February 2017 / 9:22 am

    I couldn’t get on with her first novel, The Sister. Like what you’re saying in your review, I didn’t get on with our mc and I found the plot really implausible!

    • 17th February 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Some of us just don’t connect on any level with a character do we, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that! 🙂

  2. 17th February 2017 / 9:43 am

    It wouldn’t do for us all to be the same! I really enjoyed it.

    • 17th February 2017 / 2:08 pm

      You’re absolutely right and I know I will be in the minority 🙂

  3. 17th February 2017 / 10:44 am

    I can feel your angst in not liking it as others have Lindsay but we have such different experiences and perceptions don’t we. You are always honest. Respect. x

    • 17th February 2017 / 2:07 pm

      We do and I don’t like saying I didn’t enjoy a book others have loved, but I also don’t want to be dishonest as I think it undermines everything you ever write!! xx

  4. 17th February 2017 / 11:11 am

    Sounds like a good premise though.

    • 17th February 2017 / 2:10 pm

      It was an interesting concept and one I’ve not come across before so hats off to the author for originality.

  5. 18th February 2017 / 9:04 am

    I loved the first book and was so excited to read this one too (I preordered them both!) but when I read this one…it felt rushed. I think it could have been something great but it fell a little flat for me too. That seems to be the problem when a writer finally gets a book deal, they have to have it finished by tomorrow, losing the time it takes to get it right. Shame. x

  6. 18th February 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I’m sorry The Gift did not work for you. With this kind of books, you really need to connect to the character to get into the plot so too bad Jenny did not win you over. Will you consider reading her debut nonetheless?

    • 19th February 2017 / 8:22 pm

      I doubt it to be honest, I have so many others to choose from that I’ll probably move on and forget all about it.

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