REVIEW: The Gift - Louise Jensen


When she falls tragically ill, Jenna receives a last-minute heart from a young woman who died. The novel opens as she begins to readjust to 'normal' life, pumped full with medication and still reeling from her break-up with her beloved Sam. Looking for some sense of closure, Jenna gets in touch with her donor's family and from there her life begins to spin out of control.

Dark and creepy with a medical spin, The Gift takes a unique viewpoint and creates an unpredictable pot. It took three sittings for me to devour the novel, glued to Jenna's detailed personality. In fact, the characterisation was the strongest part of the story for me.

When Jenna starts experiencing confusing dreams, she believes they are fuelled by her new heart. Cellular memory, which is also presented in Jenna's new-found love for strawberries and recognition of people she has never met, is vastly intriguing. Jensen brings up some interesting science - it's impossible to scientists at the moment but there are an undeniable amount of cases in which people who receive hearts wake up with the tastes and memories of the original owner. The woman who woke up speaking Russian is the case most people know about and this is a topic that doesn't often appear in fiction, making The Gift a memorable read.

But the novel wasn't quite perfect for me. Jenna and Callie are linked too coincidentally. It folded up the plot a little too conveniently to satisfy me.  Likewise, for a while you're wondering whether Jenna is paranoid or what it is she doesn't know and while this suspense was undeniably effective, I found that some of the information was revealed a bit too late in the story. After you find out the truth Jenna catches you up on who was responsible for the earlier invasions of her privacy and it's too casual to have any power so these reveals fall a little short.

If you enjoyed The Sister, or if you're looking for a great thriller to end the year, then definitely consider reading The Gift.

Love, Jess

I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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