The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?
Jenna is seriously ill. She’s lost all hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live. But just as her life is ebbing away, she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie.
Who was Callie and how did she die? Jenna is determined to find out.
The closer Jenna gets to those who loved Callie, the more questions arise about her untimely death. Someone knows what happened to Callie. Why won’t they talk?
Jenna is about to uncover the truth, but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.
The Sister by Louise Jensen is one my favorite reads this year so I was really excited when I found out that the author had published a second book. The Gift is a story about a young woman who had a heart transplant. However, the new heart turns out to be a mixed blessing that saved and risked Jenna’s life at the same time. Six months after the transplant, Jenna decides to make contact with the donor’s family. It is at this point that it becomes apparent that something wasn’t quite right and Jenna is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding her donor’s death.
This book introduces the concept of cellular memory which I had never heard of before. The idea is that Jenna inherited the memories of the organ donor and so she starts having flashbacks in form of dreams. As the flashbacks progress, Jenna becomes more convinced that Callie’s death was not accidental. The chapters on the memories were quite captivating. At first, I assumed that the villain was obvious based on the memories but the author still managed to surprise me.
I liked Jenna’s character, she was a complex, flawed character but I found her to be quite likeable and sympathetic. There are sections when I wasn’t sure whether she was a reliable narrator because it seemed like she kept forgetting so many details and her memories were all mixed up. However, the author did a brilliant job of developing her character in such a way that got me invested in her. Her paranoia became my paranoia and I found myself getting nervous reading about her attempts to discover the truth.Another memorable character in the book was Jenna’s ex-boyfriend; Sam. He was portrayed in a really sympathetic manner that made it easy to like him. I found myself rooting for him as much as I was rooting for Jenna. Sam is loyal, dependable and just wonderful despite the issues that the two were going through.
What I really liked….
I really liked the fact that The Gift by Louise Jensen was unpredictable. I thought that I could guess who the villain was based on the cellular memories but I ended up being surprised at the end. I wasn’t too crazy about the final twist but I loved the fact that I couldn’t have guessed it. I also liked how cleverly the author tied up the prologue and the ending.
I enjoyed the suspense in the book that was maintained from the prologue to the last chapter. At some point, Jenna became a bit obsessed with Callie and started doing things that seemed more irrational. However, even her erratic behavior had me at the edge of my seat. I couldn’t stop turning the pages tying to find out what would happen to Jenna and also the truth about Callie’s death.
What I didn’t like so much…
The concept of cellular memory was new and quite unique. However, I guess I don’t completely buy the idea even though it may not be farfetched since there is some research supporting it. Therefore, I can’t really say that there was anything that I didn’t like in the book but this really was a fuzzy concept for me. Nevertheless, it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book though.
I recommend The Gift by Louise Jensen to all fans of mystery and psychological thrillers. If you are looking for a fast-paced mystery that will have get you hooked on the story from the first page then you should definitely get this book.
Ps: If you haven’t yet read The Sister then I definitely recommend that you do. Here is my review of the book.