This review is written with thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of The Gift.
Jenna is thirty years old when she receives a heart transplant. She is desperate to thank the family of her donor for giving her a new lease of life, but as she grows closer to Callie's family, she learns that they are hiding some very dark secrets, particularly about how Callie died. Can Jenna find out what really happened to Callie.
I found the premise of The Gift to be very interesting, and was drawn into the novel by the sense of mystery that Jensen creates through her atmospheric storytelling and the build up of tension throughout her writing. Her focus on the concept of cellular memory allows Jensen to write about Jenna's situation in a thought provoking way, and whilst this initially piqued my interest, I felt that, at times, this theme was taken too far, and I was required to suspend my belief for longer than I would have liked.
The Gift is mostly written in first person from Jenna's perspective. This is effective, as it gives the reader insight into Jenna's thoughts and feelings, and allowed me to question Callie's death in the same way that Jenna does. It is also clear from the outset that Jenna's account of events may not be reliable, which increases the tension throughout the novel, as it means that every character is under scrutiny. Jenna's narration is interrupted by chapters told from the perspective of another narrator. It is not immediately obvious who this narrator is, and as such, I felt that the additional narrator slowed the pace of the plot slightly.
There is a twist in The Gift, which made for a tense conclusion, and kept me intrigued until the end of the novel. However, this twist is heavily focused on the theme of cellular memory, and therefore my difficulty in believing the effect that cellular memory had on Jenna's life lessened the impact of the twist for me, and I finished the novel feeling slightly underwhelmed.
The Gift is published on 16th December and is available from Amazon.