Review: Give It Back by Danielle Esplin
Give It Back
Author: Danielle Esplin
Publisher: Danielle Esplin
Published: April 7, 2016
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary
This novel follows three characters: Lorraine, Lexy, and Ella.
Not long ago, Lorraine lost her husband to another woman. She thought that was the worst thing that could happen to her, but soon she realizes it’s just the beginning of an everlasting nightmare.
Lexy, an au pair from London, moves to Seattle to help Lorraine with her infant son. But she didn’t come for the child…she came for something else.
When Ella receives a call from her sister, Lorraine, who begs her to leave San Diego to spend time with her, she decides to take a few days off from work to visit her. Frightened to see how much Lorraine has weakened since her diagnosis eight months ago, she packs a bag and heads to Seattle with a foreboding feeling that this might be the last time she sees Lorraine.
But on her way to the airport, she learns that something shocking has happened since she last spoke with Lorraine and now. To make matters worse, once Ella arrives in Seattle, Lorraine’s story keeps changing, making Ella question how reliable her sister really is.
Soon Ella is entangled in a mysterious investigation, and more so, in the lives of everyone involved. She realizes not only that she won’t go home anytime soon but also that she’ll never look at others the same way she did before.
Pitch Perfect Pick Winner April 2016.
May 2016 Go Indie Now! Literary Award Winner.
Give It Back was a good psychological thriller book for me. It was ingeniously written and was constructed with a clever and mysterious plotline. However, there were some issues that made this book a less enjoyable read for me.
Give It Back‘s story centered on three women namely Lorraine, Lexy, and Ella. When Lexy and Lorraine’s son went missing, Ella got to Seattle to help Lorraine solve the mystery behind. That time, Lorraine was also dying of brain cancer and everything was just so complicated and messed up. There were other characters that were involved in the case as Ella tried to dig deeper and uncover secrets alongside two detectives in the city.
In this book you can expect to find multiple POVS and numerous timelines that jump from past to present and then back again. I was okay with the multiple POVS. However, reading the back and forth timelines felt like a chore to me. At times it also made me feel confused and somewhat… lost.
The characters were interesting enough… especially Lexy. For me, she’s the most intriguing heroine here. I found her so inscrutable– like she’s totally hiding all the secrets in every scheme. The plot was also unpredictable, though I admit when I got into the near-end parts I was already forming a clue. Still, it didn’t fail to surprise me when the bomb dropped.
There were unnecessary scenes unfortunately, and they pushed everything into a slower pace which bored me. Nevertheless, the mystery factor was fairly good. It did strike me as particularly daring, so I liked it.
Despite my issues with the unnecessary scenes and slow pacing, the second half of the book was able to build up a decent finale. It was a hanging conclusion, but hey, this is psychological thriller. It’s what we usually anticipate, right?
As a whole, Give It Back was a promising debut novel. Danielle Esplin is a storyteller that has so much potential. I hope she writes more books because this book was sure to be a good start!
(Thank you to the author Danielle Esplin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)
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