Review: Give It Back

Courtesy of

Book Title: Give It Back
Author: Danielle Esplin
Series: None
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Fiction

Date Read: 05/24/16
Pub Date: 04/07/16


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.

I’d like to thank the author for providing my copy in exchange for an honest review.

“I guess we’re all guilty at some point of failing to appreciate the small things, because when we use a broad brush to paint our exemplary lives, we splatter ourselves with ignorance.”

What an exciting debut novel! I didn’t read many reviews on this one before picking it up and I’m actually glad I didn’t; the less you know going into it the better. The above jacket blurb does a great job summarizing the plot; the story is told with changing POV between the three above-mentioned characters.  Each woman has something to hide and is slowly, deliberately revealed to the reader.  All of the characters end up being pretty messed up (ok, except Wayne because he was so stinking precious!) but it worked for this story.  Typically I don’t like a story where I can’t root for at lest ONE character but it was necessary here; all her characters are majorly flawed but extremely well-developed.  I couldn’t believe that this was her first novel.  In addition to it being her first, the author’s native tongue is Afrikaans meaning she wrote her first novel in her SECOND LANGUAGE.  Super duper cool. I really wish I could say more but NO SPOILERS HERE!


I literally could not put this book down. I’ve had a cold this week, and I was so desperate to finish that I stuck wads of toilet paper up my nose so that I could read in a relatively hygienic environment. I’ll make sure and include a picture next time. 🙂 The pacing is right on point; everything is set up in present day and then we jump between past and present to unveil the mystery. I was hooked from beginning to end; my only slight disappointment was in the ending, but it was just my personal opinion of how I was wanting it to end and I’m sure is a plus for many other readers.  Overall I was extremely impressed and am anxiously awaiting more from Danielle as she has clearly proven what a fine and talented writer she is!

The Full Blood Moon
“Kindled stars in our eyes,
pearly gates to our divine abode,
crepuscular rays radiate through our wide blue yonder.
As the cerulean-blue background dwindles, the full blood 
moon beckons, and the fervor grows.

Paroxysm of pules as dusk rapidly falls.
The brevity of the Full Moon is daunting.
I hear the click of a crossbow,  and a bolt whirred, coring the moon.
Death gestures toward an open grave.
Unorthodox, derelict quietus(es).

A kindled star in my eye,
locked gates to my divine abode,
tenebrous wild black yonder,
As the cerulean-blue background dwindles, the waning crescent wanes, and the
fervor grows.”



2 thoughts on “Review: Give It Back”

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