Cover Image: The Girl You Gave Away

The Girl You Gave Away

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder was really good, a definite must-read for anyone who enjoys a suspenseful domestic thriller.  I’ve read a few books now by this author and have liked them all, so you can’t go wrong with choosing any of her novels.

Secrets, kidnapping, and revenge figure into this story which is the perfect cocktail for dark suspense.

Here’s the plot:

All she wanted was the life they had…It is the day of Erin’s fortieth birthday party. Pink and silver balloons drift through her garden, the platters of food are empty and the recycling is overflowing with empty wine bottles.  As Erin mingles with groups of family and friends, surrounded by love and laughter, she feels like the luckiest woman alive. She has no idea what fate has in store …

Then a little red envelope lands on the doormat and everything changes. Inside is a birthday card from somebody she never dreamed would get in touch. Its message is a chilling reminder of the dark past that Erin has worked so hard to bury, a past that could put her precious family in terrible danger…

I also liked The Ex-Wife and The Dream House by Jess Ryder. Highly recommend both of them!

Only $3.99 on Kindle! Coming out on March 20th!
Was this review helpful?
A story with plenty of twists. This is a mostly believable story with a few twists. I felt that the book was a bit long in places and it took perseverance to read to the end. I did not like Erin or Tom. I could not warm to them as characters. I felt sorry for Jade but could not feel the same sympathy for Erin. Dean was totally believable. I liked the ending of the book and felt that that was a good way to conclude the story. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

"The Girl You Gave Away" by Jess Ryder follows the story of Erin and the child she gave away when she was young. Erin has spent her whole life building a world that allows her to forget about her past... until she receives a birthday card on her doorstep signed from the girl you gave away. From there everything comes crashing down and it's hard to know where the lies end. In order to untangle everything, Erin must confront the past.

This book took a little bit of time to get into. With shifting points of view between Erin and her daughter, Jade, the story takes a bit to build all the layers needed to feel invested. The chapters were small, which increased reading speed, but I didn't feel fully involved until about 30% of the way in.

Jade is a character that is hard to root for. She is a liar and tends to pretend that she is on TV more than she is in the real world. She has good reasons to not be fully present, but she is hard to take in the beginning. That combined with Erin who seems to also lie to get out of trouble and who doesn't seem to want to take responsibility for her actions, the characters have to develop more before you like them.

I think the biggest reason I stuck with the story was the one end that seemed to be hastily tied up at the end. Someone blackmails Erin out of money while pretending to be Jade and we never really get to see the end of that story line. The climax we were given feels forced and lame in comparison to what could have been.

Overall, I gave this book three stars. There were a lot of good elements, but there were some missed opportunities that I felt like would have made the book more addictive.
Was this review helpful?
This is a gripping psychological thriller that had me hooked from the first few pages. 
Erin receives a card on her Birthday from someone very unexpected and it brings her past hurtling towards her present family life with her husband and children. 
Tom has always said he hates lies so Erin can’t bring herself to tell him the truth but soon it’s taken out of her hands. 
The story flashes back to when Erin was a teenager and we learn what happened to her back then. 
In the present day we see how a secret can quickly unravel someone’s life and the affect it has on the family. 
I really felt for Erin and liked how the story came together with views from the past and present. 
A great psychological thriller that will have you racing through the pages. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Was this review helpful?
First, I want to thank Jess Ryder, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with this book so I can bring you this review. 

WOW!! This was my first time reading Jess Ryder and it won’t be my last! She grabbed my attention right away and didn’t let go til the very end. In fact she shocked me in many places along the way. 

This was a very interesting story. Learning about Erin and Dean’s past is now affecting the future. In a way I think most girls could relate to how Erin felt about Dean. However, like a typical male in that situation he was just a jerk!! 

Fast forward to the future everything Erin thought was right in her life wasn’t. She was going to have a rude awakening call from her loved ones.

There are a lot of side stories in this book that intertwine with the main story. 

I couldn’t believe how many twists and turns there were in this book. Events I didn’t even see coming. Not to mention the ending!!! WOW!!!!

Jess brought out so much drama and emotion in these characters!
Was this review helpful?
When a note shows up on the doorstep during Erin's 40th birthday party, the past she worked so hard to hide has appeared out of the blue. Ryder's book about a young woman put up for adoption by her teenage birthmother provided all the twists and turns I love. The back and forth between the character's stories is a style that I enjoy, but is, at times, hard to pull off. Ryder pulled it off. The one character that I struggled with the most was Erin's husband, Tom. His hardness and unforgiving behavior made it difficult for me to have any empathy for him.

Having had the opportunity to read both the original ending and the revised ending, I was glad that Ryder took the feedback she received and made those changes. The second ending was much more believable and satisfying. 

Thanks to Net Galley and Bookouture for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
The Girl I Gave Away by Jess Ryder

I Loved this book. From the very first chapter I knew I was going to enjoy reading it and it did not disappoint. I could not put the book down as the story kept me on the edge of my seat.  

The story is fast paced and exciting.

The drama and suspense are excellent.

 I have read all Jess Ryder’s other books and I think they are all fantastic. All of her book are addictive and I can’t sleep, eat or work until I have finished her book.

I would like to thank Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
I really like the way that Jess Ryder writes. There are no wasted words or ridiculous details. 

The characters are well developed and real. So many thrillers have lackluster leads, no one to really fight for. Here, I felt for Erin and Jade, not that they were without flaws, but they were real.

There were some decent twists.  I thought this would be pretty cut and dry when I started it but it was more layered than I thought. The ending is crazy, but then again,
maybe not.  

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Bookouture for a copy in exchange for a review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this - it was easy to read and well written.
I shared empathy with Erin - to some extent, because she had a tough time growing up. I then felt less sorry for her as the book went on as she was pretty annoying! Discovering her daughter has found her all these years later must have been quite the shock! Finding out she is a pathological liar and a bit unhinged must have been a bigger one! 
This is a prime example of how you can’t run from your past!
Was this review helpful?
I’d like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘The Girl You Gave Away’ by Jess Ryder in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Erin is forty and a birthday party has been arranged to celebrate but as she moves around her house she finds a red envelope on the doormat containing a birthday card that reads ‘Happy Birthday Mum, With love from the girl you gave away xxx’.  Erin has never told her husband Tom about her past and this card could destroy her relationship with him and their children Oli and Chloe.  

‘The Girl You Gave Away’ is a gripping and convincing psychological thriller that had me hooked from page one.  It’s been cleverly written with interesting and believable characters and a plot full of drama, and as I got further into the story the tension increased with each twist and turn keeping me glued to my seat unable to stop reading.  When I reached the last page I didn’t want it to end as I was desperate to know what was going to happen to Erin.  This thriller is compulsive reading at it’s very best and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to @bookouture and @ for this advanced reading copy of The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder. It was a great first read for me with this author! It checks all the boxes of a domestic thriller. Check it out on it’s publication date of March 20th, 2020.

Erin has just had her fortieth birthday and is feeling pretty satisfied with how her life has turned out. She’s married with two children, a small business owner, lives in a lovely home and has a great group of friends. Her life is thrown upside down when a red envelope arrives on her front step during her birthday party. Her secret is about to be revealed to her family whether she is prepared or not. She has another daughter from when she was only fourteen, but she gave her up from adoption. 

Ryder’s novel had excellent twists and turns. I liked it because there wasn’t only one - there were many! I never knew what was coming next. The story is told from Erin’s point of view in the past and present, as well as from her adoptive daughter’s perspective. I found Erin’s feelings to be realistic and legitimate. I found the novel to be an enjoyable read for sure!
Was this review helpful?
Omg! I absolutely loved that book soooooo much!, it’s amazing drama story! 

Well, first of all, that woman doesn’t know what’s happened to her daughter Jade when she got pregnant by 14 years old...her daughter Jade had a lots of health issues due to the fact of her doing something else that she did...

Dean keeps deny it all of it! Can’t keep hands off girls awful! He should be ashamed of what he did to her and his daughter...

Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy...
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgallery for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.   All opinions are my own. 

The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder was your average Domestic Drama vs a Psychological Thriller, although it had a couple of "thriller moments ".  While I feel the book was well written, I felt it fell short of being the Psychological Thriller it's being marketed as.  If you are looking to read a book about the struggles of a mother forced to give her baby up for adoption as a teen, this one is right up your alley.
Was this review helpful?
DNF I couldn’t finish this novel because I hated all the characters. I did feel bad that when Erin was fourteen, her very strict Catholic parents caused her to rebel and start drinking too much and hanging out with a not nice guy, who definitely shouldn’t have been having unprotected sex with an underage girl. I also felt bad that she had no idea that sex should actually be enjoyable and—gasp!—maybe even loving and fun, and that she was too ignorant to understand the signs of pregnancy. She gave birth to the girl and was forced to give her up for adoption and essentially abandoned by her parents.

I felt bad that Jade, the daughter Erin was for to give up, has some developmental disabilities, which are possibly responsible for the fact she’s a pathological liar. Except for that, she was adopted by a very loving couple who forgive her for all the terrible decisions she’s made for herself. I know people who are adopted, and I’ve never met one who’s any more screwed up in the head than the rest of us who were raised by the parents whose DNA we inherited. 

The fact that Erin felt she couldn’t tell her husband about what happened when she was so young because she thought he’d leave her makes me not like him, and the daughter she had with Tom is also awful (I liked her nerdy book worm son who is actually a nice human).

The writing style and characters just didn’t work for me. This will be released March 20, 2020. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book.  The character development was great. It really held my interest all the way through. Now for what I didn't like.  There was two major questions that were left unanswered.  I felt that the ending was abrupt and seemed unfinished. That being said I still feel the book was entertaining and deck worth reading.

Thanks Net Galley for allowing me to read this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I literally tore through the pages of this book.  It was nothing like I expected it was a hundred times better.

This was quite a shocking read.  We have all read the story where a young mother has been forced to give away her newborn and years later they are reunited and all live happy ever after.   I haven’t read a book where the mother has kept the newborn a secret her whole life and when the reunion takes place the mother is none too happy about the secret coming to the surface.

The tension in this book was there all the way through and I did find myself wanting to shout at the pages when some of the unexpected twists were revealed.  

The multi-layering of the characters really kept me intrigued.  I have to say that I loved and hated each of them.  Each had a good side but equally they have a devious bad side that one minute made me want to stand up for them and side with them but at the same time wanted to shout. “How could you do that?”

I really don’t want to give away too much of the storyline so I will leave it at this is a brilliant fast paced read that just left me wanting to know more.  I would love to know what happens to the family now that the truth is out and all of the secrets have been revealed. 

Thank you Netgalley for my ARC
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

The book was hard to put down for parts 1 and 2.  Part 3 I started losing interest but kept reading. Story was starting to be unbelievable, not enough information in some parts of the story - a bit choppy.  

It didn't read like a thriller so not sure why it's listed as a thriller.  Nonetheless.... i did enjoy the book and would read another story by Jess Ryder.
Was this review helpful?
I struggled with this book a little, either though I found the authors writing OK and idea of the story OK, it just didn't work for me. Nothing really happened and I really didn't like any of the characters. I also felt like I had a couple of questions unanswered once I finished the book.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! The storyline of this book, it drew me in from the first chapter. I liked the way the book was told from different times and perspectives. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, but that didn’t make me want to put this book down. I was hoping for more from the ending, I didn’t feel like everything was wrapped up and there were still questions left unanswered, but overall I’d give this a solid 3.5 stars. 

I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Erin had a daughter when she was 15. She has never told her husband or their 2 kids. Now the daughter had found her and is threatening to tell her family and ruin the life she has built. 

3.5 stars.

Really there wasn't much to this book. I had sniffed out the one big twist well before it was revealed. It was really just a lot of family drama. I gave it an extra half star because I think Jess Ryder is a very capable writer but this book was just ok for me.
Was this review helpful?