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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Love, mystery, and danger collide in this new literary thriller with the dark heart of a Gillian Flynn novel and the lyrical prose of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun.

A triumph of authenticity, grace, and nail-biting suspense, Lucia DiStefano’s ingenious debut is an unflinching, genre-bending page-turner.

As seventeen-year-old Linnea celebrates the first anniversary o
Paperback, 264 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Elephant Rock Productions, Inc.
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Katya de Becerra
“There’s got to be more to our existence than what the brain can comprehend.”

Borrowed is a haunting exploration of mortality, toxic masculinity, violence, and bodily autonomy.

This breakout debut is a rare gem of a genre-bender. It starts off as a coming-of-age contemporary, and then it darkens, making a turn before seamlessly transforming into a frantic psychological thriller. The transformation leaves you breathless, and before you know it, you’re totally hooked. DiStefano’s mastery is in the u
Molly Fennig
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and love the author. I wish I could give it 5 stars (I would give it 4.5 if possible), but there were a few things that were just not-quite-there for me. Overall amazing book, though! Definitely worth a read a deserving of the awards it has won.

Strengths of this book:

Pacing. I finished it in less than 3 hours, in one sitting. The prose is tight, the stakes high, and the concept intriguing. In many books I read I can see what the ending will be and what will happen but I was con
S.M. Parker
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to get an early read of this book and there is zero surprise it's already an award winner! The prose is stunning and the premise captivating. DiStefano is a brilliant new author to watch!! ...more
Nick Rath
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a underrated book in my opinion. Lucia Distefano has mastered the ability to incorporate effective plot twists that continue the suspense of the story and keep readers on edge for what will take place next. The pace of the book is fairly manageable and went along very well with the memoir that I was reading during the same time frame. Distefano develops the characters thoroughly which helps emphasize how they are connected by the focal point of the plot, that being a heart transplan ...more
Kristin Lenz
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I was fortunate to read an advance copy of this 2018 Sheehan YA Book Prize winner. My official blurb: Lyrical prose, full-bodied characters, and a riveting plot with shocking twists and turns that kept me guessing until the startling conclusion. I couldn’t put it down!

Personal notes: I was so impressed with Lucia's beautiful writing, and I raced through this story in two days - the concept of cellular memory was particularly fascinating. Beware that the final third of the story turns quite dark
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty disappointed by this book. The characters are interesting enough, and though dialogue is not usually make or break for me, the interactions and conversations just felt awkward and empty to a point where the characters all blended into each other. This could also be a fault of this book’s length, cause it flies by at around 250 pages but tries to do so many things with the plot. Ugh, THE PLOT. The suspense builds and builds and then just... fizzes out. The ‘twist’ wasn’t executed wel ...more
Vivienne Overstreet
This book has an interesting premise and unique characters with well planned backgrounds. However, the writing was simple and uninteresting. I would say that this seems like a book written for middle school aged kids but there is some pretty adult activity at the end that makes its book unfit for younger kids. I have no one to recommend this to. I wish it were better because the summary was intriguing and I was looking forward to reading it.
Ms. McFaul
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated
Good suspense, but there is an unneeded incident in the final part that I don't think is forgivable. I am super sad about it--I think the whole incident could have been left out, and no matter what the author and her editor say, the scene is disgusting and wrong. #2booksunder50reviews ...more
Alice Reeds
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, read-2018
Find my review also on my blog.

* Thank you to Elephant Rock Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review *

Borrowed was nothing like what I expected it to be, and I mean that in the best way possible. This is a tale of grief, life, bodily autonomy, toxic masculinity, and survival told through the eyes of fascinating protagonists in a story filled with thrill and plot twists.

The story starts out innocent enough with a feeling of coming-of-age and a look into the lives
Karen Sheldon
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This’s a very exceptional book! Didn’t realize it was from Young Adult section. Was an amazing story. Girl drowns and receives donated heart from teenage girl in her town. Where this story goes from there is nothing short of amazing! Maxine is Harper’s sister/harper died one year before story starts; Linnea received her heart’s transplant. The friendships and family dynamics are at the crux of this story.
Frank Morelli
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucia DiStefano's Borrowed had my spine tingling and my butt so far out on the edge of my seat I just couldn't stop reading until I hit the back cover. Compelling characters and exciting plot twists come at you from every angle, as does DiStefano's crisp and beautiful prose. This book definitely needs to be on your to-read list in 2019. ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, mystery, paranormal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie Smith
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The concept and premise are genius! I appreciated that the female characters were strong, independent and relatable. The significance of the heart resonates with me. I can’t wait to read the next novel Lucia DiStefano pens!
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Survival at escaping your own life to another
Jenny Kimball
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the opening line this book pulls you in. The pace and plot tension accelerate so much that by the end I was speed-reading to see what happens. This would make an amazing movie.
Gabby Vinkemeier
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suspenseful and heartfelt. A good book.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Spooky, thought-provoking, chilling thriller with heart...literally!
A.J. Douglas
Full review to come!
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BORROWED is a STUNNER! An undeniable page turner that will keep you up all night. Di Stefano weaves a tale of longing and sorrow but also one of hope and understanding and love. Just when you think you know where the story is going, you're thrust into a gut wrenching drop you didn't see coming. By the end of the book your heart will not be the same. ...more
Margaret W
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Feb 09, 2019
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Feb 23, 2018
Cindy Gibson
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Dec 31, 2018
Ginny Steelman
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Dec 29, 2018
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May 15, 2020
rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2019
Emma Ill
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Mar 06, 2021
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Dec 03, 2019
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Natalie Haggard
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Feb 08, 2020
g r a c e ♡
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Oct 02, 2019
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A former high school English teacher, Lucia DiStefano currently works as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. First-generation Sicilian-American and daughter of an olive farmer, she admits to having recurring pasta dreams. Hailing from central Connecticut, Lucia lives near Austin, Texas with her husband and an old bloodhound named Waffle.

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