Monday, January 12, 2015

REVIEW: Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Since You've Been Gone

Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she's in a different country.
Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn't come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.
Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's kind of odd that I read two books with similar themes so very close to one another. I recently read What She Left Behind, which also revolves around an abusive father and a missing mother. But while both books have similar themes, the books are really different.

This book is about Edie who constantly has to move from place to place with her mother in order to escape her violet father, who will not let them go. This time, they move from Canada to London, where Edie's mom grew up, to see if they can finally escape the past. But when Edie's mother doesn't return home from work, Edie fears that the past has finally caught up with them. Edie has to keep up with school all the while she's living alone and trying to find her mother. She has a limited amount of money and will not ask the police for help, in fear that she may be put back in the hands of her father in absence of her mother.

This book, obviously, focuses on tough subjects and I believe that the author has done a great done with that. What I believe worked out the best for this book was Edie's characterization. She hasn't had an easy life and it's hard for her to later to keep up the pretense that her mother has not disappeared. I wished through it all that she would tell the police, but with her dad actually being a cop she knew that cops may believe him over her and I could understand that. What I really liked was how she grew more courage in the book and was eventually able to face the past.

Another character I liked was Jermaine. He had no reason to help Edie, but he did so anyway. I liked their friendship and their search for Edie's mother. I wasn't particularly fond of how it turned into a romance, I much preferred the friendship, but it wasn't bad.

I think my main problem with this book was the pacing. A majority of this book is very slow-paced. I understand that it may take awhile to find her mom, but the story was very slow-going for awhile. Then it was resolved very quickly and I felt like the end was a bit rushed.

The story focuses on tough subjects, but the story was very well done. The characters were great, especially Edie, who grew during the story. I had issues with the pacing, but other than that this was a quick, emotional read. If you enjoy contemporary mysteries that touch on tough subjects, you might enjoy this one.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it, but it was not quite amazing

1 comment :

  1. I also read a book recently where the pacing was a bit off. Although I liked it an awful lot it made me realize how important pacing is in a story. This does sound like it deals with some seriously tough subjects, especially the abuse factor. Thanks for the great review!