Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Mary Jennifer Payne
Publisher: Dundurn Group
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 2 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
There was a really nice author’s note at the beginning of this book talking about who/what inspired her to write this. It left me with high hopes for the book. And then those hopes were completely dashed.
This book was so rushed. Coming in at only 224 pages, there really wasn’t much to it. And because of its short length, it lacked a lot of key elements that I look for in a good book. Mainly, character development. The author tried really hard. Too hard. And it made it obvious. There was no clear character development throughout the whole book and then suddenly the main character is spouting off statements like “I’m done running. I want to face my fears.” With nothing leading up to it, I wasn’t buying it.
Romance was rushed and blah. Jermaine had potential to be an interesting character, but once again, lack of character development made him, and ultimately the relationship, feel flat and lifeless.
The plot line was rushed and honestly, a bit boring. This book is mostly just Edie and Jermaine wandering around London looking for her mother. Nothing really exciting happens. With the exception of one random event that felt really out of place.
And finally, the writing. Maybe it was just me, but the writing style did not work for me. It didn’t bring the story or the characters to life. I almost felt like this book hadn’t gone through a single round of revisions.
My advice: skip it. Boring plot and lifeless characters don’t make this one worth it.
Have you read this one yet? Were you as disappointed as I was?