Book Reviews

Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

2018-10-09 09.28.31Since You’ve Been Gone
by Mary Jennifer Payne

Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser searches for her mother, who has gone missing shortly after the two moved to London, England, to escape Edie’s abusive father.

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.

My thoughts:

I’m kinda disappointed actually. The story moves along quickly, but I didn’t find the main character, Edie, to be likable. She’s in a new country, a new city, and only a day or two after arriving her mother goes missing. Edie’s more concerned about keeping their secret then worrying about her mother’s safety.

She found a friend to help her through the streets of London. I found this interesting more because I traveled there recently and could envision some of the landmarks they passed by. This plot line does well with the message to not judge people by the rumours spread about them, but exploring a love interest sub-plot when her mother is missing, just didn’t seem appropriately top of mind for the main story line. It made Edie appear very selfish.

I did not find the dialogue between the young people to feel natural or believable. Ideas were quite forced into the story. And caressing her breast during a first kiss… that’s moving kinda fast isn’t it? And it felt icky and disrespectful, even though that’s not what that scene was trying to portray.

Also, being a writer and editor myself, there were too many errors and typos in this book. One or two is to be expected, but three errors on a two page spread sticks out as unprofessional.

So, was anything good about it? The story moved quickly and did a good job keeping me reading to the end to find out what happened to Edie’s mom. Usually, I will shelve a book that I’m getting frustrated with. Was it worth sticking it out? Not really. The responses and reactions to the ending scenes were underrated.

This is an unsolicited review, I purchased this book from a local bookstore.

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Jan. 24 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459728189



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