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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne Review

2.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book:
ebook, 216 pages
Published by Dundurn
Expected Publication Date: January 24, 2015
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis: 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.

Thank you Netgalley and Dundurn Group for my ebook copy of this ARC.

If you guys like Elena Dillon's novels, Shimmer in particular (it has a very similar plot), you'll like this book. Two words come to mind when thinking of this book. Sad and Rushed. A story of domestic abuse that has forced mother and daughter to flee their home and leaves any time Edie's father tracks them down. The whole story is very tragic but it lost a lot of its seriousness in how short the book is. It's well-written but all the details are hasty and because of this the reader is being told what is going on instead of showed. Also there were random scenes that threw off the plot completely, the book was already short, it should have stayed on course. I really wanted to like this book, but due it's hurried plot and randomness I fell short of it.


1) I really liked the writing style of the book. There were some great lines and quotes, I just wish there was more. For me, this is the main reason I'm not giving this book just 2 stars because I can really see its potential.

2) Sydney Fraser, what a great character. I loved her so much. Even though the book was so short, there was some real depth to her.


1) This book has one major problem. Everything is rushed and because of this all of its details suffered. If the author had made the book longer, maybe, she would have been able to fix this problem. Instead all of the character development, relationships, and plot suffered because the author told the reader everything instead of showing it. In the writing style it's very clear that Payne is capable of writing all the details out and well, so it's really puzzling as to why she didn't. I couldn't take anything seriously because when anything became intense or dramatic is over with the snap of my fingers. This problem really halted me from liking or getting attached to any of the characters. I was given information about them but I didn't get to know them. This makes it really hard to relate or really get into the story if I don't care enough about the characters involved.

2) There were long random scenes that didn't add anything to the plot. Actually, it took away from the main plot of the book as a whole and it makes no sense as to why they are there. One scene that comes to mind is that our main guy, Jermaine, saves a little kid from drowning and gets all this media attention. This does not add to the plot, it doesn't solve anything, it's just there.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) "The flat came fully furnished, but the furniture is ancient and worn. I wonder if the owner is waiting for it to disintegrate before buying anything new. And everything made out of fabric smells musty, like beach towels that haven't dried properly."

2) My mother smiles at me. "I just want to let you know that I love you more than anything in this world."

"You needed to pull me out of the shower and make me late for school just to tell me that?"

"I felt it was important that you know." She leans in and kisses me on the cheek. "Now get into the shower and get to school so you can someday rule the world, Edie Fraser."

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