Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Since You've Been Gone

Dundurn, January 24, 2015.

In the last five years nothing about Edie’s life has been stable: not her school, not where she lives, not her friends. Everything is about running and about hiding and everything is uncertain, except for her mom. Edie’s mom has always been there for her, to comfort her and make sure that she is safe. But this last move is the most jarring yet, and suddenly Edie has lost not only her friends, school, and apartment, now–with one flight overseas–she’s lost her country, too. And when even Edie’s mom doesn’t return home from work, Edie’s got to figure out how to survive in this new place and who might help her find her mother.

Since You’ve Been Gone reads easily and quickly. Though some of the details of the story are glossed over, Edie’s plight feels real and desperate, and it certainly drew me in. The difficulties of Edie’s life, an abusive father, being bullied at school, are no light matter, and I felt rather breathless as I read how she dealt with each new blow.

Payne has a habit of beginning paragraphs with a very obvious and simple sentence before going on to more descriptive writing. At first, I had a tough time sticking with the story because of this, but the premise and plot were strong enough to pull me through. As the story went on I noticed it less. Perhaps reluctant readers would profit by these simple statements at the start of paragraphs to help guide them through unfamiliar words or structures later on. They’ll certainly be likely to keep reading to find out what happens to Edie!

I read this electronic ARC courtesy of NetGalley. Since You’ve Been Gone releases January 24, 2015.

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