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

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.
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed By: Kelli
I really liked the premise of Since You've Been Gone.  I think that Payne had a lot of potential to make this a really great story.  And it was a good read, but I think it could have been better as a longer novel.

I liked Edie from the start, and felt so much sympathy for her and her mother's struggles.  They are constantly on the run from Edie's abusive father, and Edie keeps having to change schools as they keep moving.  The story is told from Edie's perspective, and I liked that I got to really know her through her thoughts and memories.

What I didn't like about Since You've Been Gone was that the story felt choppy and rushed.  I think that there were several plot points that could have been fleshed out to make for a longer, more intensive look into Edie's life.  As it was, I felt like I got only a glimpse of Edie, and would have liked to know her better.  Lastly, the conflict resolution was rushed and I would have loved an epilogue to really see Edie happy and settled after the big conflict was over.

Overall, I did enjoy Since You've Been Gone and would recommend it.  I look forward to reading more from Mary Jennifer Payne.


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