Review: Since You’ve Been Gone By Mary Jennifer Payne

Title: Since You’ve Been Gone

Author: Mary Jennifer Payne

Publisher: Dundurn Group

Date of Publication: January 1, 2015

Source: Netgalley

Rating: ★★★

First, I’d like to thank Dundurn Press for sending me this book though Negalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s greatly appreciated! Going into reading this, I didn’t know much about it, except for the small blurb I read online. Either way, the cover caught my eye while scrolling through Netgalley and I thought I’d give it a go.

For a brief summary without too many spoilers because this is an ARC!: Edie Fraser and her mom, Sydney, have been on the run for years now, from someone they used to love and trust – her father. As a child, Edie was always careful around him because of his erratic mood swings but one day, he snapped. Ever since then, Sydney has gone to all lengths to provide a safe, abuse-free, environment for her daughter but unfortunately, this means moving. A lot. Edie stays in a town or city long enough to make some new friends and get comfortable where she is but, sooner or later her mom tells them they have to leave again. This time, to a whole new country – England.

I loved the setting. Just outside London-town, Edie lives in a cute little flat where her mom commutes from to her job a little ways away. Payne does a great job at describing the 17-year olds new school, new friends and of course, new enemies. I hate those girls, they were super annoying, but with these characters, we got to see a strong side of Edie as she stood up for her friends. There were definitely some great themes discussed in this novel, that I think are so important for young girls today. Judgement. Bullying. Standing up for yourself and what’s right. Forgiving. Forgetting. I’m really glad the author added these in but, I just wish they were more prominent to the plot instead of being mentioned briefly, almost as an afterthought.

Theres more than one plot line in the book which is great. It adds depth to the story and makes the general flow pretty great. The story itself was pretty relatable to me, considering my mom is also my BFF, just like Edie and she loves Caramel Macchiatos JUST LIKE ME TOO! Little things like talks of Starbucks, or her cat Peaches, with whom I fell in love with BTW, make the story more unique and loveable. I loved her mom, I thought she was great because of all the sacrifices she’s made for her family, but I just wish we could have seen more of her. Also, I wish there were more descriptions of her and Edie as well. I like to envision the characters I read about while I’m reading and I felt I wasn’t able to with this book.

Jermaine, one of Edie’s friends, soon becomes super important to the plot and I loved him too. I just thought that their relationship happened to fast and I wish the timeline was a bit more extended so that we could see that friendship being built instead of being thrown right in. It still felt genuine and real, but it would have been great to read MORE!

One last thing. I felt a little confused about what they were running from for the first big chunk of the book. I was hoping there would be a flashback earlier in the novel to really understand what Edie was going through and sympathize or relate more to her. All in all, Since You’ve Been Gone, was a great story of courage, bravery, adventure and trust. I recommend this one to fans of Paper Towns or any other adventure-ish book with other surrounding plotlines. Once again, thanks to Dundurn Press and Netgalley. Can’t wait for this one to be released so I can tell my pals about it!

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