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Then You Were Gone

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  • Posted January 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Quick and hard hitting story about grief and friendship, both the loss of and the true definition of it.

    Then You Were Gone was a quick read, I couldn't put it down and had to figure out exactly what was going on with Dakota. I couldn't decide if I really thought she was dead, and if so, was it a suicide, or was it something sinister? I was glued to Adrienne, the main character and her grief, inner monologues, her inexplicable need to dress and act like her (ex?) friend Dakota.
    I liked how Then You Were Gone had snippets from the past friendship of Dakota and Adrienne, showing where Adrienne's feelings came from and helping me to understand that there was something deeper there for her, and trying to understand what made Dakota tick and what exactly ended their friendship. For Adrienne, to me it seemed that it was unresolved and a feeling of guilt, because she got that phone call from Dakota and she didn't know why she was calling, and then came the rumors she was missing and the speculation that she had killed herself.
    Adrienne's relationship with Lee was one that I haven't really read one quite like though. I liked Lee for the most part though, because he treated Adrienne very well while she was being herself, but then it did seem to me like he jumped ship pretty quickly and did some questionable things... Not that I am saying that the way that Adrienne treated him was okay, but still. It seemed like a character discrepancy to me because it doesn't seem like something he would do.
    While we have the weird relationship between her and Lee, and the lost friendship and almost worship of Adrienne towards Dakota, Lauren Strasnick also paints a beautiful picture of true frienship between Adrienne and Kate. Kate is a truly likeable character and I appreciate how she supports Adrienne and is there for her and pushes her at the right time. She also has a mouth on her that provides some tension relief for both the reader and Adrienne at the right moments.
    Although this book is a quick read and relatively short, don't let it fool you, it packs a lot of plot, a lot of emotion, a healthy pinch of sarcasm and humor, and explores the workings of friendships and relationships and the effects of grief on your life.
    Then You Were Gone is for mature teens, because it has drug use, underage drinking, cursing, sex and foreplay and other mature themes that I can't mention without spoiling the plot... Which disturbed me by the way, the unmentioned, but I totally think that it is an important issue to address... And see the ways NOT to handle it.
    Bottom line: Quick and hard hitting story about grief and friendship, both the loss of and the true definition of it.

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