{Review} Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick

Then You Were Gone
by Lauren Strasnick
Pages: 224
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 8, 2013
by Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)

Goodreads / Purchase
In the tradition of 13 Reasons Why, a suspenseful and heart-wrenching novel from the author of Nothing Like You and Her and Me and You. Two years ago, Adrienne’s best friend walked out of her life. One week ago, she left Adrienne a desperate, muffled voicemail. Adrienne never called back. Now Dakota is missing. She left behind a string of broken hearts, a flurry of rumors, and a suicide note. Adrienne can’t stop obsessing over what might have happened if she’d answered Dakota’s call. And she’s increasingly convinced that Dakota must still be alive. Maybe finding and saving Dakota is the only way Adrienne can save herself.
Or maybe it’s too late for them both.

This book was not what I was expecting it to be.  The main reasons that I had issues with this book was the writing, the story line, and the ending.  The writing was not good.  It was disjointed and didn’t flow.  Also, Strasnick doesn’t explain setting.  For example:

Lunch.  Lee’s birthday. Me, Katie, Lee, sharing a sleeve of Fig Newtons and throwing shit (pen caps, paper clips, baby carrots) at each other’s faces.  We’re laughing.  I’m in Lee’s lap.

I could go on and on copying the passage, but basically, they are in the school cafeteria.  There is no mention of where they actually are until the next few pages after.  Now, I know this might seem like I’m being annoying and stuff, but this bothers me, because I can’t image the scene.  Also, that was an example of Strasnick’s writing.
The story line was lacking as well.  It didn’t really focus on Dakota being missing, it mostly focused on Adrienne’s issues with her boyfriend, and her sneaking around with this guy, Julian.  Great.  And then, the ending was SO WEIRD!  [SPOILER: Dakota ran away.  That is not okay.  I would have been okay with it if the book had focused on Adrienne looking for clues as to what happened to Adrienne, but, as it was, it stunk.  Yes, I get the explanation for Dakota running away…but doesn’t Dakota not being dead kind of make the whole book pointless? ]

Let me just start off by saying that I was NOT happy with how this book ended on the romance side of things.  [SPOILER: I did NOT want Adrienne to end up with Julian.  Lee was a great guy, really nice, and Julian was just kind of meh. ]
Adrienne was an ok character.  I think she was really messed up, and a very damaged character.  Her thinking was at times completely crazy, but sometimes YA needs those messed up, dark characters.  Lee was a really nice guy, good boyfriend, and I really liked him.  Julian was just kind of a weird character for me, and I wasn’t really a huge fan.

This book was very dark and gritty and messed up, and I liked that aspect of the book.  But the writing, story line, and ending really brought the book down for me.

2 stars


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