Since You’ve Been Gone
Mary Jennifer Payne
Published February 17, 2015
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Edie has to be ready to run at any time. Even though it’s been years, he still chases them. She and her mom move again and again, trying to stay ahead of him, but somehow he always finds them. The most recent move takes them to London, where her mom grew up. It’s a foreign place to Edie, who struggles to grasp the slang and hide within the shelter of a clique of girls.
When her mother disappears, Edie has two choices: find Mom herself or trust the police, who may send her straight into the waiting arms of the man from which she’s been hiding. With the help of an unlikely ally, Edie charges into the unfamiliar streets of London, searching for clues about her mother’s disappearance.
The spectrum of characters in this story is broad and dynamic. Each one reads like there’s been a lot of thought put into development, and like he or she marches off scene to continue with an imagined life. Jermaine was definitely my favorite character. I liked the play of his bad-boy reputation against the kindness of his true character.
The plot is pretty simple, and Payne avoids some of the potential pitfalls of a young sleuth narrator. Edie’s decisions and experience seem pretty plausible for a teen would-be detective. It’s a pretty quick read. Though some plot elements are a bit predictable (like who’s after them and why they are running from him) there were other unexpected moments (which I won’t spoil) that added interest to the tale.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Moderate profanity and crude language used with mild frequency.
Brief kissing. Edie discusses her lack of experience with boys and tells an interested boy that she will not have sex with him. She worries about her reputation when he offers to let her stay with his family for a few days while she figures things out.
Brief descriptions of domestic violence and an accident which claimed the lives of several children.
Brief reference to someone smoking marijuana in the street in London.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.