Thursday, February 5, 2015

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

Since You've Been Gone
Author: Mary Jennifer Payne
Publication: Dundurn (February 17, 2015)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: Edie and her mother Sydney have been on the run from Edie's abusive father for five years. This move has taken them from Canada to London, England, where Edie starts school and Sydney finds an off-the-books job. But she doesn't come home after her first night on the job.

Edie doesn't know what to do. She hasn't made friends at her new school. In fact, she has attracted the attention of one of the major bullies. She decides to steal money from a charity collection and is caught by a fellow student named Jermaine. Jermaine is the subject of rumors, is being bullied by both students and staff, and happens to be black. He is the only one who agrees to help her find her mother.

Together the two of them try to trace her mother's last days. They meet are variety of helpful and not at all helpful people on their quest. They also become friends. Edie catches a glimpse of her father and runs from him. Then Jermaine jumps into a river to save a toddler who fell in and television reporters interview him. Edie decides to take that opportunity to tell her story.

This leads her father to come forward with his version of events. There isn't a happy ending for Edie and her mother but Edie does learn that she is strong enough to stop running.

This was a very touching and emotional story. I look forward to sharing it with students.

Favorite Quote:
Suddenly I realize how tired I am of running. And that's when I decide there's no way I'll be scared into running again. I'm older now. This time I'm ready to fight.
I got this ARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I like that quote. Simple yet powerful. I think stories like these are great for any reader to check out just because of its realistic themes.

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