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

Since You've Been GoneSince You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley for this free ARC!

Edie Fraser and her mother Sydney are on the move again, this time they’ve moved to London, all the way from Canada in hope that they will finally be able to escape from Edie’s abusive father. Whilst Edie tries to settle in at her new school, Sydney works the night shift as a cleaner. But one day Sydney doesn’t return home.

At first Edie isn’t exactly a likeable character. When her Mom goes missing she is more than reluctant to call the police, which irritated me. Yes, it must be an incredibly difficult thing to deal with, but surely, she would have done anything within her power to get her Mom safely home? Even though I realise she has had a difficult past she is also pretty damn ungrateful when a girl called Imogen helps her out:

In fact, she’s gone out of her way to talk to me and make me feel welcome at the school. If I were a better person, I’d invite her to sit down and have luck with us.
But I’m not.

I’m not going to lie – this REALLY bugged me. But as I continued with the novel there was some redeeming character development:

Imogen is harmless and I hate seeing people get bullied

So all in all, my opinion of Edie gradually improved throughout the book.

Jermaine, however is a likeable character throughout. Seen as purposely disobedient boy (by both teachers and pupils), he actually has a very kind nature and went out of his way to help find Sydney. But, like almost every other YA book out there, there is romance. It’s not a huge theme in the novel, however, it is still there. I feel like this was just thrown in to make the story more “exciting” (or whatever) because surely Edie would be preoccupied with worrying about her Mother?

Just a heads up but this story is an emotional roller coaster – it does not have a happy-ever-after ending. This is not a bad thing, I actually found this to be a huge asset to the book. The fact that this book made me well up surely demonstrates how I became emotionally attached to the characters (despite negative first impressions). I feel like this balanced out the negatives of the book hence my rating of 3 stars.

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