Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Review: Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick

Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: January 8th 2013
My rating: 4 stars

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.

“Either way she did this. She chose this. There’s nothing you need to sort out. Finding her, jamming all these jagged, arbitrary puzzle pieces into place, won’t get you any closer to understanding why she shit all over you and your friendship”

Adrienne and Dakota have been best friends forever, they were inseparable until little cracks started to develop and then one day Dakota and Adrienne just stopped talking. The sweet innocent Dakota that Adrienne knew abruptly changed into some dark edgy person that Adrienne didn’t know anymore. They went two whole years without talking until Adrienne receives a random voice message from Dakota out of the blue, asking her to call back. Adrienne thinks nothing of it and so leaves it until Dakota’s announced missing a few days later. Adrienne’s happy with her current life she has a boyfriend who loves her and a best friend in Kate who she can confide in at anytime. So she’s not expecting to find herself caught up in the middle of the investigation with the guilt of not calling Dakota back clawing away at her.

The changes of Adrienne’s character over the course of this story were heart wrenching to watch. The happy girl who had fun with her friends; was a dedicated student all disappear in the blink of an eye. A lot of her friends didn’t know she was so close to Dakota and so don’t expect any of her behaviour. Or they don’t understand how she could be affected so much by the disappearance of a girl who she hadn’t spoken to in two years.

But the more Adrienne’s behaviour changes, she starts turning up drunk to dinners, is dressing in more darker clothes with dark make-up, isn’t making the effort in her school work and becoming more withdrawn. The more concerned her boyfriend and friends become. But Adrienne can’t do anything about it, she finds herself spending more time with Dakota’s on/off boyfriend Julian smoking and following a dark and dangerous path, but she can’t stop until she uncovers the truth.

I hated watching Adrienne come apart when she had friends who truly cared about her and when were given flashes of her friendship with Dakota in the past it had me thinking what did Dakota ever do for Adrienne? Dakota didn’t deserve this time and frantic energy that Adrienne spent worrying away over her. What I enjoyed the most with this book was the mystery part of it, of slowly unravelling the clues along the way and discovering the secrets into Dakota’s character. I’m glad that Adrienne did have Julian there as a form of support as they went into their journey about Dakota, a person who they both thought they knew. Because with the shocks and twists that were thrown their way I’m glad they weren’t alone in their road to discovery.

Then You Were Gone was book I picked up spur of the moment, but I’m so glad that I did as it resonated with me days afterwards. Then You Were Gone is a dark, gritty novel chock full with surprises that I highly recommend giving it a try.


  1. I'm not such a big fan of 13 Reasons Why..probably because I've read it in my language and I must stop doing that. Anyway this book sounds really good. I haven't seen it before but I hope I'll get to read it soon. Great review Jasprit :)

  2. Oh, this sounds more interesting than I thought! I'm not a huge fan of contemporary, but this one is dark and there is a mystery. I like mysteries :D I might give this a shot after all!

    Great review Jasprit.

  3. I've never heard of this before, but it sounds really good! Great review Jasprit! You've totally convinced me :)

  4. I've never heard of this one. Thanks for sharing! :)

    BTW, I'm currently having a giveaway on my blog. You can check it out and join :) FOllower APpreciation GIVEAWAY!

  5. Woah, this sounds so psychologically fascinating! I've seen the cover around a lot, but I never felt interested in picking it up, but I'll have to check it out now. Great review, Jasprit!(:

  6. This book sounds a little bit similar to Wintergirls, what with the unanswered phone call from a best friend. I really do like the sound of this, though. (The pretty cover helps too.) I'm a complete sucker for realistic fiction, especially books that deal with friendships. I'm really glad you liked this!

  7. Ooh, this sounds fantastic! I like the premise, and the slowly unraveling of clues will work for me, I think. But I might get a little upset when Adrienne starts to just fall apart too-- this really sounds like my kind of book, LOL! Lovely review, Jasprit! (:

    Megan@The Book Babe

  8. I looked this one up about a month ago and I thought it sounded really interesting. I wanted to know more about the disappearance and all that. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed this one Jasprit, I think I need to read it!

  9. Wow! Then You Were Gone sounds exactly like the type of book I love. I'm happy to have a book that seems to step out of the norm, premise wise. The dysfunctional friendship intrigues me the most. It sounds a lot like my childhood best friend and me. We might've gone forever w/out talking, but that kind of bond is never really broken.
    Fantastic review, Jasprit!

  10. I've never heard of this one before Jasprit, but I love when I buy a book on impulse and it turns out to be amazing. Sometimes those spur of the moment purchases are the best, no time to get caught up in expectations and hype! I think this one needs to go on my list for sure:)

  11. Renae, I also thought it sounded a bit like Wintergirls. But anyways, I've been really excited about reading this one because I love books that affect me emotionally and also I adored 13 Reasons Why in highschool. Adrienne's story sounds heartbreaking and I already feel awful for her.

  12. I've had my eyes on this one for a while now. I'm glad to hear that you liked it so much, Jasprit. I already feel so bad for the MC. She must have been going through hell. I love this sort of powerful read, so I'm definitely going to give it a try.
    Lovely review, Jasprit.

  13. These grittier realistic fiction books are always iffier choices for me, because they can so easily go wrong--but it sounds like this one was well written and a book you really connected with! Thanks for the review, Jasprit--this wasn't on my radar before, but I may have to check it out.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  14. The change in Adrienne's behavior certainly seems interesting. Your review made me wonder why the friendship between Adrienne and Dakota fell apart at the first place. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jasprit!

  15. I understand why you picked this up, Jasprit! The cover is gorgeous and I probably wouldn't have been able to resist either. I love that this is so character-driven and complex and I'm curious to see how those changes in Adrienne went and whether they were written realistically enough.
    This sounds super interesting and I don't think I've seen it before.
    Great review, hon!

  16. I really enjoyed Nothing Like You by the same author so after reading your review I'm eager to pick this one up! I'll have to give it a try when I'm in the mood for a gritty read.

  17. This is new to me. Sounds intense. Great review and thanks for sharing! :)

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

  18. I love the sound of the mystery aspect and I tend to enjoy flashbacks as well. Sounds like a great story, Jas!

  19. Oh, your review got me so intrigued, Jasprit! Lauren Strasnick is a wonderful author, and although some of her books are quite predictable, this one sounds totally wonderful! <3 I love when the characters unravel the mystery along the story. And breathtaking ending is always welcomed! :)

    Your review is as beautiful as ever, hun! <3 Thank you for making me aware of this book! :)

  20. I've been having great luck lately with gritty, realistic contemporaries, so I think this book would be perfect for me. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much, and that it surprised you. Love the cover too! Wonderful review :-)

  21. This certainly sounds dark and gritty and page turning. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much especially since it was a spur of the moment thing.

    Lovely review as always, Jasprit! :-)

  22. My friendships in high school were so important to me then and now. I turned to my friends for everything, especially things my mother or other people who weren't in the same situation wouldn't understand. I can't imagine if my best friend just pulled away from me without warning. I would feel that loss so much, even a year later. This looks like a really fascinating read. Great review, Jasprit!


  23. This is such a great review! This books has been on my radar for a while now, so now I really want to read it!


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