Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick

Then You Were Gone
Blurb (fromGoodreads):
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.


Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick

My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Then You Were Gone(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
Adrienne and Dakota haven’t spoken in two years. Dakota has been off singing with her band somewhere, but now she’s missing. The Police found her car, and a possible suicide note, but nobody knows where she actually is.

Now Adrienne is feeling guilty – because Dakota left her a voicemail that she never answered, and feeling sad because she and Dakota were no longer friends.

What really happened to Dakota? And how long will it take Adrienne to come to terms with the fact that Dakota isn’t here anymore?

I’m not really sure what to make of this book. I enjoyed reading it, but now that I’ve got to the end, I’m wondering what the point was.
Adrienne basically spends the whole book feeling guilty, and wondering what happened to Dakota. Wearing Dakota’s clothes, and doing her make-up like Dakota used to. Spending time with Dakota’s sort-of boyfriend Julian, and feeling a bit depressed. She ignores her own boyfriend, forgets her school work, and generally does very little (other than smoke).
The strange thing is that Adrienne and Dakota hadn’t even spoken in two years! Whether this made things better or worse for Adrienne I’m not sure, and why they stopped being friends exactly I’m not sure either.

This books focus seems to be more on how Adrienne feels about Dakota being missing, than what actually happened to Dakota, and the things that Adrienne does in an effort to work through how she really felt about her, and how she can grieve for her, which basically involves a lot of doing nothing other than wearing black and ignoring her friends.

Other than the Dakota storyline, there were a few brief snatches of romance, but nothing much, and Adrienne also spent a little time doing her own sort of investigation into Dakota’s life, which doesn’t really seem to get her very far. There is one small mystery that Adrienne solves, but even that feels a little lack-luster.

All that being said, I did enjoy this book, and it was a quick read. I also liked that the book had a satisfying ending – at the end of the book we know exactly what happened to Dakota – thank you Lauren Strasnick for this!

Overall; an enjoyable YA, focusing on being the one left behind.
7 out of 10.


  1. This sounds sort of disappointing for the most part, except for having the mystery solved of Dakota's disappearance at the end. It sounds like you enjoyed it overall in spite of some of the issues. Great review Sarah. :)

  2. Great review! I have heard very little about this book but it does sound really interesting. It's good to hear that this book has closure because that's always my fear with these type of stories.

  3. Oh. my. gawd. THANK YOU. It popped up in my recs and I just put this on my wishlist at Amazon yesterday thinking I'd get around to buying it next week maybe. You just saved me with your review. Some of those things you mentioned would have driven me nuts, even with the satisfying ending. I'm glad you enjoyed it though - your 7 may have been my crabby 4. :D

    Awesome review!

  4. I was pretty excited about the release and now I'm disappointed,I thought this book would be awesome!I might give it a try though.

  5. Hmm this sounds different not what I expected. It's a shame that there was really no big point to the plot. I usually don't like plots that wander and feel like it'S got no substance behind it. But I still sounds like a good story regardless. Great review, love!

  6. Where did I see this book> I was just reading up on this the other day and trying to decide whether to read it or not. I like so many things about it and I am happy to hear that you get a resolution, but I am still on the fence. I can't decide. Your review helped for sure. Oh who am I kidding. I have no time for anything new for months. Oh well....

  7. I agree -- I expected more action in the book, and more of a dramatic resolution. But when I adjusted to the fact that this was not that kind of book, I enjoyed it.

  8. Not sure if this is a book for me, but I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it overall. Great review!

  9. I sort of assumed the book would be about solving the case of why Dakota has gone missing, but it seems like it's more about the internal struggle that Adrienne suffers. Glad to learn that you find the reading experience enjoyable. Lovely review :)

  10. I know what you mean. I have to have a book have a point. But as long as you enjoyed it then that's all that matters.

  11. I thought it would be more emotional for some reason. I also assumed that it would focus on guilt.