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

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."

I received this book via NetGalley.

Honestly this was not the short story for me. The title and the blurb caught me and I was like this is going to be a really, really great book. It seems to have some mystery, suspense. Oh it had it a bit of mystery but it was nothing of what I was expecting. 

I have to say this book did have some promise to it but just fell short of what I was wanting to read within the story.
Let me just put into words everything that is going through my head with this review as everything seems like it is a jumble mess.
First off the names of some of the characters. They threw me off as I was not expecting such unique names. 
We start off the story with Edie (that is a girl) and her mother having to move. Which of course what teenager likes moving from place to place. We find out later on why they are moving so much, which it comes on so much more later that I first started questioning if we were ever going to be told. 

When they move to London, of course there is new adjustments, and Edie is trying to fit in with her new school and keep her head down. Of course that is impossible to do. Especially when you have bullies. 

Then when Edie's mother starts her new job and doesn't come home that is when the story took a nose dive for me. I understood the reasoning behind Edie not getting the police involved but she wasn't making it to me, her top priority.
That is when Edie does not a good thing, she ends up stealing and the person who catches her ends up trying to help her find her mother.

Jermaine and Edie spend a majority of the time running around not getting full answers, and eating. I kid you not I felt they were worried more about spending the stolen money on food. 
When we do find out what happened with her mother it was one of those oh wow that wasn't as bad as I thought type thing I thought it was going to be something gory and horrendous and then we go on a full blown search for the killer.

The characters now they did not really click with me as I hoped. Edie drove me crazy she just didn't seem like a nice person at times. She picked on someone because they were different than her. Which I give her props because at the end she makes up for her wrongs.
Jermaine I felt sorry for him once he let us know what his background was about.
Those were really the only main characters. 

Now you may enjoy this story more than I did. I think if the author developed the characters a whole lot more and added more suspense then I think this story would have been a whole lot different and better.

Mary Jennifer Payne
Mary Jennifer Payne's writing has been published in journals, anthologies, and magazines both in Canada and abroad, and she is the author of several YA graphic novels. Since You've Been Gone is her first YA novel. She teaches with the Toronto District School Board and lives in Toronto.


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