Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick

Adrienne hasn't talked to Dakota in 2 years.  That's how long it's been since Dakota walked away from their friendship without so much as a glance back.  Sure Adrienne has moved on, she has a new BFF, a boyfriend.  But there's always been a part of her that has hung on to Dakota.  Dakota has turned into a rockstar.  The girl everyone wants to be and nobody really knows.

Then one day Adrienne gets a mysterious voicemail from her old friend... and when Dakota turns up missing, Adrienne feels a crushing guilt for not answering the phone when her ex-friend may have needed her most.  A suicide note is found and everyone is acting as if Dakota must be dead... but that is too much for Adrienne to take.  Soon she finds herself caught up in an investigation to find out what happened to her ex-bestie.  So what really happened to Dakota Webb??  Is she dead?  Run away?  And can Julian (Dakota's boyfriend) help Adrienne figure it out, or does he know more than he's letting on?

This is not my first book by this author.  I read Nothing Like You last year and really liked it, so I knew I wanted to try more books by Lauren Strasnick.  The thing I love about this author is that her main characters are NOT perfect.  Sometimes you literally want to smack the girl.  But at the same time they are like real freaking people.  Because in real life people don't act the way you want them to.  They don't make all the same choices you would've made.  Heck who knows what choices you would make unless you're in that moment anyway right??  The other thing about both these books is that the author is not afraid of teen sexuality.  And I love that sex is a big issue in this book, but at the same time it's not like preachy or lesson-ey... it's just what these characters do.  Right, wrong, whatever.

So in this book you have Adrienne, who I'm not going to lie, got on my nerves a lot.  It's like once she found out her friend that she doesn't even talk to anymore is missing, she starts wanting to be her.  Honestly I felt sad and embarrassed for her.  I wanted to shake her and be like "quit being a god-damned poser, and just be yourself!!!".  I felt bad for her friend Kate and especially her boyfriend Lee.  Man she was harsh to him!!  But I get it.  I SO get it.  I've been there.... there's this really nice guy and he's being so good to you, and all you can do is shit all over him.  Because you can, because he's there, because what you really need isn't some guy catering to you.  It doesn't make sense, but I so know what this is like.

What I love about this author's writing is I swear she's the queen of short, amazing chapters.  I've never read books with so many 1 or 2 page chapters and felt like they were the perfect length.  This author doesn't waste scenes.  The characters are somewhere, the point is made... and then 2 pages later they are somewhere completely different on a different day.  It just works.  And it adds to the over addictiveness of her books.

This is not going to be a book that everyone will like.  I think you have to identify with or relate to something going on in the book to be able to like it.  For me I totally know what it's like to be in a friendship where one person is dominant over the other one.  I had a friend like that once.  She was rich and cool and had more experience with guys than I did.  She got mad easily, and I became a weaker person because I didn't want her to get mad and leave me.  It sounds dumb... but we had a lot of fun together and I didn't want to lose that even though the friendship probably wasn't the healthiest.  And that's sort of how Adrienne and Dakota were, so I was feeling it.

I could have lived without Adrienne leaving all her sentences off in the middle though.  For instance here is a typical dialogue for Adrienne: "I told you I-" "I should...."  "I just- I think-"

The ending... well I don't want to give anything away, but it was just meh for me.  I wanted a bigger thing and I didn't really understand what all went down.

OVERALL: YES to more Lauren Strasnick!!  Her books aren't for everybody, but they're for me.  This book is about mystery and friendship- good and bad.

This Book Contains:

  • A VW Bug
  • California
  • Rich Kids
  • Supper Club
  • A Courtney Love wanna-be

My Rating:


How I got this book: I own it
Date Published: 1/8/2013


  1. I love how much you love this author and her books! I haven't read anything by her, but I hope I'll like it as much as you do! When authors can pull off great flawed characters...that's perfect for me, I love it when that happens. Great review as always, Michelle!

  2. Great review! I'm not sure if I'm going to be one of the people that love or hate this novel, but it seems like it's worth checking out. Sometimes a flawed protagonist is the best. :)

  3. I think you make a great point about characters being real and sometimes we might not like them, but it's realistic. I have to put myself in my teenage shoes to remember that sometimes, to kind of 'become' a teenager again. But it really seems to help a lot in understanding them. This one sounds pretty good. I'm not sure if I'd like the characters or not, but I'd be willing to try it!

  4. This sounds pretty intriguing. Might be something my YA book club might enjoy. Thanks for the review :)