Review: Then She Was Gone | Lisa Jewell

“A man who can’t love but desperately needs to be loved is a dangerous thing indeed.”

Book Info

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 359
Perspective: First / Third Alternating
Location: United Kingdom

Then She Was Gone is about fifteen-year-old “golden child” Ellie Mack who goes missing. It is written off as a perfectionist running away from the pressure. Ten years later, her mom is still grieving and looking for answers when she meets the charming, but mysterious, Floyd and his nine-year-old daughter that looks exactly like Ellie. For a complete summary, you can go here.

Book Review

TL;DR: Quick mystery that's more about character development than the easily-solvable whodunit.

Rating: 4/5

Full Review: First of all, I got this book as a part of my Book of the Month Box, which I LOVE. I, mean, $14.99 a month for a new release hardcover and $9.99 for any additional book AND free shipping? Can’t beat that. [Click here to get your first box for free.]

I had two main issues with this book. First, the names didn’t feel appropriate to me. Poppy was the only character that seemed to fit her name. I kept confusing the rest of the names because they weren’t quite right. Laurel as the mom? Really? Perhaps it was the change in POV that really made the names confusing.

Which leads me to my second issue. I don’t have an issue with alternating points of view from person to person. I don’t even have an issue with alternating between first and third person. But this one went from close third person of one character to first person of another to first person of a third character, then back to third person. AND we have time hoping from past to present. Oh, here’s a close third person following a character in the present. And now back to first of another in the past…You get the point. All the head-hopping and time-jumping made it difficult to settle into a character. I wish it had been first person for four main characters since the multiple perspectives were essential for the story.

And, ohmygod, I loved the POV of [I can’t even remember her name because it didn’t fit her personality at all, so I have to look it up] Noelle. It was super creepy. What’s that you say? Noelle is not a creepy name. Exactly.

I have to admit that this is one of the few thrillers with an ending that redeemed the story. It bumped my rating from three to four stars. It is not like most thrillers; I suppose it is more of a mystery because of the slow burn. We get a lot of answers at the very beginning and enough clues to solve 95% of the mystery on our own (at least, I did). I was disappointed by how early I figured it all out, so I was happy with the little spin-back at the end. It was a more positive resolution than most books like this have. It was a refreshing change. Ultimately, this is more about character development than the actual mystery of it all.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. Some parts could be hard to read [honestly, I am so desensitized to thrillers that I thought, “Oh, that’s not so bad.” When, really, I know that most people would be horrified. Not sure what that says about me…] It was a quick read and enjoyable, but I have heard that some of her other books are better. I will definitely be adding those to my list, especially Watching You. If you like books like this, check out Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

My Rating

4 star review

“May was like the Friday night of summer: all the good times lying ahead of you, bright and shiny and waiting to be lived.”

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