Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Literally the Best Reviews: Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away -- David Bell
NAL Publishers
432 Pages

If you’ve been following my reviews since I started, eighty-nine books ago, you’ll notice that this is the third review I’ve done for novels by David Bell. There are just some authors whose writing just grab you and won’t let go. Bell’s books are that way for me, and that is why Since She Went Away is today’s review.

How much did I like this book? I took it with me for the day at Olcott on July 3rd. Before we even left the park after the fireworks, I finished it. My niece could not believe how fast I went through the novel. I explained how if it’s a good book, I just hate to put it down and have to keep reading. Also, it is very rare for me to write a review the very next morning. Generally, I like to let my ideas percolate a little before writing.

Since She Went Away is really two stories in one that initially seem to have no connection at all. Somehow, David Bell manages to weave these two plotlines into one cohesive narrative that will leave the reader gasping at both the connections and the speed at which peak of both stories merge with ferocity. It is absolutely addictive to read this book. You will not be able to put it down.

Jenna Barton’s best friend, Celia disappeared the night they were supposed to meet for a girl’s night out. Months pass, and Jenna still shows up to every scene where a body has been found. The media still follows Jenna, thinking she knows more than she lets on and goads her into making herself look bad.

In the meantime, Jenna’s 15-year-old son, Jared, is in the throes of teenage passion with a mysterious girl new to the quaint Kentucky town. Tabitha has just shown up at school, and stay mostly to herself until Jared invites himself to her table. Even through friends who try to deter the budding romance and a father who will do anything to keep the two apart, there is a connection that will continue to draw them together. It is Jared’s passion for Tabitha that he saves her life, and ultimately helps to uncover the larger mystery of the missing woman.

As the local and regional media keeps attempting to pain Jenna in a foul light over the disappearance of Celia, events between Tabitha’s real identity and the lost Celia begin to emerge. The two stories converge in the most explosive of fashion. Both mysteries are unveiled in nearly the same instant, with unexpected results.

From the beginning of Since She Went Away, David Bell leads the reader on a well-traveled path where you think you know what the outcome will be. There are little hints scattered throughout the narrative that ultimately lead to the resolution, but get lost in the rush of events. At the end, readers get an “Ah-ha!” moment and then silently kick themselves for not catching it.

Since She Went Away is an engrossing book. I could not put it down. As with the other novels by Bell that I have read, the pages keep turning, almost as if they know I want to keep reading. This book draws you right into the action and doesn’t let go until the final page has been turned. I was a little disappointed when I finished only because there wasn’t more to read.

If you’re looking for a good book to take your mind off the rest of the world for a little while that is entertaining, thrilling, and well-written, Since She Went Away is likely the book for you. David Bell write in such a way that you just want the book to keep on going. So far, all the books I’ve read b Bell have been great reads. I can’t wait for the next one.

Craig Bacon’s teenage passions weren’t nearly as exciting or dangerous as Jared’s, but that’s probably a good thing. Read his other insightful chaos on niagaraswatercooler.com.