Title: Good and Gone
Author: Megan Frazer Blakemore
Genre/s: Contemporary, Young Adult.
Published by Harper Collins
UK release date: 28th Dec 2017
US release date: 14th Nov 2017
This book left me feeling so emotional. Even though it took a while to really get invested in the story and these characters, I did eventually and I really enjoyed the ride.
The book follows protagonist Lexi. A girl who's been through some tough situations. While working on how to cope with what has happened to her she realises that other members of her family aren't doing too good either. Like her brother Charlie, she doesn't know why he's acting so differently but she sees that he needs help, the help she didn't get. So when out of the blue he decides he wants to go on a road trip to find a missing pop star without much thought she decides to go with him. But soon she realises that Charlie wasn't the only reason she was so happy to up and leave.
I thought it was interesting the way the book takes place after a lot has already happened and we find out about the past through the main character and her reflections on what has happened. While skipping back and forth between snippets of the past and the current journey Lexi, her brother Charlie and their friend Zack are on. The one thing I didn't quite like about the format was that the reflections weren't really in the order that the events happened, as it was a little confusing. However I feel like it represented the way our minds skip back and forth when it comes to memories. We don't remember everything in the order it happens. So even though I found it hard to get my head around at times I also think it was a good decision on the author's part.
'...there is no wizard in Oz, and there is no protection and no starting new. You have to find your code, your costume, your mask, your armour: the way to keep yourself safe even in a dangerous world.'
At the beginning of the story I wasn't completely convinced I was going to enjoy the book as there were a couple of instances that I didn't like the way language was used. I got caught up on the words, and it took me away from what was actually happening. But the more I read the better it got. It felt forced to begin with but as I progressed through the book the writing got better. It was like I could see the author's writing style developing before my eyes.
The character's were intriguing, especially Lexi. Although I don't agree with some of the things the character says as she narrates the story I do see what the author was trying to do and where she was coming from. It was uncomfortable to read at times but felt very real. Which is one of the things I enjoyed most about this. The way the characters were represented was very realistic and even though certain subject matters are hard hitting, horrible things do happen in life and I think it was great that the author didn't shy away from confronting those things. I would like to leave a trigger warning and say that if you're planning to pick this book up there are instances of emotional and sexual abuse, so if you like to stay away from books that include those kind of subject matters I would stay clear of this. But otherwise I think it is an important story to be heard and feel like a lot of people could take something from this.
'He pulled me out from under that ice. He will pull me out again, and I will be there to pull him back too.'
The representation was fabulous and I thought everything was addressed really well, although I can't say for sure because I can't relate on a personal level. There is a character battling PTSD, a character suffering with depression and an openly gay main character. From what I took from the book though, was that the subjects seemed to be very well written and felt very realistic as I was reading.
'The cold is instant and so severe that it comes and vanishes almost in half a moment. My bones freeze. My heart freezes.'
It was refreshing to read a book with little to no romance, there are hints of something later on but nothing major, and I thought it was really great that the author tackled many different relationships that weren't romantic. Overall it's a very honest account of some very hard hitting subjects that need to be addressed more. I enjoyed reading this and would definitely recommend you pick it up.
Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC to read and review.
RATING: 4 Stars
Thanks for reading!