Review - Since She Went Away by David Bell @DavidBellNovels @BerkleyPub @FirstToRead

Since She Went Away by David Bell
Penguin Publishing Group -NAL
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Date Read: May 29, 2016
Source: First to Read

An electrifying new thriller from David Bell—the bestselling author of Somebody I Used to Know and The Forgotten Girl.

Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen since. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.

The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet. And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.

But when her son’s new girlfriend disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how a few simple lies can completely shatter lives.

My Review

I love a book with lots twists and turns that keeps me guessing and that is exactly what I found with this book.  I found this book to be really fast paced and I couldn't seem to turn the pages fast enough.  I was completely pulled into the mystery and wanted to know exactly what happened to Celia.  This was a quick read that ended up being a whole lot of fun to read.

Jenna's best friend, Celia, disappeared several months ago.  On the night of the disappearance, Jenna had plans to meet up with Celia near the local park at midnight.  Jenna was a few minutes late and when she arrived there was no sign of Celia.  Jenna feels a lot of guilt over Celia's disappearance and has been in the media spotlight since the search started.

Jared, Jenna's son, has recently met a new girl at school, Tabitha.  Tabitha's father is very strict and she lives a life with a lot of rules.  Tabitha seems to have a few secrets but she does seem to care about Jared.  When Jenna surprises them at home one afternoon, it seems that Tabitha's secrets may run a little deeper.  Jared is head over heels for Tabitha and just knows that he wants to be with her.

It seemed from early in the book that there would be two main mysteries.  Celia's disappearance and Tabitha's real story.  I found each of the main focuses of the book to be equally entertaining and was eager to find the thread in the story that would tie them together.  I thought that the two issues were equally balanced in the book and was really investing in learning about both issues.

I liked the characters in this story quite a bit and thought that they felt very authentic.  I am currently living with a 15 year old so I have some first hand knowledge of how a teen that age tends to behave.  Jared didn't always take the course of action that made the most logical sense but he did stay true to his feelings.  Jenna seemed to be taking everything really hard and her character showed the stress of the situation.  She did seem to be one of the most patient mother's that I have encountered but there were a few mistakes that did offset her perfection.

The resolution did seem to come together very quickly and maybe a little too perfectly.  I would have liked to see just a bit more at the end since it felt very a bit abrupt.  I was still pleased with how things did turn out.  There weren't any moments in the story where I felt surprised by the turn of events but there was never a time that I thought the story was predictable.  This complex story was able to feel realistic throughout the course of the story.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers.  This is only the second book by David Bell that I have had the chance to read but I am finding myself becoming a huge fan very quickly.  I look forward to reading more of this author's work in the near future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Publishing Group - NAL via First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.

About the Author

David Bell is the bestselling and award-winning author of Somebody I Used to Know, The Forgotten Girl, Never Come Back, The Hiding Place, and Cemetery Girl. He’s an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. Sounds very addictive - the kind that makes you impatient in a good way!

  2. Love a book with good twists and turns!! I passed on this one but now I wish I didn't!! Great review!

  3. I love twisty turny books as well and missing persons mysteries are my absolute favorite. I haven't read anything by David Bell but it definitely sounds like I'm missing out. I'll definitely have to give this one a try.

  4. I read Cemetary Girl so I will probably
    want to read this one. Thanks.

  5. This one is coming up next on my review list. Can't wait to read it!

  6. A page-turner? You have my attention.

    That's neat about the two stories and the authentic feel of the characters. Nice review, Carole!


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