Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Gone Too Soon- Melody Carlson

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Description: An icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

My Thoughts: Gone Too Soon is not an easy book to read. The Josephson family has, and still is going through really dark times. There is depression, addiction, abandonment, forms of verbal abuse, and so many other things that this family is dealing with. And everyone of those issues is spelled out, right on the page where the reader is unable to misunderstand what happened.

Some of that can be hard to swallow. I honestly had a hard time reading the scenes from Moria's perspective, as I found it difficult to relate with her character or her actions. But I can also see where her thought process could very well be that of someonde in real life who has gone through a loss and is searching for escape. And the reader is never supposed to like the way she behaves at those times.

The bright point in this story is Keira, who despite all of her family believing her to be a moody loser, is actually taking charge of her life amidst her family's tragedies. And though she can give nearly as good as she gets when it comes to harsh criticism of her other family members, I have to say that I don't blame her. Her mother is truly aweful.

As far as the actual writing of the story goes, I think that it could have been edited a little better. There are a few spelling mistakes throughout, as well as a couple areas were the internal thoughts of the character turn a little dramatic, more like the hype in a blurb to make a story sound more interesting that it actually is. As well, I felt that the ending resolved too many of the family's problems without any real consequences to the horrible things that the three main characters did.

I still feel that the message was a good one: that forgiveness is important, including for family members who do not deserve it. And that that forgiveness can lead to complete healing where Christ is involved. So despite the books issues, I would still recommend it. Just not to anyone who may find the mentioned issues difficult to stomach.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book from the publisher.

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