Before She Was Found

Before She Was FoundBefore She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
Published by Park Row on April 16th 2019
Pages: 352
ISBN: 0778307735
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five-stars

It was supposed to be a sleepover Three twelve-year-old girls, Cora, Violet and Jordyn, were having a sleepover at Cora’s home. But then the trio decided to sneak out of Cora’s home at midnight to go to the abandoned rail-yard. It was supposed to be a fun adventure. It turned into a nightmare.

Cora is found on the tracks by a woman walking her dog. She is covered in blood and barely alive. Violet and Jordyn are nowhere to be found. Later Violet is found and taken to the hospital and treated for being in shock and Jordyn turns up at the home she shares with her grandparents. Violet is in shock and Jordyn is moody with her mood alternating from indifference, to fear, to defiance.

This book is told through text messages, journal entries, therapists notes and through the perspectives of various family members. As the book progresses, the reader learns more about the girls, their relationships with each other, one’s private thoughts and a school project about a local urban legend.

The police, family members, therapist and girls themselves try to piece things together, it appears that there is more to what happened at the rail-yard than meets the eye. I love how Gudenkauf provides little spinets and clues along the way. I had several theories which changed as new information was presented. I love books which have characters who aren’t always reliable – or the Author is able to make the reader question a character’s reliability. This was a fun one as the young girls did not describe the events the same way. I didn’t know who was telling the truth, who had something to hide, who was scared, and who had secrets. Plus, the girls were twelve years old, they had broken the rules and left Cora’s home. They knew they would be in trouble for sneak out if they were caught. So, as they shared information, I kept in mind their age and each’s desire to get into as little trouble as possible.

This was a very clever and well thought out book. I was fully invested in learning the truth. The Author created characters that the reader will care for, there are some we will question and some we may be wary of but each is interesting and compelling in his/her own way. I felt for the parents just as much as I felt for the girls.

Once I got to the ending, I went back to the beginning to read it. Let me just say, I did not see that coming! This book will not be released until 2019, so put it on your list and keep it on your radar. Fans of Gudenkauf will be delighted by this book. It’s another solid book which had me enthralled from the very beginning. Those who have not read Gudenkauf, what are you waiting for? This is a great book I was glued to the pages.

Highly Recommend!

Thank you to Park Row books and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

five-stars

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