I have recieved a free eBook of this story by the author, but it does not affect my view on the story itself.
If You’re Gone is about a senior named Lillian White. Her life is as perfect as she could ever imagine it. Wonderful friends, a good future ahead of her, and the best boyfriend she could ever ask for. After her boyfriend Brad’s graduation, Lillian wakes the next morning to find that he is missing. Lillian is on the verge of breaking completely for the next few months as she experiences a feeling of abandonment from everyone around her.
My rating is a good 10. Before finishing this book, I was thinking a good 9.5, but that was because I hadn’t finished the book, taking it in as a whole. Moments I felt like they were a bit off were actually important to the story.
I loved the small details in the story, the big details, the plot as a whole. The title is very true to the story. It is a scenrio of “If you’re gone, this is what happens.” What happens to Lillian? What happens to her friends and family? I loved all the characters. Even the ones I predicted I wouldn’t like… I came to like them all.
What I didn’t like all that much? I can’t really say all I did not like, because there are few moments. Before I completed this book, I was thinking about how Lillian had that sappy, I-can’t-live-without-him view on her. As a girl who doesn’t really view dating in that fashion, I had a distaste for it. I have to say, though, Lillian grew on me. I began to sympathize with her and her perspective on everything.
Beyond this point are spoilers towards the book. Read at your own risk.
I really love Lillian’s development throughout the story. She hated going out of her way unless it was for Brad. Lillian wanted the world to be on her level. She wanted the world to break down like she was, but Lillian realized she was the one who needed to make a choice. She needed to change from being “in love” with a boy to just “loving” him. Lillian had allowed the pain to consume her, and she began to lose everything.
I enjoyed those parts where Lillian prayed to God, asking to give Brad back and for her life to be how it was. Time after time she did this, and then she would think, “God isn’t doing anything.” Which kind of added to her feeling abandoned by everyone. At the end of the story, though she doesn’t directly say it, she becomes okay even when her life isn’t how it was. It showed that God doesn’t want us to go back. He wants us to press forward. And like Lillian, we’ll accept it and we’ll be okay. We’ll be happy when we follow God’s path other than our own.
I loved Chris’s part in the story. How I didn’t really trust him at first, but then realized he was just there to help. He cared about Brad and soon cared for Lillian. He was adorable. I loved it when he came over at the end of the book to talk to her.
Over all, I LOVED THIS BOOK. 10/10 RECOMMEND.
Brittany Goodwin did outstanding in her writing and pacing. I don’t remember any parts I was too bored to contiune. It all was fast paced; something was always happening.
I finished the book late at night, tearing up and trying the accept the ending. It was for the best. You’re okay, Cayli. You need to get yourself together… you have school tomorrow.