Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: Gone Too Soon by Melody Carlson

About the Book:

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?

You can purchase your copy here.

My Review:

I never know what to expect when I pick up a Young Adult novel, but this one hooked me right away.  Much of the novel was first person, in Kiera's voice, which was a good technique.  In real life, I don't think I would have liked Kiera, but being inside her head gave me compassion for her.  I grew to appreciate her gutsiness, and applauded the steps she took to grow up.

For being a YA novel, it was not too angsty, which I appreciate.  It deals with many difficult topics in a way that is real, yet appropriate for teen readers.  As I was reading, my thoughts were that I really wanted to share this book.  Because of a varied cast of characters, there is someone for everyone to relate to, so teens and their parents can enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, WhiteSpark, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, Truecolors, etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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