Monday, April 29, 2019

ARC Review: Before She Was Found

ABL Review At-A-Glance

Ø    Title:  Before She Was Found
Ø    My Rating: 4.5
Ø    Genre:  Mystery,
Ø    Author:  Heather Gudenkauf
Ø    Format:  ARC paperback*
Ø    Publication Date: April 16, 2019

Compare To:



A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town.

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

My Thoughts...
Though the main characters of this book are children and teens, this is in no way an immature book.  It’s fast paced and mysterious, with sinister intentions mixed into every page.  This entire book, I questioned the motives of every character and had a difficult time figuring out what would happen in the end. 

While some of the mysteries I figured out along the way, this book is far from predictable.  With interwoven storylines and multiple points of view, there is an element of unease written into each chapter, because the reader doesn’t ever get the entire story.  As in life, we only get one person’s perspective at a time.  It’s left up to us to put everything together in a way that makes sense.  Or in this, the author puts everything together, because I would not have figured it out without her explanations in the end.

The characters in Before She Was Found were refreshing because they were all so normal.  Each wanting to believe the best in their own child, not seeing the bad, and making excuses for them whenever trouble presented itself.  Not dealing with the hard truths of a child, instead using denial to shield us of unwanted problems, is typical human behavior, and the catalyst for this novel.  If any one of the parents involved in this story had stopped to see their child, it’s possible that tragedy could have been avoided.  But, it is easier and feels way better to pretend that our lives are perfect.  That our pinterest family is as it appears.

I loved trying to figure out this book and was thoroughly entertained.  If mystery is your thing, then this book is a must-read.

* Special thanks to Heather Gudenkauf, Simon & Schuster, and TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of Before She Was Found in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Heather

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

1 comment:

  1. I have this one on order at my local bookstore, I love books about kids getting into trouble. Ha! Thanks for being on the tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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