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Monday, April 17, 2017

#CJSReads REVIEW: Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen
Berkley Books
Publishing 4/18/17

A fantastic psychological thriller for one of #CJSRead's April picks.  We all recommend this one and had pretty much the same thoughts.  Scroll down to see what we had to say.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen is a chilling, twisty, compulsive thriller about a woman whose boyfriend has vanished. Fans of I LET YOU GO and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN will be gripped.

No one ever disappears completely...

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn't been at work for weeks.
It's as if he never existed.

But that's not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

Jessica's Thoughts:
4 / 5 Stars

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen was one I didn't know too much about before starting (clearly I'm not the best with reading the synopsis before starting a book), so I didn't know exactly what to think. I rather enjoyed it!
Imagine the best day ever. Work going great - with an almost guaranteed promotion coming your way, and then having the best boyfriend waiting at home for you. Sounds amazing, right? Well, imagine coming home and having everything be completely different. Back to the way it was before your boyfriend moved in. Everything from how furniture is arranged, to the actual furniture itself, and then all of his belongs completely gone. Well, this is the reality for Hannah. She comes home and her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found. Everything down to contact information and emails in her phone.
At first, I couldn't stop reading! I NEEDED to know why he disappeared. How the heck did he get everything erased from her life in a day? As you read you start to wonder, is Hannah actually crazy? There were so many questions! Then the story took a complete turn in a different direction. There were parts in the book that felt a little slow.
Overall, I loved Hannah, she was incredibly relatable and you felt for her in her struggle to find Matt. It was an enjoyable read, and I think it helped that I didn't really know much about this book before starting (I didn't have any kind of expectations set). I only wish the second half was as fast paced and quick as the first half. Mary Torjussen did an incredible job, and I'd definitely read more of her books!
I give this 4/5 stars.

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Sam's Thoughts:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Hannah arrives home after a business trip to find her life in upheaval.  Her boyfriend, Matt, is gone.  At first, Hannah is shocked, but as the shock turns to anger and she begins searching she realizes that it is not just his belongings that have gone, but every trace of him.  All the photos, e-mails, even the call log in her phone have been erased and it is like Matt has vanished.  Did he actually leave her or something much bigger at play?  Hannah will stop at nothing to find out.   As Hannah searches, she finds herself wrapped up in something else.  Someone is looking for her, as well…and it is looks like they will also stop at nothing.

Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen was one of my most highly anticipated reads for this year.   A novel that compares itself to the “Girl” novels always has me intrigued.  However, this one gave me mixed feelings.

I actually loved the first portion of the novel; when we are first introduced to Hannah as she is humming up her steps to her front porch, all I felt was dread.  I knew things were about to take a turn and as soon as she discovered Matt was missing, I felt awful for her.  Torjusseen does a good job at making her relatable.  Without giving away any spoilers, as her character developed, I applauded.  I love when I can read a story and constantly be guessing if my narrator is reliable.

However, as the book progressed and I reached the ending I felt like I had picked up a completely different book.  It felt completely disconnected from the rest of the story and was such a shift in gears.  Toujussen partially redeemed the end with the final lines of the narrative, those did make me smile and felt more genuine to the rest of the plot, but overall, I was left completely dissatisfied.    

Overall, although I enjoyed the majority of the novel for the entertainment value, I struggled so much with the ending it lowered my overall rating to a 3.5/5.

Follow Sam on InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and her Blog!

My Thoughts:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Hannah heads home from a fantastic day at work, a promotion on the horizon and the perfect man waiting at home for her. She's walking on sunshine and ready to celebrate. What she comes home to is one whopper of a surprise. Every trace of Matt, her boyfriend, has disappeared. The house has been changed completely back to before he ever moved in. Her old TV in place of the TV he had bought when he first moved in. Furniture moved around. Every single item that was his is gone. There's no trace of him on her phone, in her emails... poof! All traces erased from her life. How could he do this to her? How far will she go to find him and get some answers?

This novel keeps you guessing for the entire first half. I'm turning pages (or swiping left) as fast as my eyes can read. Why did Matt leave? Why can't Hannah find him? How did he manage to erase ALL traces? Is that even possible? Watching Hannah spiral in her obsession to find him, not knowing if she's completely crazy or if someone really is messing with her really kept my interest. Then we get some answers and the novel seems to take a wide turn in a different direction. Still engaging, but certain parts felt repetitive and dragged a bit here and there. Seeing how everything came together was pretty fascinating and I absolutely love the entire premise and where the author took it. I just wish it had been a little more seamless - I needed just a tad more integration from the first half to the second. Certain areas felt a bit abrupt but I do love Mary Torjussen's mind. And that ending. Yes, please and thank you. :D 3.5 stars

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