Review: Gone but Not by Shane Spyre


Print Length: unlisted
Publisher: The Book Folks (May 06, 2024)

From Ten-year-old Iris thinks she’s going on an outing with her mother. She has no idea that by the end of the day she’ll be someone else.

She is picked up by the police. Lost for two years, now miraculously found. Apparently, her real name is Charlotte and her 
real mother is waiting for her.

Returned home, there are pictures of her with this strange family – the Gallaghers – all around the house. Everything she thought was true appears to have been a lie.

But her newfound family aren’t quite the perfect unit they claim to be. Are they just being protective of a traumatized child, or is Charlotte right that they are keeping secrets from her?

She gradually pieces together her real past yet, discovering what lurks there, might it have been better to be kept in the dark?

My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I should have listened to my gut and DNF'ed this one when I originally opened it, and  saw that it was 109 chapters long. Because seriously? There is absolutely no reason for that kind of nonsense as far as I'm concerned. But I kept swiping anyway.

Yes, for anyone wondering, they were short chapters which is how I made it as far as I did before I just gave up. 

Here is the thing, this book absolutely has the potential to be great. Yes, the first third story is told in a very immature way, BUT I brushed that aside since you are seeing things from the point-of-view of a child so it makes sense that it would be presented that way. In fact, I liked being inside the head of the child because it made things interesting. 

Until it didn't. 

How many times are people going to get shot over this one child? Why if money was exchanged is this person still involved? How can this child have memories of two different people? Why is EVERYONE SO DRAMATIC (and I meant this most sincerely, there was so much drama going on inside the Gallagher household that it was no wonder Charsis (as I began calling her) had problems fitting in. Everyone keeps secrets, the sisters pit one another against each other, "Mama Michelle" is just overbearing and irritating and the other one is just stupid. I also noticed that sometimes, Charlotte would speak in a way that was much older sounding that how old she was supposed to be.
The book then jumps to Charlotte as an adult, and as it would turn out, after a shocking turn of events a woman has been discovered. A woman who not only looks just like her, but who is also claiming to be Charlotte Gallagher, and she wants what is owed to her. Cue page upon pages where everyone has a secret, and it would seem that no one is who the seem to be. By this point, I was just hoping that it was all going to be over soon, because this was book was just such a train wreck. You know, where you want to look away, but can't? Especially when we get to the part about the families stay at the resort and all of the weird secrets of their parents start coming to light.

Finally, I got to the end, and while I'm sure the author meant for the ending to be some sort of shocking twist, not only did I see it coming from miles away, I was also just absolutely over this entire book and wondering why I wasted so much of my time on something so confusing. And also can we talk about the fact that the one "couple" mentioned during this part and the kinky things they were into was really kind of gross and inappropriate considering the age gap and the history not only between them, but between one of the adults and the Gallagher family as a whole. 

As you can see, this one didn't work for me for a lot of reasons. I think it could have been edited down to not be 109 chapters and maybe not have cliff-hangers every other paragraph, but I do believe there will be other people who will enjoy this one.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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