Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.
She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.
Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out....
I was pretty eager to read Gone, having enjoyed both Wake and Fade due to McMann's powerful and unique way with prose. That said, I read this book with a critical eye since I've encountered nothing but negative reviews around the blogosphere.
Like its predecessors, Gone is a very quick read and has an atypical plot arc. Fans who expected a final book heavy on crime-fighting and high school drama will be disappointed. What we do get is a book that is much more reflective, that examines Janie's character and decisions, and focuses on internal conflicts. Personally, I don't mind this change from the action-action of the previous two books--I quite enjoy novels with a more contemplative element to them.
However, there's not much to talk about plotwise: while Janie and Cabel are off vacationing she receives a panicked call from her friend about her mother and rushes home. As it turns out, alcoholic mother Dorothea isn't the one in trouble--rather, its Janie's father who's suddenly reappeared. Only thing is, he's in critical condition in the ICU and is currently in a coma.
From them on, much of the book consists of visits to the hospital and Janie alternatively pushing Cabel away and then roping him in. We do get the much-needed answers to what kind of person her father was, but I have to say Janie's brooding contributed to a much whinier tone in this book. Janie doesn't exhibit her characteristic strength of mind for the majority of the time. But I really did enjoy the terming of Janie's so called "Morton Fork" in which the two decisions she faces will result in equally terrible things. This philosophical aspect adds to the depth of this story, and ultimately I have to say I enjoyed the portrayal of a teenage girl faced with a life-altering choice.
I loved the ending. I'm in the minority here, but there's something I love about open endings. The more open, the better*--but I'm completely biased here in my preferences.
Gone was a bittersweet read that didn't quite live up to Wake or Fade. I can understand why many readers will be disappointed by the seemingly nonexistent plot and open ending, but I don't think this book was that bad. All in all, the Wake Trilogy is a respectable series for YA. Really, the reason I liked this series in the first place was the writing style--3rd person present tense and heavy on fragments--and Gone definitely delivers on that aspect.
My Rating: 7/10. I would recommend Wake, and once reading that book I don't doubt most would finish up on the series all the way to Gone. And this book gives a sufficient conclusion.
* Cliffhanger endings are another matter entirely. Hate those.
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