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Never Gone Paperback – September 14, 2012
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"Never Gone is a ghost story for a new generation - a twisty journey through a young girl's battle with death, grief, and the discovery of family secrets that threaten to undo her world. Garver tackles difficult subjects with depth and grace, weaving the complexities of faith with the complexities of growing up." --Heidi Willis, author of Some Kind of Normal
A story of redemption, of hope in the face of intense sorrow, and of great personal growth, Never Gone is a touching read. --A Word's Worth (awordsworth.blogspot.com)
This book is full of twists and turns, of love and forgiveness, and of faith and clarity. This story is beautiful and inspirational and can reassure someone in pain that things will get better....a great read. --Dee at O.D. Reviews
About the Author
Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, Celtic music, and mentoring teens at her church. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
Top Customer Reviews
The characters were real and fun. I loved Theo. Even the secondary characters grabbed me, especially Hugh.
Finally, I appreciated the honest way Ms. Garver dealt with loss, anger, doubt, and faith. She never took any shortcuts or easy answers. I'd definitely recommend it!
Despite being about grief and death, Never Gone is a very hopeful book; at the same time, I appreciated that the author was willing to go to some very dark places. Dani's disturbing dreams, in which she sort of constructs a new, healthier body for herself, were especially powerful. The descriptions of art were also very well done, particularly the breathtaking scene when Dani works with color rather than her usual pencils at the end. Overall, Never Gone is a moving look at one girl discovering that she can survive the deepest loss, and that the people she thinks she knows best just might surprise her.
"...I search for a tender, new heart. I know it will have the honeyed scent of snowdrops that fight to bloom through ice."
"Something in my mind, like an eye behind my eye, sees angel shapes in shadows of our lamp-lit street."
Main character Danielle "Dani" has just lost her father in a horrible car accident. His body's been cremated, and she and his remains are being shipped off to England to stay with her paternal grandparents while her mother stays in the U.S. for work. The problem is Dani keeps seeing her dad.
Her memories and her desperate longing to catch him, which leads to some risky behavior choices, will have readers in tears. But also, her strained relationship with her mother, and all the things Dani discovers about her family just peel away like layers of the most delicious cake. And the ending with Theo, and what he writes on her cast... (*swoon*)
Only a few times I was a little confused or concerned with how situations were handled, but it didn't hinder my enjoyment. There's a good dose of theology in the book courtesy Dani's grandfather, who's a clergyman. But also Theo, Dani's love interest is struggling with his own spirituality. I don't mind such things. And the English setting is the perfect backdrop for all the good stuff inside.
Highly recommend this impressive debut!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are very few stories which involve me so deeply in the character's plight that I cry. This is one of those books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by FireDancer
The author does a fantastic job of bringing the various scenes throughout the book to life on the pages, and I was very often able to relate with those feelings that Dani, the main... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mike
I love the book, as I was going through the same situation in life. But I glad that my grief and understanding of someone so close can be relatable. Read morePublished 12 months ago by KAL
Good wholesome read especially for Christian teens. Good questions to use as discussion points at end. Sound Bible references. Went on a little longer than it should have, I feel. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Donna Smith
An introduction to Y/A fiction, this well crafted, great story, will not be forgotten. Unsure about the genre and who is supposed to be reading it, I think I started at the top of... Read morePublished on May 16, 2014 by Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin
An excellent read. Great characters (especially Dani), intriguing plot, nice pacing, and lots of rich thematic development woven throughout - grief & coping; remembrance;... Read morePublished on April 29, 2014 by Chris C
DNF - 0 stars
Where I stopped reading: Location 585 of 1154 on the e-Book app of my iPhone. Read more
This book was well written, it is heavily Christian based which was kind of annoying, but overall it is a good read. Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by A. Scott
Never Gone is beautifully written and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Through the teen character, Dani, Laurel Garver explores the profound themes of grace and mercy, and the beauty... Read morePublished on June 3, 2013 by JCho