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Never Gone Paperback – September 14, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Best Use of Theme, 2012 debuts: "...it tackles sensitive subjects such as grief, addiction, presumptions and misunderstandings, and religion. It's all woven together beautifully and without making any big dramatic statements. This book, toward its end, could also qualify for the 'loveliest prose' category." --Writing at High Altitude blog

"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

"A very well written story about how a fifteen year old feels the loss of her father, written with a very realistic feel.... but instead of it feeling sad, it was a story of new beginnings, friendships, faith and family." --Brenda at WV Stitcher blog

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479205079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479205073
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,526,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CMKeller on November 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Never Gone. It was beautifully written--the language and pacing flowed beautifully. The grief and loss that Dani experienced were so realistic and deftly shown that I felt as if I were experiencing it with her. And because the story was so grounded, I was wonderfully surprised by the metaphors--you don't often find such symbolic meaning in young adult fiction.

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!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Never Gone is a beautifully written book about loss, grief, redemption, and long-buried secrets. It's a metaphorical ghost story, which is my favorite kind. Going into the book, I thought it would mostly be about Dani trying to overcome her father's unexpected death, but it's about so much more than that--it's about art, family relationships and the misunderstandings and miscommunications that can rupture them, faith, sanity, and forgiveness. I loved the vividly rendered settings of both New York City and small-town England. The main characters were all multilayered, rich and complex, but I was most impressed that even some of the smaller characters turned out to be much more than they first appeared. Dani's uncle Philip and Hugh, the sort-of resident lunatic in the British town, were my favorite characters of all.

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.

Favorite Quotes:
"...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."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Laurel Garver's "Never Gone." It was a sensitive story about Dani Deane's tragic loss of her father and her journey to find him, and in the process, her mother and ultimately herself. The story successfully mixes up tasty a brew of family, friendship, faith and hope, served up with a helping of mystery and tension. There's a nice sense of time and place and the characters are portrayed with sincerity and confidence. As an artist, I enjoyed the artistic references and colorful descriptions of the creative process. As a former teenager, I could relate to the tension between Dani and Theo and the strength of faith shared between them. The settings and situations seemed very real. I enjoyed the story very much and had to pull out a hanky in the end.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. Some situations were quite predicable, but I am an adult so maybe it wasn't that predictable for it's intended audience.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dani Deane is grieving. Losing her father was bad enough, but now her already-tense relationship with her mother is strained to the breaking point when her mom decides not to accompany Dani to her dad's hometown for his burial service. Dani's grief and longing for her father are so intense that she starts seeing and hearing her dad everywhere. Is he a ghost? A vision? Are his cryptic messages really clues? In Never Gone, Laurel Garver explores the aftermath of a family tragedy and its consequences for family relationships, friends, and faith. As Dani pursues the mystery hinted at in her dad's messages, she learns some surprising truths about herself, her parents, and what she's really looking for in life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tender, heartwarming, a really special read. YA for adults, adult fiction for young adults. If you have a heart, you'll find something to relate to. Beautifully written. Highly recommend if you're into realistic literature.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Never Gone is such a good book. The writing is gorgeous, the story is haunting (literally!) and it ends just perfectly. (*BIG sigh*) It's the perfect fall-into-winter book.

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!
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