Before She Was Found
By Heather Gudenkauf
Parents, do you really know where your kids are, who their friends are or are not, who they are talking to online?
Two middle school girls are found at the train depot at midnight. One is beaten nearly to death, one is covered in blood and catatonic, and a third girl is missing. It sets in a motion a fast-paced investigation into who could have done this horrific attack.
At the heart of the probe are the toxic and sometimes tenuous relationships that seem to exist between the girls, their parents, their siblings and just about everyone else. Every character seems to hold a piece of the final puzzle. This book is told through a series of journal entries, texts, transcripts, and first-person accounts that slowly build to a final picture that is totally unexpected. The suspects are many, each as plausible as the next. The true story is more horrific and heartbreaking than it would seem possible at first glance. No character in the story is left unchanged by the incident.
This story is well written and I was thrown by the ending, yet throughout the bullying becomes a bit cliche with its endless layers of who did what to who. Also, several subplots were introduced and not really fleshed out leaving me wanting to know more about that story.
This book with its urban legend theme will for sure appeal to young adult readers.