Macy Mercer only wants a little independence. Eager to prove herself grown up, she goes to a dark, secluded park. She’s supposed to meet the boy of her dreams who she met online. But the cute fifteen year old was a fantasy, his pictures fake. She finds herself face to face with Chester Woodran, a man capable of murder.
Distraught over his own missing daughter, Chester insists that Macy replace his lost girl. He withholds food, locks Macy up, and roughs her up, demanding that she call him dad. Under duress from his constant threats and mind games, her hold on reality starts to slip. Clinging to her memories is the only way of holding onto her true identity, not believing that she is Chester’s daughter. Otherwise she may never see her family again.
Please note: this book has very dark elements including abuse and kidnapping. I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16.
I will warn you now, this book is not for the faint of heart. Gone begins with a mysterious man, Chester, watching a girl, and thinking about how he knows her better than anyone else. If that isn’t a creepy way to start a book, I don’t know what is. As you continue reading, the POV changes to Macy, a fifteen year old girl who sits in a park, waiting for Jared, the boy of her dreams (who she had only met online) to pick her up so that they could go on a date. Yes, you read that right.
From there, I’m sure that you can figure out what happens next. Jared suddenly tells her that he’s busy so he’s going to have his dad pick her up instead. While Macy hesitates for a moment, she eventually decides to go along with the plan because she trusts Jared. She’s very smart. Not. For a couple of minutes, everything is fine, until they drive past Jared’s high school. At that point, Macy realizes that something is wrong, very wrong, and asks Jared’s dad where they are going. And that…that is when it is revealed that there is no Jared. The man in question is actually Chester, the creep from the first chapter. Shortly after that is revealed, Chester gets tired of Macy’s questions and hits her over the head with a flashlight.
As the book continues, the reader learns more and more about Chester’s past. He used to have a wife and a daughter, but they both went missing. Well, missing might not be the right word for it, but Macy doesn’t know what the correct word is. All that she learns is that his daughter, Heather, used to look just like her, and Chester now wants Macy to be her replacement.
The rest of the book is a mixture of POV’s including Macy, her family, her best friend, and Chester. I normally do not like it when books have multiple POV’s, but all of the different characters added something new to the story. It turns out that almost everyone in Macy’s real family was hiding secrets.
While it may seem as though I’m making fun of this dark book, that is not the case at all. I am being sarcastic to prove the point that the main character in this book was naive and stupid. Yes, I am calling the main character stupid, and there’s a good reason for that. She made one decision that completely changed her life. No one should EVER plan a meet-up in a private place with someone that they met online. The internet is a scary place and there are many dangerous people lurking around.
This book was very powerful and I give it 4/5 stars.