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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“The day I died was the day my family began to fall apart.” In Almost Gone by Sarah Mack, 19-year-old Michael Brant was a football star of his high school, had a beautiful girlfriend, was popular and well-liked. All that changed when he was hit by a truck that landed him in a comatose state. His spirit watches as his father signs the paper to remove all life support, ruining his family as they handle their grief in their own destructive ways. Michael vows to find his elusive killer and mend his broken family, but his quest proves to be complicated as there are unexpected surprises, both good and bad.
Almost Gone offers readers an emotional tragedy while blending elements of the paranormal, mystery, and crime. Through its clear prose, the familiar concept of life after death is given an introspective premise about familial bonds including finding hope and love when one is least expecting it. As a spirit, protagonist Michael gets to know his family members again albeit during their state of emotional despair and in damaging situations. His hunt to find his killer leads him down surprising paths. Some parts of the story were not easy to read as they involved disturbing acts and moments that happened to or were done by the characters. That said, it reflects the reality of how some people deal with trauma. All in all, Sarah Mack's YA contemporary tale centers on hope, recovery, peace, and moving forward even after a devastating loss and a period of profound struggles.