Gone too Soon by Melody Carlson Celebrate Lit Book Tour

Welcome to my stop on “Gone Too Soon’s” Book tour.  Here you will learn about the book, the author, where to find the other stops, and the giveaways.  Let’s get started with my review.

My Thoughts:

“Gone Too Soon” is a Contemporary Christian Young Adult offering by author Melody Carlson.  It was a difficult one for me.  I am not sure what age “Young Adult” means, but this book tackled very mature topics.  By the time I had finished reading it I was an emotional wreck.  First off, I am far from a young adult having twin thirteen year old granddaughters.  They were always in my mind while reading a book on teenagers.  I would not suggest they read this because of their age.

Author Carlson has written many books, but this one seemed more on the edgy, darker side.  The situations are real for today, and sometimes too brutal for me.  There is death, rape, drugs, smoking, exhibition, lewd dressing, animal cruelty, and things that kids just should not do.  Even the language is rough around the edges.  Unfortunately that is what is happening in our world today with some teens.

This story is about a dysfunctional family dealing with grief after a daughter (sister) is killed.  Using drugs, alcohol, and other things to cope divides the family rather than brings them closer together.  It is about misguided teenagers.

There is inspiration sprinkled throughout this story.  Some places it is heavier than others.  The author includes praying, Bible reading, Bible study, and going to church.  One place that bothered me was when a character cried out “Oh, God” as it is never clear if this is in vain or a prayer for help.  There is absolutely no doubt this is a Christian novel.

Gone Too Soon has a nice easy to read pace.  The author’s style is steady and grabs readers’ attention quickly. The characters are well thought and have many dimensions.  I could imagine their emotions and wanted to mentor the teens.  The tough subjects were handled in a way to allow learning.

I would recommend this book to certain people.  Older teens, people in ministry, women, and a book club.  This is definitely one to discuss.  I would not recommend it to anyone 15 or under, possibly 17.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.


About the Book

Book: Gone Too Soon

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Gone Too SoonAn icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

I think I’ve written about a hundred or more teen novels, but Gone Too Soon, a rather serious story, is a bit different. There’s no denying I’ve covered a bunch of gritty issues—everything from self-harm to suicide to murder—but I’ve never written a novel quite like this one. For starters, I wrote it from two viewpoints. Both the teenage daughter and her mother express themselves in this story. And because the premise involves an untimely death, the family is torn apart. As a result, there’s a lot of guilt and blame and confusion going around. They’re all in pain.

I’ve been asked several times what “inspired” this story. And I’m sad to say that it’s simply a case of “art imitating life.” I live in a small community where too many young people have died “too soon.” These untimely deaths—for a variety of random and unexplainable reasons—are devastating. I know more than a dozen families (some very close friends) who have tragically lost a child. So I’ve seen up close how it can tear a family apart. It’s truly heartbreaking, often leaving friends and family without words of comfort or explanation.

But that’s not the only reason I wrote this story. My hope is that teens (who often feel invincible) will be reminded that they are mortal and that this earthly life is temporary. Hard as it sounds, death is inevitable. And it’s not that I want everyone to be obsessed about dying, but we do live in a culture that practices denial about the end of a life. No one really wants to talk about it. My hope is that readers will take a hard, honest look, peel back some layers, and face death for what it is—a part of earthly life. And I hope readers will close the book with a little more understanding . . . and hope.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 25

Emily Yager, April 26

The Power of Words, April 26

Moments, April 26

Christian Bookaholic, April 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Hallie Reads, April 27

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, April 28

Mary Hake, April 28

janicesbookreviews, April 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, April 29

SusanLovesBooks, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 30

Just the Write Escape, April 30

Carla Loves toRead, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 2

Through the Fire Blogs, May 3

Reading Themes, May 3

For The Love of Books, May 3

the Midnight Bookaholic, May 4

amandainpa, May 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

Bigreadersite, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

The Becca Files, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

this chattanooga mommy saves, May 7

A Reader’s Brain, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 8


To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize of paperback copy of Gone Too Soon and a matching journal!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfa9/gone-too-soon-celebration-tour-giveaway


2 thoughts on “Gone too Soon by Melody Carlson Celebrate Lit Book Tour

  1. This book covers some necessary conversation topics! Like you said, many teens are already exposed to these mature topics. I am okay with my teenage daughter reading books with this content–especially from a Christian author–but would read it with her and use it as a way to open discussion. I’d rather talk with her about these things than let her go by what she hears at school.


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