YOU HAVE 18 MONTHS LEFT TO LIVE . . . On a wet Monday in January, Jess Mount checks Facebook and discovers her timeline appears to have skipped forward 18 months, to a day when shocked family and friends are posting heartbreaking tributes to her following her death in an accident. Jess is left scared and confused: is she the target of a cruel online prank or is this a terrifying glimpse of her true fate?
Amongst the posts are photos of a gorgeous son she has not yet conceived. But when new posts suggest her death was deliberate, Jess realises that if she changes the future to save her own life, the baby boy she has fallen in love with may never exist.
Published July 27th by Quercus (UK)
Linda Green’s previous novel, While My Eyes Were Closed, was the first book I read in 2017 and after a long period of being out of the habit of devouring books in single sittings, had me riveted throughout, reigniting my love for a compulsively addictive read. Several months and sixty books later, and here I was again picking up what promised to be a page turner from Linda, and boy, After I’ve Gone doesn’t disappoint!
Twenty Two year old Jess is blown away when gorgeous and successful Lee picks her out of a crowd. After their first date, Jess is head over heels and it seems Lee is too, much to her disbelief. But at the same time something strange begins to happen. Posts that appear to be from the future begin appearing on her facebook timeline. Convinced it’s a virus or a trick at first, Jess tries to ignore it. But when things in real life begin to coincide with what’s written in the weird posts, Jess is scared. Because according to facebook, Jess will be dead in eighteen months time.
This isn’t the first time I’ve read a book that uses facebook to tell the future. Jay Asher’s YA novel The Future Of Us has its teen protagonist stumble across Facebook of the future before it’s even invented. It’s a fantastic, creepy and intriguing idea for a story, and when I read the description of After I’ve Gone I knew I had to read it. Unlike the former book however, this one takes a sinister approach in revealing Jess’s very own imminent death, with the added suspense of a murder mystery where the murder hasn’t even happened yet.
Linda Green’s writing is thoroughly addictive and readable. I started this early one evening and didn’t stop reading until I’d read all 430 odd pages. While it becomes clear early on who may have killed Jess, I thought the build up to how it comes to happen was done really well. There’s subtle hints at first to raise concern and put the reader on alert, leading to a sense of impending doom while hoping Jess manages to save herself, and the yet to be born son she’s already fallen in love with, before it’s too late.
After I’ve Gone is the perfect binge read book, ideal for holidays or cosy afternoons where you have nothing to do but enjoy. With a fast paced, intriguing plot line and some thought provoking themes, I enjoyed it every bit as much, if not more, as When My Eyes Were Closed and cements Linda Green in my list of must read authors. Recommended!