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Never Gone

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Dani’s dad can’t play peacemaker when he’s dead. Can he?

After her supportive father dies tragically, Dani has no clue how to cope alone with her perfectionist mother.

Then she sees him: in her room, roaming the halls at church, wandering his own wake. Is it a miracle? Or is she losing her mind?

Sunday school never prepared her for this kind of life after death.

Kindle Edition
Published September 4th 2012 (first published September 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,899)
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Own on Kindle.

I don't usually read YA and I *never* read ghost stories. (I'm a scardey cat)

I couldn't put this one down.

I love how Garver wove the seemingly normal of the horror that is death into a net of confusion created by the main character, Dani. Events and people who should have been safe - who were trying their best to help - became seemingly sinister through eyes that couldn't see clearly. The reader is able to sympathize with Dani while remaining aloof enough to see she is making compl
Margo Berendsen
I've never read anything like this before and I loved it.

I've been very so-so about some of the YA fiction produced by big name Christian publishers, which borders on the edge of pushy, fake, corny or trying too hard to be cool. This felt very real. Religion doesn't stick out like a sore thumb in this story; it is simply part of Dani's life. This is a book I would readily recommend to anyone, not just Christian readers; it has an appeal that is universal, sort of like the great classic story Th
Never Gone is a young adult novel that deals delicately and truthfully with a teen's struggles and triumphs while dealing with a loss of a parent. Fifteen year old Dani is a typical teen finding her place amoung her family, her friends, and boys, but the sudden loss of her Dad spins her world. Grieving, she begins to 'see' her Dad, believing he still has something to tell her. Gripping to find a truth to fall on solid ground again, she searches him out. But the truth she finds is not what she ex ...more
eBook provided by author for review.
Review originally published on my blog:

When her father dies following a lengthy battle to recover from a horrific accident, Dani is understandably distraught. Struggling to deal with her grief, and desperately missing her most understanding parental figure, Dani is shocked to discover that she can see her father. She thinks. After the first unsettling encounter, she begins to hope that maybe - just maybe - he's not really gone after al
C.M. Keller
I really enjoyed Never Gone. It was beautifully written--the language and pacing flowed beautifully. The grief and loss that Dani experienced were so realistic and deftly shown that I felt as if I were experiencing it with her. And because the story was so grounded, I was wonderfully surprised by the metaphors--you don't often find such symbolic meaning in young adult fiction.

The characters were real and fun. I loved Theo. Even the secondary characters grabbed me, especially Hugh.

Finally, I appr
As I read this book I was reminded of themes from the Yearling. Penny Baxter, a father and husband too well acquainted with loss, remarked that sorrow strikes the same all over, only making a different kind of mark in different places. Never Gone looks into the relationships of a family immersed in grief, each bearing the burden so differently that they can hardly recognize the each other's sorrow. In the midst of their isolation, alienation, and misunderstanding, you could read "just one more c ...more
This book made me cry at least three times. Not because it's depressing, but because it's so touching. It's a book that deals with both death and estrangement in a tender and sensitive way. The writing is lyrical, picturesque, and delicate. The voice of the author is both strong and soft as she takes us through the stages of grief, delves into the protagonists most intimate relationships, and explores where the supernatural ends and where delusion begins.
Jessica Bell
Tender, heartwarming, a really special read. YA for adults, adult fiction for young adults. If you have a heart, you'll find something to relate to. Beautifully written. Highly recommend if you're into realistic literature.
Leigh Moore
Never Gone is such a beautiful book. The writing is gorgeous, the situations are heart-twisting. Definitely recommend. More on the blog on Monday~
Thanks to Goodreads and Laurel Garver for my copy of Never Gone.

A story that will touch even the hardest of hearts.
Stephanie Parent
Never Gone is a beautifully written book about loss, grief, redemption, and long-buried secrets. It’s a metaphorical ghost story, which is my favorite kind. Going into the book, I thought it would mostly be about Dani trying to overcome her father’s unexpected death, but it’s about so much more than that—it’s about art, family relationships and the misunderstandings and miscommunications that can rupture them, faith, sanity, and forgiveness. I loved the vividly rendered settings of both New York ...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
DNF - 0 stars

Where I stopped reading: Location 585 of 1154 on the e-Book app of my iPhone.

Why I stopped reading: The book got progressively less novel-like and more trying-to-convert-me-like the more I read. Somewhere between the heroine being damned for seeing a ghost and being advised that a “scientific” way of thinking was inferior to religion and ultimately incorrect, my heart hurt so much I had to stop.

Listen. Faith and science aren’t opposites – I’m a big fan of both – but when one starts
Kate Hewitt
This book has an interesting premise, and the writing is generally fluid although occasionally jarring... but I appreciate the faith element. I will read to the end.

Ended up not finishing it. I might go back to it later.
Kristen Otte
Never Gone is a story of a 15 year old girl dealing with the loss of her father. The story didn't take me in the places I thought it would, and I think that is a great aspect to the story. I enjoyed the character development in the story, especially the relationship of Dani and Heather and Dani and Theo. Never Gone was an interesting read for me because of the direct weaving of the Christian faith into the story. As a Christian, I found the faith aspect surprisingly refreshing and realistic, esp ...more
Charlotte Lynn
Fifteen year old Dani Dean is mourning the loss of her father. She keeps seeing him every where- walking in their apartment, at her church, even at his own funeral. She feels like she is going crazy.

Dani’s relationship with her mother is not good. Her mom sends her off to England to stay with her father’s family. Dani fears this will be a permanent move. As she keeps seeing her dad’s ghost she believes he is the answer to her problems.

Laurel Garver approached the hard issues of grief, doubt, and
This book was well written, it is heavily Christian based which was kind of annoying, but overall it is a good read.

Never Gone tells the story of Dani, who after her father's tragic death has to find a way to reconnect with her mother who is shutting her out at every turn.

I liked this book, it didn't totally grab me and felt like a really long read, but it wasn't bad.

This review also appears on
Never Gone is gracefully written and a thoroughly enjoyable read. The writing is lyrical, picturesque, and delicate. Through the eyes of teen character, Dani, the author explores the profound themes of grace and mercy, and the beauty that exists in the midst of real life struggles. I highly recommend this book for teens and adults, as well!
Carol Klemme
One of the worst books I've ever read. Don't waste your time or money.
Jennifer Thacker
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Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, and Celtic music. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

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More about Laurel Garver...
Emotions in the Wild: A Writer's Observation Journal Muddy-Fingered Midnights: poems from the bright days and dark nights of the soul The best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2012 Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle Poetry Pact 2011

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“Tears from the old me trickle into a clear cup of truth for the new.” 2 likes
“It’s like I woke up in another country and all the maps in my head have only made me more lost.” 2 likes
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