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Almost Gone

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  415 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Twenty-Five Days and One Chance to Save Our Daughter

This is the never-before-told, riveting true story about a teenage Christian girl who was seduced online by a charming young Muslim man from Kosovo, and her father who ultimately worked with the FBI to save her from disappearing forever.

The Baldwins were a strong Christian family, living in Plano, Texas. When their sevent
...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Howard Books
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  415 ratings  ·  78 reviews


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Wendy
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books, nov-17
Almost Gone: Twenty Five Days and One Chance To Save Our Daughter by John and Mackenzie Baldwin is the riveting true story of an 18 year old Christian girl who was targeted online by a charming young Muslim man from Kosovo, and her father who worked with the FBI on saving her from disappearing forever.
Alternately told from the viewpoint of both father and daughter, Almost Gone follows the drastic change in Mackenzie over a short period of time. Lies and deceit lead to her parents becoming perpl
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Amy Courtney
Oct 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not a very compelling story, and the focus of the book was John Baldwin's obsession with his failures as a Christian father to raise an obedient Baptist daughter. Although Mackenzie, his daughter, was at risk of harm and injury had she continued with her plans to meet an online boyfriend in Kosovo, I didn't appreciate how this book demonized Islam and portrayed it as a misogynistic, backwards, and bad religion- all from a man (John) who admits to knowing almost nothing about the religion. I'm go ...more
Pamela
The fear of every parent . . . Their children and teens brainwashed, preened and lured, into enslaved relationships and/or human trafficking.

Written from a Christian worldview by father and daughter, it makes this an especially haunting page-turner and memoir; if a young lady grounded in faith, highly regarded student and friend, with a moral upbringing in a tight-knit family, can be so solicitously and completely persuaded to turn her back on family/friends, leave everything true, upright and w
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Jenny Houle
Nov 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for an unbiased review.

If there was an option for zero stars, that's what I would have given this book, but it's not a choice... so one star it is.

I feel the need to point out, before really delving into my review of this book, two things. One, I am a Christian. Two, I am not a parent.

ALMOST GONE is the story of Christian extremists John and Stephanie Baldwin attempting to imprison their adult child, Mackenzie, under the guise of "saving her" be
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Shan
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This should be a book about teenagers and social media, internet safety, and the dangers that can come with meeting people online. But it wasn't. I get it, this is a Christian book and faith is very important to the family. I'm a Christian so it didn't bother me that the book had religious tones but their faith and their daughter's conversion to another religion took too much of the time. The book paints the Muslim man on the other side of the world as this man who is intent in doing violent and ...more
Jeanette
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Very clearly told by the principle three people it cored: father, mother, daughter.

All three were honest and detailed the minutia of time and mindset of each period during that 18th year of their daughter's life, perfectly. 5 star.

But the amount of repetition and the, for me anyway, lacks of explaining how that period of time of such intensive SKYPE use was not known or experienced as "happening" by the parents (both of them) when it was?? Could never happen in my house or any of my kids' house
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Mary Thomas
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for my copy.

Mack is the daughter of a very close knit Christian family from Texas. She becomes involved with a young man over a social network site who is from Kosova. She quickly falls in love with him and gets drawn into a relationship with him. Mack starts to draw away from her parents and younger brothers and starts to study Islam. Her parents are very involved with their Church and are horrified by this. Mack soon under the influence of her boyfriend converts to Islam an
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Jaymi Couch
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Almost Gone
John and Mackenzie Baldwin
⭐⭐⭐

This book was an honest and scary look at a family who almost lost their daughter. Good Christian home, loving parents and a daughter who almost gave it all up for a person she had never met. Told from both the father and daughters viewpoints, the story details how Mackenzie met Aadam, a Muslim man living in Kosovo on a random chat website. How they talked for over a year and the plans they made. It's an incredible story and one that I'm sure is not that u
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Rhiannon
Jan 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Carson
Nov 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
I would say my biggest complaint is that this book spews a lot of conjecture with no evidence to support it's claim. The authors claim to try to be warning other parents - i mean, who knew that flying across the world to meet a guy that you've known only through the internet is a bad idea (Duh -
like everyone? ) Claiming that this guy has been meticulously planning to lure this girl to Kosovo to be apart of a sex trafficking ring with no evidence is pure nonsense. Much of the publicity from the
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Jennifer S. Brown
I read this on the recommendation of a friend, and I confess it's not a book I would have thought to pick up myself. Yet once I heard what it was about, I was intrigued. The daughter in this book--a high school senior in Texas--is more or less seduced online by a man in Kosovo. She secretly plans to run away to meet this man in Kosovo right after her high school graduation. Her parents catch wind of the plan and the book is about trying to keep her in America.

As a mother, I was fascinated by how
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Letty
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot imagine going through what the Baldwin family went through and I commend them for sharing their story of daughter Mackenzie's secret plan to fly to Kosovo to marry Aadam, a young man from that country whom she met on an online dating chat room and became very attached to. I liked the way the story was told in the viewpoints of the father, John, and by Mackenzie. One can feel the anguish the parents were going through in trying to keep Mackenzie from leaving, and we can see from Mackenzi ...more
Julie
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Compelling and must-read for those with adolescents or even young adults. I think young adults and adolescents would benefit from reading it, too. It’s an easy read since it’s told as if the authors are speaking to you, and I believe they are speaking to their readers in the hopes that what nearly happened to them doesn’t happen to others.
Emmy
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sad, shocking, and sickening. While the writing style itself was not incredibly professional or strong, the story itself was incredibly gripping and hard to put down. I'd like to say that I read the whole thing in one day, but I technically was too tired to finish before bed, and had to read the last four or five pages when I got up this morning.

I would highly recommend this book to parents with teenage children, especially daughters. It is so easy to get tricked online, so easy to fall for swee
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Sue
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a true story about a loving Christian family who almost lost their 18 year old daughter to a man she met on the internet. The story is told in alternating chapters by the father, John, and his daughter Mackenzie. The Baldwin family had always been a strong Christian family who spent a lot of time together. As her senior year in high school was starting, Mackenzie started to pull away from the rest of the family and questioning her faith as she wanted to learn more about Islam. Her parent ...more
Gracie Romero
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This was interesting just because it was based on a real life almost tragedy. Although the main point behind this story was how an 18 year old girl was deceived for a year by someone she met online and "fell in love with" but also how she deceived her strict parents for that same year and was able to have this relationship with this man even though her parents had rules for internet use and social media accounts. Goes to show that you can't always have everything covered 100% because a determine ...more
Lisa
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have you ever read a book that you knew was really important? A book that could save lives? “Almost Gone” is a compelling true story, a must-read cautionary book for parents and teenagers. I was shocked to learn there are over 20.9 million sex trafficking victims globally. This story hits close to home.

Mackenzie Baldwin and her father, John describe what happened within their Christian family after Mack innocently met Aadam through a social media site while over at a friend’s house. For months,
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Rebecca
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Parents (John and Stephanie) saved daughter (Mackenzie) after she was targeted by a dishonorable Muslim man.

When 17 year old Mackenzie first met Aadam on a social media site, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Could he really be as evil as her parents, and the FBI, said he was? Just because he lived in Kosovo, the capital of sex trafficking, did that automatically make him a suspicious character? How was Aadam able to manipulate headstrong, independent Mackenzie so quickly and so
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Dorie
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
Interesting true story of religious fanaticism told alternately from the viewpoint of John, the father and Mackenzie, the daughter. It is the story of a teenage Christian girl who begins talking to Aalan, a young Muslim living in Kosova on the internet. She becomes interested in his faith and is planning a trip to Kosova to meet him. As MacKenzies behavior changes and she withdraws from her family and friends, reading Islamic books and videos and spending hours talking to Aalan via computer. Thi ...more
Aida Alberto
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced review copy of this book from The Great Thoughts Ninja Review Team. All opinions are my own. This book needs to be read by everyone. In this day and age of technology we have to be super vigilant in what teenagers see and do on the internet. It's too easy to let them fall through the cracks and not follow up on what they are doing. I see my beautiful head strong niece in Mac and I cheered in the bravery that it took in telling her story. I see how easily how this could be ...more
Lenisa Jones
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Just confirms the fact that my daughters may not ever be allowed to use social media as teenagers. Scary stuff. Job well done to these parents for acting on a possibly very bad decision that their daughter was about to make.
Christine
Feb 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
A fine look at Christian sharia, nothing more.
Sue Summerill
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally awesome!

This book was so well written ! I could not put it down. The internet is so wonderful today,but so scary too. You can see how easy it is to create a relationship and be totally brainwashed. I would recommend this book to anyone. Many thanks to the author s for sharing this book.
Jennifer
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A frank and honest account of loving parents never giving up on their daughter. Almost Gone should be a must read for teenagers and parent alike.
Jen
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a mom to two young girls, this book gripped me. I was in full anxiety mode the entire time. I cannot imagine the turmoil John and Stephanie went through trying to save their daughter. Mack was so young, so headstrong, so SURE that Aadam was a good guy. But what do you really know about someone you meet online and have never truly met?

To come to find that your daughter is planning on running away is one thing. To find out that she is engaged to some manboy and planning to run to a foreign land
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Sanz
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the story of an 18 year old high school Christian girl who develops an online relationship with a Muslim man in Kosovo and ultimately plans to run away (to Kosovo) and marry him. All of this occurs without her parents' knowledge. (Which was really hard to wrap my mind around.) She leaves Christianity and converts to Islam, gets a P.O. Box for her mail, gets a passport and has tricks for how to avoid her parents' monitoring and filtering. It's the stuff movies are made of. The FBI gets in ...more
Cynthia
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. I’m giving it a generous 3 stars. You should know before starting that this is a Christian based book, so there is a lot of Jesus inside. It also felt decidedly anti-Islam to me. I know this guy and his daughter had a tough go, but that wasn’t the fault of Islam in general. I thought the parents were pretty closed minded about looking into another faith when their daughter showed interest. It seemed like they were closing doors on their relationship, but th ...more
Lisa
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, after finishing ‘Almost Gone’ all I can saw is wow. The nightmare began for the Baldwin family when their daughter, Mackenzie, met a man through social media.
The man turned out to be Muslim and he manipulated Mackenzie into giving up her family, friends, and everything she was raised to believe.
I am the mother of a seventeen year old girl who has been raised in a Christian household. The scary thing is that I can totally see how this could happen and I could feel the parents frustration at
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Ursula
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
An unbelievably true tale about almost losing his young eighteen year old daughter to a slick young Albanian man from Kosovo. It seemed so innocent when Mackenzie begins to communicate with Aadam online. He convinces her that they belong together. He explains the Koran and convinces her to convert to a Muslim even though her parents are Christians that are actively involved in their church. She begins to plan to go to Kosovo to be with him since he has convinced her that they are engaged. Her pa ...more
Sarah
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a scary, intense, almost unbelievable book.

Scary: what almost happened to Mackenzie, how long she was able to hide the truth from her family, how she even got involved in it all in the first place. (Her friend Madison must have felt so guilty, even though it wasn't really her fault).

Intense: this book, though absolutely true, reads like a fiction suspense novel.

Almost unbelievable: I cannot comprehend the ways we humans can deceive ourselves. I say that a lot when I see people denying
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