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Before She Was Found

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  471 ratings  ·  226 reviews
A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence .

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover--movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sne
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Park Row
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MaryAnn Heather refers to that case in the reader guide as an inspiration but then made it her own plot.

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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  471 ratings  ·  226 reviews

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Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
It was supposed to be a sleepover Three twelve-year-old girls, Cora, Violet and Jordyn, were having a sleepover at Cora's home. But then the trio decided to sneak out of Cora's home at midnight to go to the abandoned rail-yard. It was supposed to be a fun adventure. It turned into a nightmare.

Cora is found on the tracks by a woman walking her dog. She is covered in blood and barely alive. Violet and Jordyn are nowhere to be found. Later Violet is found and taken to the hospital and Jordyn turns
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss, buddy-read
Addictive and thrilling!

A vicious attack at the railway. One young girl left maimed and bleeding, with another victim almost shock. The third...surprisingly unwilling to help the authorities!

Cora never really fit in with her peers. Her best friend moved away to another town leaving her alone and desperate to find new friends.

Violet. The new girl in town. Sweet, quiet and unassuming. Her family recently relocated here from New Mexico looking for new beginnings. Actually, the truth
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
3.5 stars

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe--even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

I loved the first half of this book and I thought it was so creepy. I was so intrigued to find out who J.W. was? Everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted. It was a fast paced thri
Diane S ☔
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
Well this one reeled me in, hook, line and sinker! And no there are no actual fish in this story. Fishy occurrences yes, real fish, no. Though to be honest this author and I have a good relationship between writer and reader.

Three twelve year old girls, sneak out of the house on midnight, of the girl hosting the sleepover. One is discovered in terrible condition, clinging to life after being beaten and stabbed. Another is found covered with blood, in shock but otherwise unhurt. The third ran ho
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa!!! This YA mystery / thriller has exceeded my expectations! See ya, book slump!

Cora is a lonely 12 year old girl, her one and only best friend moved away months ago, so when a new girl, Violet, appears in her class she is over the moon with excitement and wants nothing more than to become friends with this mysterious new girl.

Unfortunately for Cora, Jordyn (the most popular girl in class and mean girl extraordinaire) is also interested in becoming Violets friend. For Cora this poses a hug
Holly  B

Some mixed feelings about this one!

My favorite element was the different formats that kept it interesting and kept the story moving forward (always a plus), It was a mix of  real time, journal excerpts, different POV's , online chat room discussions and police interviews, BUT I was wanting more follow through to some of the incidents.

I wanted to keep reading on, but wasn't really "enjoying" what I was reading and kept feeling disappointed in the direction it was taking. I liked all th
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
3.5 stars. A haunting crime in a small town community.

Twelve-year-old classmates, Cora, Violet and Jordyn sneak out one night to visit the abandoned train yard at the edge of town. A night of sneaky mischief ends with Cora hospitalized with several stab wounds and Violent and Jordyn in shock and confusion as to what happened. Small town secrets are uncovered as the police question everyone connected to the three girls. Were all three girls victims of this brutal attack? Could one of the girls b
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If Mean Girls and Slenderman had a baby, Before She Was Found would be that baby.

An attempted murder scene, three preteen girls, one missing, one covered in blood and one clinging to life. And all three are utterly unreliable narrators. I mean, what's not to love about that?

The best word I can find to describe this book is gripping. I read it in one sitting, though technically I was lying but whatever, tomayto-tomahto.

Having never even heard of Heather Gudenkauf I had no idea what to expect fr
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Three Girls, an urban legend, a dark obsession and a chilling crime

Before She Was Found is a chilling, unsettlingly realistic, thought-provoking story that explores some teenage drama here with bullying, popularity, fitting in and approval. It goes a little deeper than just mean girls. It also explores friendship, betrayal and the power of social media and the impact it all can have on family dynamics.

Before She Was Found starts off with an unsettling, disturbing and grisly scene and I was tur
Susanne  Strong
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, edelweiss
4.5 Stars

All actions have consequences. When you are twelve years old however, you have absolutely no idea what they are going to be!

Cora has always had trouble making friends. She gets teased and bullied constantly at school, though her parents would never know it. When a new girl named Violet moves to town, Cora has high hopes, especially when they are paired up in class. That is, until Ms. Popular and Cora’s least favorite person, Jordyn, is paired with them. Then all of a sudden things seem
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twelve year old Cora is found at an abandoned train depot, lying near the railroad tracks, with a broken arm, a stab wound in the torso, and lacerations and blunt trauma to her face. She had been at a sleepover with two other 12 year old girls, Violet, who was found covered in blood, in the same area as Cora and Jordyn who showed up at home not long after Cora was attacked. Cora can't talk and the other two girls are too scared to or don't want to talk.

This is a living nightmare for law enforce
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This was mind-blowing good!

I have always enjoyed Heather Gudenkauf's books but boy did she knock this one out of the park ladies and gents! This exceeded my expectations in every way!

An attempted murder case, three twelve year old girls, one covered full of blood, one on the verge of dying, and another that left the scene. Talk about addicting and thrilling!

I was totally gripped in and mesmerized by Gudenkauf's words from the start. She lays out the characters with such depth and the sto
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars!

She sees herself pushing through the plumes of winter wheat, painting them red as she brushes by, and finally catches sight of him. He pauses and turns to face her. He looks pleased.

Do you remember the Slender Man case in 2014? Two girls lured their friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times to impress the myth known as Slender Man. If you remember that case then this story has serious Slender Man Vibes. If not, you may want to look it up because it's fairly fascinating.

One night f
Miriam Smith
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comp-wins
As soon as I started reading "Before She Was Found" by Heather Gudenkauf, I knew this was going to keep me reading well past my bedtime and I thought it an exciting and addictive read, that kept me entertained from the very first page.
I loved all the different voices and variety in styles of narration. Multiple points of view are my favourite way of engaging with a story and reading about each character's involvement in the story from their viewpoint makes for a very interesting and entertainin
I am sure that you have heard about the Slenderman...the tall, spidery figure with the blank face who has inspired stories, video games and movies...

The same one that two twelve year old girls in Wisconsin, tried to appease, when they lured a classmate into the woods, in 2014, stabbing her 19x.

BUT...have you heard about the urban legend, Joseph Wither??

He lived in Pitch, Iowa, in the 1940’s and rumor has it that after he lost his love, Rachel Farmer, he burned down his house and killed several y
Norma * Traveling Sister
Gripping, chilling, & mind-blowing stuff here!

I definitely have to start my review off with a little message to you HEATHER GUDENKAUF, you are by far one of my must-read and absolute favourite thriller writers ever and this book was freakin’ fantastic!!!!

BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND by HEATHER GUDENKAUF is an unsettling, dark, realistic, captivating, thought-provoking and fabulous thriller that pretty much had every aspect that I absolutely love in my thrillers. A haunting and chilling crime, a myst
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Holy smokes! This one grabbed me by the throat on the first page and didn't let up until the last. This was the kind of book I walked around my house reading while hoping no one needed anything.

Three 12 year old girls, "frenemies" by any definition, are having a sleepover. Why did they end up at the train tracks? Who attacked Cora so viciously and why? What do Violet and Jordyn know? Who's telling the truth? Which end is up? Help, I smell blue! The pressure built and built until the whole thing
Before She Was Found

A timely and gripping thriller about three teenage girls sneaking out in the middle of the night that had me on the edge of my seat.


Twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, were having a sleepover. They decided to sneak out in the middle of the night to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town. Little do they know that their fun and games will have serious consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks,
 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader
Another Chilling and Unputdownable novel by one of my favorite authors, Heather Gudenkauf!

Text Message Exchange Between Jordyn Petit and Violet Crow

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jordyn: Going 2 Coras at 6

Violet: Me, too. Are you going to bring it?

Jordyn: Yeah

Violet: R we really doing this????

Jordyn: Yes! Unless UR 2 scared

Violet: What if we get caught?

Jordyn: Just keep your mouth shut and we won’t

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf is a gripping and unputdownable thriller you don't wan
Christina McDonald
Heather Gudenkauf is one of the most reliably excellent authors I've ever read, so I was delighted to read an early copy of Before She Was Found. The story is about three pre-teen girls who sneak out to the train tracks during a sleepover. One of them ends up almost dead.

Told through numerous journal entries, text messages and therapists notes, as well as the parents and girls themselves, we unravel the story of what happened to Cora, the girl who ended up near death, as well as who tried to ki
Judy Collins
Check out my fun and fascinating Q&A Elevator Interview with Heather Gudenkauf and learn the inspiration behind BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND “highly-anticipated" psychological thriller, plus exclusive facts about the author—April 16.

UNPREDICTABLE! Psychologically Rich, Timely, Character-driven, Twisty, and Loaded with Riveting Suspense.

Feed your true-crime obsession.

An avid fan (have read all her books), Heather Gudenkauf returns following Not a Sound my Top Books of 2017 with a brilliantl
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
He's Coming!

This book gave me the chills! Three 12-year-old girls get in way over their heads at a sleepover and one of them ends up almost dead, leaving the small town stunned. Who could do this? A thriller that kept me guessing until the end!

We have Cora, Violet, and Jordyn and a complicated friendship. Violet is new to town and trying to make friends. Cora is looking for a new best friend and Jordyn is the queen bee. There is some bullying and teen behavior that typifies middle-school girls.
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
This was a fantastic read. I never could have guessed the final direction it would take. It is one of the best psychological thrillers that I have read. The main characters Cora, Violet and Jordyn were all very well thought out and I was very sympathetic to each of them, they were also very complex characters and it was hard to sort out which direction the story was going. I was trying to figure it all out right up to the very end and it took me totally by surprise. The title Before She Was Foun ...more
Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Actual Rating: 5 stars

This is one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time! I am so glad that I picked it up on a whim and started reading it because once I started I couldn't stop! The only bad thing is that this book doesn't release until April 2019 so readers will have to wait to read it. But I promise you, once you do, you are going to love it! This book is one thrilling ride from start to finish. In vain of Slenderman and
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heather Gudenkauf has been a must-read author for me since I read These Things Hidden in 2011. For an author to stay so strong on my radar for all these years is pretty impressive in my book (pun intended). In Before She Was Found, three pre-teens - Jordyn, Violet & Cora are attacked at the train tracks down in the bad part of their small town in Iowa - while Jordyn escapes unscathed, Cora is badly injured and Violet is emotionally traumatized. Told in alternating perspectives from journal e ...more
Kaira Rouda
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Heather Gudenkauf has done it again. She manages to merge engaging characters and terrifying topics resulting in unputdownable suspense set in a small Iowa town. In Before She Was Found, Gudenkauf takes us into the lives of three young girlfriends as a sleepover turns into tragedy. Examining today’s realities of social media and the added pressure our connected culture creates, Gudenkauf has crafted a gripping thriller.
debbicat ☮~Traveling Sister
I thought this really good! 4.5 stars ⭐

I read this book along with some friends in the group, The Traveling Sisters. There were mixed feelings about the novel, but I was one of the ones that enjoyed it. The book is about three -12-year-old girls who sneak out of their house while having an overnight and go to a train yard. ..Where they believe they will meet up with a boy who supposedly died when he was 17, Joseph Whither , who takes little girls with him. He could be a ghost, or is he a real l
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
**I’ve already read this three times

Three twelve-year-old frenemies.
Two bloody girls.
One urban legend.

Violet, bloodied and traumatized emerges from the darkness into her mothers arms. Cora lies nearby near death, Jordyn nowhere to be found. The sixth-graders snuck out after midnight to find Joseph Wither. Legend says as a teen he burnt down his house, killing his family over a lost love. According to town folklore, he kidnapped and murdered other young women over the years. For a class project,
Crack A Book Cafe
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf paints a graphic picture of what happens when three young girls are placed into a toxic environment caused by family influence, small town mentality, childhood cruelty and pranks. Told from multiple points of view, Before She Was Found is both thrilling and a dark reflection on teenage issues and the adults around them.

The stage is set when three 12-year-old girls become friends. Cora, born and raised in the town of Pitch, is timid and lonely. Jordyn, also ra
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I have been a fan of Gudenkauf since I read Not A Sound . There's just something about her writing style that really resonates with me and keeps me glued to each and every word. I was actually surprised to find that this was a YA thriller - but it's only YA in terms of the twelve-year old girls that are the main three kids involved in this creepy storyline. Outside of that, I did not feel that it read like your typical YA at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of YA books, and also psychological ...more
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Heather is the NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and NOT A SOUND.