The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M starting pitcher/relief pitcher Emiley Kennedy (11) hands the ball to starting pitcher/relief pitcher Brooke Vestal (19) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ comeback falls short in 9-8 loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 25, 2024

As the fifth inning drew to a close in Texas A&M softball’s Super Regional matchup with No. 1 Texas on Saturday, the Aggies found themselves...

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Former student’s novel will leave you craving a resolution

And then you were gone
Via goodreads.com
And then you were gone

Novelist R.J. Jacobs is a former student of Texas A&M and is now a practicing psychologist in Nashville. His book “And Then You Were Gone” begins as what seems to be an innocent romance, but quickly takes multiple unexpected turns, launching into a full-blown murder mystery novel of incredible proportions. Uncanny feelings of oncoming disturbance in the first few pages are the bait hooking the reader into an insane ride.
The book begins with a young couple venturing out to a weekend Tennessee boat trip consisting of late night fishing and a few bottles of wine. Suddenly the trip takes a turn for the worst when the narrator wakes up, finding herself alone on the boat. She is plunged into a world of confusion as she tries to understand what happened to her boyfriend while simultaneously holding on to her sanity, and soon realizes the truth is more horrific than she could have imagined.
Jacobs stealthily weaves flash-backs, self-doubt and the desire for truth into the book through his protagonist, Emily. Telling the story from her perspective allows the reader to empathize directly with her search for answers and become her most prominent advocate. The inclusion of specific stories from the narrator’s past adds personal elements to the story that increasingly keep readers invested. Whoever is reading the book feels immersed in the story from beginning to end, connecting deeply with Emily and hoping to help resolve the impossible situation she faces. Just when there seems to be an instance of stability in her life, something new is brought to the table to shake her foundation yet again. She must find the strength deep within herself to overcome the constant difficulties being thrown her way repeatedly from time to time. The inclusion of Emily’s psychological diagnosis also plays a huge role in the formation of the reader’s close relationship with her. We see the story written from a new perspective with a protagonist who is not afraid to stop at anything for answers and cannot help but be won over.
While a mystery novel at heart, the book focuses on various themes such as guilt, loss of trust, blame and friendship. While reading, we feel the familiarity of these emotions. Every character included is vital to the story somehow, and there is genuinely no decoration that would leave the reader uninterested. Jacob’s words sympathize with struggles of everyday life, the harsh stresses of depression and the overwhelming feeling of grief. No matter who picks up the book, they will undeniably find a part of themselves inside of it somewhere.
The reader becomes a witness to every single detail within the mystery of multiple disappearances and killings, and cannot help but try to put the pieces together for themselves. Winding roads, turns and problems arise at every corner, ultimately leading to an answer that is shocking. The book becomes intoxicating with unexpected plot shifts, and the end will have you asking yourself why you didn’t catch on earlier. This book promises to make readers forget the outside world around them and become wholly involved in the plot. It indeed is impossible to leave this book halfway through. Once opening this book, be prepared to sit down until finishing it.

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