Author: Morgan Matson (Website | Twitter)
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 6, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?
Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go Skinny Dipping? Um...
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My Review: Since You've Been Gone is a fun, feel good novel about a girl learning to stand on her own. Morgan Matson wove a sort of magic in her words that made it impossible for me to put this down! It's not often I come across a contemporary that I like as much as I liked this one. Morgan Matson has secured a spot on my "Authors I Must Read" list.
The characters in this book were amazing! They completely stole my heart. I related so much with Emily. She was in the shadow of her best friend, always tagging along and never making the plans. She was comfortable that way. I went through a similar situation when I was younger so I knew exactly what she was feeling. Seeing the way she slowly began to hold her own in her life and gain more confidence was awesome. You could tell that Sloane never meant to overshadow Emily, it was just the way their personalities reacted to each other. We didn't see a lot of first hand Sloane but from what we did see, she seemed so fun loving. The list that she left for Emily to do showed how well she knew Emily and how she challenged her to push her boundaries.
We also had Frank. I love this guy so much. He was just a genuinely good person. It was refreshing to see a love interest in YA that wasn't brooding, dangerous, or intimidating. He was smart, caring, and helpful. It was hilarious seeing him try to help Emily with the list, especially with things like kiss a stranger and skinny dipping. He complimented her perfectly and they worked wonderfully together. I loved that they became friends before anything even slightly romantic happened. Also, their runs were the best!
The list added structure to the plot and helped it move along. However, when things weren't playing out with the list, things became a little slow. I was never bored but I was anxious to see Emily move along and complete things on the list.
Since You've Been Gone is a book worth reading! If you like fun, hilarious, and heart-warming novels, you're not going to want to miss this one! I'm definitely going to be looking out for more books by this author.
“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”