Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Friendship, Romance, Summer Reads
Published On: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 5 Stars!
Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever. Hellogiggles.com says, “Basically I couldn’t be more in love with this book,” from the bestselling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—someone who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. There’s just a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane? Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Wait…what? Getting through Sloane’s list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her—and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter—who knows what she’ll find. Go Skinny Dipping? Um…
Since You’ve Been Gone is SO FREAKING CUTE! Honestly, this book is a perfect summer read! This is the first book I’ve read by Morgan Matson, but I assure you I just ordered another one of her books on Amazon five seconds ago. (The Unexpected Everything, in case you’re curious.)
Since You’ve Been Gone starts off with our main character, Emily, figuring out that her best friend, Sloane, has gone missing (thus the title), but finds a list of thirteen challenges that Sloane has left her to complete. Emily becomes convinced that she has to finish the list before Sloane will come back, but there’s a lot Emily doesn’t know about Sloane, or herself actually.
FIRST, let me tell you how incredibly freaky it is that her best friend just goes missing with no explanation at all. WHAT? Okay, so the last book I read was This Savage Song, and in my review I stated that I started the book thinking that it was a contemporary and NOT a monster book. So when I started reading Since You’ve Been Gone and found out Sloane just disappeared… I thought it was something paranormal or freaky and I WAS LIKE NO. Not again. But it turns out that Sloane really did just go missing, no supernatural stuff at all.
Second, I was SO annoyed with Sloane. LIKE. She could’ve said goodbye or SOMETHING. She totally just left Emily with nothing but a list and didn’t even answer her phone. UGH. Anyways…
When Sloane and Emily became friends two years ago, Sloane began helping Emily come out of her shell and become more confident… except that only really happened when they were together. Now that Sloane is gone, Emily doesn’t know what to do, or how to be herself without her best friend’s help. That’s where the list comes in.
Even while gone, Sloane is helping Emily become more brave and confident as she finally figures out who she is. With tasks like “Kiss a Stranger,” “Steal something,” and “Go skinny-dipping,” Emily is thrown way out of her comfort zone, but she manages to complete the entire list and make some new friends in the process.
“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.” – Morgan Matson, Since You’ve Been Gone
This book was pretty emblematic of friendship, which is no surprise given that the whole book is about Emily trying to find her best friend. Although it’s the new friendships she makes that really make the book worthwhile.
Frank, Dawn, and Collins were the type of wonderful, dimensional characters and friends that almost everyone would want to know. I don’t have much to say about Dawn or Collins that wouldn’t be spoiler-y so I’ll just say that I enjoyed their presence in the book VERY, very much.
Frank is an overachiever, positive-attitude kind of guy who Emily is surprised to realize is a normal person, with feelings and imperfections, just like her. When Frank helps Emily out after she runs out of gas in a deserted part of town, he requests a favor in return: for Emily to teach him how to be a runner, since she ran track during school. Obviously, running with someone every morning is going to LEAD TO BONDING. And it was so GOOD and cute and they were so funny and the dialogue between the two was so wonderful. Please read this book if you like cute things. This book is a very cute thing. Promise.
The ending was perfect, bittersweet, and totally satisfying, but I can’t say anything more without spoiling the book.
ALSO, there are playlists in this book! I love when books have something extra, like images or playlists or something. I found a compiled playlist on Spotify with all the songs in Since You’ve Been Gone, and while it’s not exactly my taste, there are some pretty great songs on it!
END POINT? This is a perfect, feel-good summer book that you should absolutely read if you like books with cute romance, silly but important friendships, and coming-of-age feels.
In a well-ordered universe, I’d have all of Matson’s books on my bookshelf right now! ♥
“‘You’re the brightest thing in the room’ he said. He lifted his hand from my waist, and slowly, carefully brushed a stray lock of hair from my cheek. ‘You shine.'” – Morgan Matson, Since You’ve Been Gone
OKAY, so, yes, this book is also cheesy at points. *heart-eyes*
Have you read Since You’ve Been Gone? What are your favorite summer reads? Let me know in the comments! : )