Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
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…
Much like any bookworm out there, there are authors whose books I just have to read. These are authors whose books I’ve read and adored in the past. For me, one of those authors is Morgan Matson. So there was never any doubt in my mind that I would love Since You’ve Been Gone, I just didn’t know I would end up loving it quite as much as I did.
Since becoming Sloane Williams’ best friend, Emily Hughes has lived in her friend’s shadow. But Emily doesn’t mind being in Sloane’s shadow because Sloane takes Emily out of her comfort zone, makes her do things she wouldn’t normally do by herself. But now Sloane has disappeared, leaving no explanation for Emily. The only thing left to prove Sloane was ever around, is a list of thirteen tasks Emily should complete. This shouldn’t be so hard. Except these are “Sloane-tasks” things Emily wouldn’t do if it weren’t for her best friend pushing her. By going through this list, Emily has an unexpected summer, one that brings about new and unexpected friendship and help from unlikely sources.
Anyone who knows me knew that I would love Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone, they just couldn’t have predicted how much I would love this book. There’s just something that happens any time I read one of Morgan Matson’s books. I start reading, and slowly, without really realizing it’s happening, I get sucked into the story, becoming invested in the characters and their stories, not ever wanting to leave them. So of course, this happened with Since You’ve Been Gone. It’s one of those books that made me do nothing else but read from the moment I walked into my house after coming home from work. I just spent my entire night in Stanwich with Emily, Frank, Collins and their friends. And if I’m being honest, I didn’t want to ever really leave that place and those characters. So in case it wasn’t obvious by now, I loved Since You’ve Been Gone, but it’s hard to put that love into words. All I really want to say is that everyone needs to read this book because there is something in there that will appeal to everyone, whether it’s the characters, the themes or the story as a whole. For me, as it often is, it was the characters that did it.
I connected with Emily right from page one. And it was more than just the fact that we shared a name (though spelled differently). In Emily, I saw a lot of the person I was in high school. The person who was almost more defined by the people she was friends with than the person she was herself. But I loved seeing Emily grow over the course of the story, start to figure out who she is beyond just Sloane Williiams’ best friend. And I loved the person she became, the Emily who made friends with new people, who would exchange running playlists with Frank. And I can’t talk about Emily without talking about the person she became when she was with Frank. Because I loved Frank. I kinda want a Frank of my own. It’s hard to put Frank into words. On the surface he looks like he has it completely together. But the more Emily got to know him, the more she realized that he wasn’t as perfect as he seemed. And in my opinion, those imperfections are what made him so great. Basically, I adored these characters and they will stay with me for a long time.
As you may have guessed by now, I ADORED Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone. I flew through the pages, never wanting the story to end so I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to these characters. If you have yet to read one of Morgan Matson’s books, you should seriously consider changing that as soon as possible.