Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson
Publication: Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 489 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Friendship, Romance, Realistic Fiction
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just . . . disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.On it, thirteen Sloane inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?Kiss a stranger? Um . . .Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she'll find?Go skipping-dipping? Wait . . . what?
I think it's safe to say I'm pretty much a diehard Morgan Matson fan. After reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer, (and loving both), I was on the lookout for her newly published book in 2014, Since You've Been Gone. And only now, after a year of scrounging around, did I finally get the chance to read it!
Everyone wants a friend like Sloane. She's spontaneous and fun, stylish, and full of energy. She's always in center of the spotlight, but Emily doesn't mind - Emily likes it that way. Over the years Emily's become known to others as something along the lines of "Sloane's shadow." So when Sloane suddenly disappears from town, it's understandable that Emily feels rather . . . miserable. Confused. Lost. All Sloane left behind for Emily was a list of thirteen things to accomplish over the summer.
I thought that Sloane's list for Emily was so cute. Sure, other books have done the whole "bucket list thing," but just by glancing over this one, you know Emily's in for an unforgettable summer. You soon find out that each item on the list has special meaning for Emily, its recipient. Each task helps to tackle Emily's fears one-by-one. For example, number six on the list: Ride a dern horse, ya cowpoke. For some peculiar reason, Emily is deathly afraid of horses. This seemingly simple mission takes Emily three visits to the stables until it can finally be officially checked off and accomplished. Sloane's list shapes Emily's summer as Emily finds herself continually stepping out of her comfort zone and meeting new people.
Though Sloane isn't actually present during the majority of the story, the reader is still able to get to know her. With flashbacks interlaced throughout, you truly get a feeling for the two girls' friendship starting from the very first day they met. Friendship is the core of Since You've Been Gone, and I'm sure every reader will love Emily and Sloane's.
And of course, there's that super cute romance that's a must in every Morgan Matson read. Frank Porter, guys. You'll love him.
Since You've Been Gone was a fun story about friendship, and though I didn't quite love it as much as Second Chance Summer, it is yet another Morgan Matson book worth reading.