Since You’ve Been Gone By Morgan Matson

Review posted on goodreads on March 28.


Series: None
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 449 (464 including extras)
Challenge: (Personal) 2017 Reading Challenge
Source for Synopsis: Goodreads

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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 skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

This is the second Morgan Matson book I have read and I plan to read the rest of her books soon.

Gore: No
Magic: No
Romance: Yes, but this book is mostly about different types of friendships

Pacing: 3.5 stars
Plot: 5 stars

Sloane was the reason that made life interesting for Emily Hughes, she was the reason Emily had interesting new lists of things to do whenever she went on trips to different countries. Emily was expecting this summer to be her greatest summer yet, but suddenly Sloane disappears, and she is the reason that Emily does things that she would never have done before (part of the reason), and this summer changes her and her new friends’ lives forever.

This is the second Morgan Matson book I have read, the first one was Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which I loved and still love so much. So I was hoping that I would love this book too, which I did. The beginning was slow, it took me a while to get through, I had to take some breaks and read other books or do other things, but after that, I could not put this book down. I was able to finish the last 200 pages in just 4 days, which might seem slow to many people, but at the time, considering what I’ve been going through the past year and also that I was in a reading slump before, 200 pages in 4 days is pretty good.

I have so much to say about this book, especially the characters, that I don’t know where to begin.
So first, let’s talk about our main lead, Emily. Some people find her actions in the beginning awkward and un-relatable, but I found them really relatable. I used to be so shy that I wouldn’t even be able to approach random people, even people I knew the names of (like it was with Emily), ok I still do that, but I’m not as bad as I used to be. I was even scared to approach people for help in stores and airports. It could have also been social anxiety, but I’m not sure (I actually do have anxiety now, but it’s not just social anxiety. Anyways, I’m getting off topic here. The difference between how I am now to how Emily is in the beginning of this book is and to how I was a few years ago is, when I need help for something, I will go up to someone who’s working, for help, like at the airport. I’m not clingy to a friend like Emily is to Sloane, I never was, even when I was super shy, so I found that really annoying (although some people might relate to that and feel happy that the main character of a book is similar to them), I like that she slowly grows from her experiences and new friends. She becomes a pretty cool and interesting person. I like that she also has a hobby of running and you see it throughout the novel, it’s something that her and Frank bond over. You don’t see that very often in YA. I love it when the couple bonds over something even though they are different in everything else.

Frank is basically this perfect boy who’s an over-achiever in everything, he’s also rich. But we soon learn that his life is not at all perfect like it seems. His parents are always fighting and on the verge of divorce, and he just needs some fun in his life and time away from his bickering parents. Frank and Emily don’t know each other very well since they have never spoken to each other before. But then from a few chance encounters and Frank wanting to improve his running, they end up talking to each other and learning things about each other, and slowly they become good friends. Not only do they run together, they also listen to each other’s music from time to time. I just love it.
Sorry for being a bit vague, it’s just that I’m reviewing this book in July, so I don’t fully remember many of the details. I’m going to try to do reviews right away next time instead of taking forever thinking about how I’m going to convey my feelings on the book.

I always love the friends to lovers trope if done properly, some people might be tired of it, but I don’t think there’s enough of it in YA and anime and manga, I need MORE.
Sorry for being a bit vague, it’s just that I’m reviewing this book in July, so I don’t fully remember many of the details. I’m going to try to do reviews right away next time instead of taking forever thinking about how I’m going to convey my feelings on the book.

And finally, Collins and Dawn. Collins is Frank’s best friend, despite them being pretty different from each other (which I love), and Dawn is one of Emily’s new friends (one of because Frank and Collins also become her new friends). Collins is not his given name, it is his last name. They are both good friends and it’s kind of funny and interesting how Emily meets Dawn, in fact, if it wasn’t for Sloane’s list, then Dawn would have never become friends with Emily and the others and would not have had such a life changing summer either.

The list that is the reason that many of these things happen is not just a list. There’s a significance to it. As I’ve said before, whenever Emily went on vacation, Sloane would give her a list of things to do, but Emily never did everything on those lists. So this summer, Sloane sends her a list of things that were on previous lists that Emily didn’t do. This actually helps her not be so reliant on someone else and to be more independent.

I tried to read Since You’ve Been Gone in October and November last year, but I couldn’t read more than a few pages a day and I didn’t even get halfway through the book. But after I finished this and decided to try reading Since You’ve Been Gone again and I was able to finish the last 200 pages in just 4 days. I don’t know how it helped me get out of my reading slump, but it did, and I feel so much lighter now even though I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as others have.

Overall, if you liked any of Morgan Matson’s other books, like Amy & Roger, then you will definitely enjoy this one and love it.

Since You’ve Been Gone is a story about different kinds of friendships: different kinds of friendships between 2 girls, friendship between 2 boys, friendship between a girl and a boy that becomes something more, and friendship between a girl and boy that doesn’t become romantic. Not many books explore all of these or even half of these. And while there is a misunderstanding between Emily and Frank near the end, it doesn’t take up too many pages and it seems realistic, so it wasn’t too big of a problem for me. This is a great summer read for everybody.

Since You’ve Been Gone is full of different kinds of friendship, family, growing as a person, learning about new sides of yourself, and how one summer can change so many things. It’s fun, interesting,a nd just a great summer read.

I want to read her other books now more than ever. I’m glad that there aren’t so many yet, it means that it will be easier for me to read them all before a new one comes out.

If you read this book, then tell me what you thought about it. How did you feel about this book and The Darkest Powers trilogy? Tell me in the comments section.

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