Title : Since You’ve Been Gone
Author : Morgan Matson
Publication date : May 6th 2014
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Synopsis : 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?
“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”
I’ve been wanting to read a Morgan Matson book for FOREVER now because I’ve been seing them everywhere. EVERYWHERE GUYS ! And this book was a good introduction,, not a great one. But still good and I’ll be picking up more of her books in the future. Even though I had some issues with it, it had all the elements to make a fun, cutesy summer contemporary and it delivered. Quick confession before we begin, this book buy was 100% based on the cover *hides in shame* but it is just SO PRETTY and summery and it has bestfriends on it so how could I resist?
The way this book is formatted is so original and has made the reading experience that much more fun for me. The now and thens have different fonts so it’s impossible to get confused (even though it is pretty simple to tell them part). The author also threw in there hand written letters and lists, text messages as well as playlists that the characters listen to. PLAYLISTS !! And I appreciated that so much. The writing style itself is easy to follow but one thing that really annoyed me about it are the descriptions. I mean some of them are okay, but some are draggy and unnecessary while others are just straight bad, like this one :
“Frank looked the same as he did during the school year. He was tall, maybe six-two, and lanky. He had reddish-blond hair that was cut short and neatly combed, and curled just slightly at the nape of his neck. His eyes were a light brown, and his skin was freckled. Even in his T-shirt and holding a pair of rentable shoes, Frank somehow radiated authority.”
Even places are described the same way : “The downstairs was open-plan, which meant I could see the entire bottom floor, the TV room blending into the study, which then became the dining area, and then an open-plan kitchen and breakfast nook. The house was light and airy, with high ceilings and lots and lots of windows, everything done in grays and blues and whites”
I don’t know it I’m the only one having problems with descriptive paragraphs like these but I just like my descriptions to be more subtle and less heavy, I also like somethings to be left to reader’s imagination.
The story in itself is lovely, it is all about a shy girl whose bestfriend -and only friend- Sloane leaves without notice leaving her lost and broken. The list Sloane leaves behind as well as the new friends that Emily makes help her come out of her shell and that was a very pleasing transformation to witness.
What I loved :
- The friendships. They play such a huge part in the book and in Emily’s life in such a short time.
- I liked the fact that the heartbreak at the start isn’t a romantic one which is a change from the typical “heartbroken” girl in every other YA.
- THE LITTLE BROTHER. That little guy is the cutest and it was great to see a healthy normal siblings relationship.
- The skinny dipping chapter ! It was so funny and awkward. And showed how far Emily as come.
- Emily gets what she deserves. Her mistakes aren’t just brushed off like nothing happens just because she’s the main character.
What I despised :
THE PARENTS !! God have mercy on my soul ! I’ll just put it the way it is. It is a variation of dead or unavailable parents. Yes, she has a set of parents that are happily married and yes, they care about her (I didn’t see it but Emily said so, so who am I to question it ?) but the two of them conveniently disappeared each time the girl needed to go on an adventure or a crazy 24h road trip. And the reason for it was SO stupid. Work. And they work from home. So they are in the house but don’t come out to eat, shower or anything, so they don’t know what their kids are up to. I mean, that’s not even remotely believable considering that the rest of the time, when they don’t have a play to write, they’re these very involved parents.
The ending is a feel-good ending where everyone is happy and everything ends well. Almost. It leaves some loose-ends though, which I don’t think was done one purpose, they were just forgotten. For instance, did Dawn forgive Emily after everything was resolved ?
I started off not liking Emily. She was just so whiny and quite frankly self-destructive. She relayed way too much on Sloane and hid in the comfort of her shadow. The good news is, she becomes more likeable the more the story unfolds. Her outlook on life and herself slowly changes and she becomes more spontaneous and actually ends up having fun completing the list. She also becomes more comfortable with her new friends, especially Frank. I liked her best when she was with him, she just stopped overthinking things and let her truest self shine.
All the other characters were pretty funny and likeable, forming a very unlikely group of friends with amazing dynamic. The slow burn romance was very cute to read about because even though we were all expecting it, the author didn’t start hinting to eat until well past the halfway point of the book.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable summer read that I would recommend if you like friendships to be center stage.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Since You’ve Been Gone ? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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