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?
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?
The days are getting longer and school is getting closer as summer dwindles away. Before I gave summer a long heartfelt goodbye (*sniffs*), I decided that I needed to read an epic summer read. One about vacations and road trips and friendships, etc. I had been hearing about Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone since the start of summer, and although I usually read heavier and more serious material (see last review: Sex and Violence), I decided that summer is full of experiences, and I needed to try something new. I’m glad that Since You’ve Been Gone has been that experience for me.
Since You’ve Been Gone combines three of my favorite things in YA literature: friendship, summer, (and although it appears just a tiny bit), a road trip. I am such a sucker for those things. Put them all together and you’ll most likely find me in deep, deep love. Since You’ve Been Gone definitely wasn’t an exception. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I had so much fun just picking it up, excited to see what would happen next in Emily’s newfound adventures. It was a relaxing read, but that didn’t mean it was too simple to have any further meaning in it. I tend to read a lot of heavy material because I’m a deep-meaning junkie, but sometimes, as I found here, something as simple as a novel with a list of silly tasks can be just as fulfilling.
The novel revolves around Emily, our protagonist who sort of believes she has no personality. As a reader, however, I was able to see along with the other characters how much she holds back from herself. Emily is a very interesting character to me. One we don’t usually write about enough. I love my underdog characters, and Emily definitely fit the category. Although she hadn’t done much before receiving the list from Sloane, she definitely does have a personality. One that made me want to read the book. Yes, I did want to know where Sloane was and I did want to know why she left and what the list even meant, but this book was more of a character-driven read for me. As long as Emily was still alive in the story, I was going to keep reading no matter what. Admittedly, I was a bit put-off by the plot. Not because it was a bad one. Just a very predictable one. The romance. The ending. All of it. But it was okay because the characters were drawn so well–especially Emily and Sloane–that it made all of its weak points almost unnoticeable.
So if you want one last sweet summer punch, Since You’ve Been Gone is definitely for you. Equal parts moving and fun, this is one great story of friendship and loyalty, but also self-discovery. Afterwards, all I wanted to do was hug my own best friends. This book will not only remind you why you make the friends you do, but it will remind you why you make your own self the way you do.