Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson
Released on: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Best by Matson so far
Reviewed by: Mel
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? Okay, 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…
Emily and Sloane’s friendship is like “this”. Ever since Emily helped Sloane break into her own house, they became best friends. While Sloane is a little wild at heart, you have Emily, who’s a little awkward and tends to be the quiet one. They had a really exciting summer planned ahead, but then Sloane and her family disappear without a trace, and Emily freaks out. Sloane hasn’t replied to any of her texts, no answers to her calls and no one is at home. Then, Emily get’s something in the mail from Sloane: a list of 13 things to do before the summer ends. Emily hopes that by completing the list, she’ll somehow find Sloane, so a summer full of firsts begin.
I loved the friendships that Emily made during her summer. I didn’t really like Sloane at the start because she just ditched her bestie without a trace, but the flashbacks showed that I judged her way too quick. I can see the genuine-ness behind the friendship, and I loved how Sloane would get Emily to do new things—but she didn’t force her or anything if she didn’t want to, and that’s important too.
Collins, Drew and Frank are the new friends she makes during the summer. When she was with Sloane, she never really had any other friends. It used to always be EmilyandSloan or SloaneandEmily. But by trying to tick off things off Sloane’s list, Emily meets people who she never imagined to be friends with. Collins was such a comical character. He definitely had me grinning like a fool multiple times. Aside from that, Morgan Matson made sure he wasn’t just about the humour. Him and Frank were great friends, and I loved that Collins was always watching his back.
The romance is definitely adorable and the type I like. And what is the type I like? THE SLOW, PAINFUL BURN WHERE THEY ARE FRIENDS FOR MAJORITY OF THE BOOK. Why? Because I like to let myself suffer from feels. Definitely one of my top two favourite romance tropes.
At heart, though, this is a book about discovering yourself, growing and changing and taking chances. It’s fun summer cuteness with strong friendships and adorable romances—perhaps a little more work on the family department, but I was very happy with the end product. You want this, guys!