Blurb from Goodreads:
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?
4 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
HERE’S MY REVIEW!
Since You’ve Been Gone is my first ever novel from Morgan Matson, who is very popular in the YA Contemporary community. So far, I have read 3 of her books which are The Unexpected Everything (which was published in 2016) and Second Chance Summer (published in 2012) and I am glad to say that she is my auto-buy author! She writes fantastic characters with relatable and realistic plot line. Her stories are always based during summer time and it is perfect for us to have a summery and enjoyable read.
I read this book on August 2015 after hearing numerous good reviews upon this book and that made me so intrigued into reading it. Like anyone else, I was afraid of the amount of hype this book received. However, I really enjoyed reading it. For fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jenny Han, this book is a perfect fit for you.
Since You’ve Been Gone starts with a story about two best friends, Emily Hughes and Sloane Williams. Emily, who is a shy, reserved girl, has no problem being in Sloane’s shadow. On the other hand, Sloane is an outgoing and a ready-for-adventure girl left Emily with a long list of 13 tasks for her to complete during the summer holiday.
At first, the tasks are rather impossible for Emily to complete because it requires Emily to crawl out from her own comfort zone as an introvert. She believes that these tasks would probably lead to Sloane’s missing mystery.
Along her journey on completing the tasks, she meets new people and has new best friends, Dawn, Frank and Collins. Each of them possesses great personalities and brings colour to the story. They all end up joining Emily in completing the task such as go skinning dipping and did other crazy stuff together.
Whenever she crosses off one of the tasks, she learns and discovers new things of herself that she never knew before. She develops and grows maturely in this book from a timid girl to an open-minded girl and brave to speak up for herself. All in all, the character development of Emily is fantastically done.
I also love the family elements in the book. It shows that the importance of a family in supporting the life of a growing teenager who is going to endure world’s greatest challenges.
I found myself connected and related to Emily’s character so much as I instantly empathized for her when reading the book. I am a person who hardly reaches people in public and will be uncomfortable facing strangers. While reading I felt myself moved to things that I rarely do such as to seek for adventure things and explore my surroundings. Morgan Matson did a very good job in expressing the theme of getting out for your comfort zone to readers.
This book is such a beautiful and moving story as the main character developes maturely to build and find her own self during her teenage years. Upon finishing the book, you will feel warm and happy with the ending because you will find yourself too attached to the characters and you will remember them as your summer friends too.
It is also an appropriate book for young readers because it does not contain any swearing and sex in the book. That is also one of my reason why I love this book. Too much swearing and inappropriate scene will never bring any good to growing readers.
All in all, Since You’ve Been Gone is a worth read. Perfect to compliment your summer vacation!
P/S I found myself sometimes just bursting Kelly Clarkson’s song whenever I see this book 😛