Review: Since You've Been Gone

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Format: Owned, hardcover
Rating: 5/5 stars
Part of a series? Nope!

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…

I'm going to start of this review the way I seem to start off a lot of reviews lately and say: I love Morgan Matson. I love her dedication to all things Starbucks and Taylor Swift (because same, girl), and I love what she does with the words. She is so good at words, you guys. Seriously, Since You've Been Gone is over 400 pages, and I breezed through them and was left wanting more when I finished. Do you want to know why? Good, because I was getting to that. 

Characters. This book is home to one of the most positively delightful cast of characters I've ever read about. I connected to Emily right away because, let me tell you, I know a thing or two about feeling like an extra in someone else's movie. I hope to one day grow out of that the way Emily did: not with dramatics and drastic change the way some people/characters do, but with little victories every time she accomplished an item on the list. Emily's finding herself was less of a leap and more of a journey. I think it's more realistic that way. And, of course, I can't talk about a book without talking about a boy, so we have to discuss Frank. I liked him almost immediately. I've probably said this before, but genuinely nice guys in YA and NA fiction are hard to come by; they tend to be overshadowed by bad boys and tough guys. Frank is one of the good ones, though. He also has an excellent taste in music, which is another point in his favor in my book. Other notable characters are the HILARIOUS Collins, super cool Dawn, and Beckett, the adorable little brother. 

The list. The list is kind of super important because it's the catalyst for the entire story. My very favorite thing about the list was that each item (or all except a few) had two sides: the reason why Sloane put it on the list in the first place and the way Emily went about checking it off the list. Hugely entertaining, at time hugely feelsy, stuff. 

Frandship. I think, above everything else, this book is about friendship. SYBG did an excellent job of showcasing the ups and downs of friendships everywhere. There were so many times throughout the book where I really didn't like Sloane, but towards the end I changed my mind about her. She really does care about Emily and their BFFship, and that made the difference for me. 

Extras. Like in Matson's debut, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour (which, as the title suggests, is one of the most epic road trip novels of ever), there are a few different playlists in the novel. Books with playlists in them are treasure troves for me because 1) I like seeing if I have a similar taste in music to the characters and 2) I love finding new music. I was able to do both in this case, and it was glorious. 

Since You've Been Gone was a wonderfully fun tale about friendship and finding yourself. It is most excellent, and I hope you consider checking it out.