Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson
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?
Pages: 449 (Hardcover)
Publishing Company: Simon & Schuster
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Since You’ve Been Gone is a really sweet story about friendship, summer, and finding your true self. I’ve heard many great things about this contemporary book, so I had high hopes for it. It turns out that this book may just not be my cup of tea, but that might just be because of that reading slump I’m going through right now, haha.
It was bit hard for me to get into the book. The introduction wasn’t by all means slow, but it didn’t capture my interest immediately. I also thought the start was a bit unrealistic which didn’t help. The reason why I felt it was unrealistic is because Emily essentially doesn’t know what to do with her life without Sloane. I’ve never met a person who was that distressed when their best friend wasn’t with them. Of course, this did convey Emily’s loneliness, but I think her loneliness was emphasised a little too much- it was emphasised to a point where it just became unrealistic.
What I did LOVE was Emily’s character development. At first, Emily is overly cautious and also a little insecure. Much to Emily’s surprise, she realises that she has actually become much more comfortable in her own skin without the presence of Sloane. I think that that’s definitely great. To feel comfortable in one’s own skin is wonderful.
Emily and a certain-someone-who’s-name-I-won’t-mention get together at the end of the book. I loved that the certain-someone and Emily weren’t the insta-love type of couple that I encounter so often now. Throughout the course of the book, I was really able to see how their relationship build up, the “obstacles” that were in their way… This was very realistic.
The issues that some of Emily’s newly found friends had with her were also quite realistic. I could understand why Collins was upset with Emily, and I can definitely see why Dawn was cold towards Emily after Emily and the certain-someone kissed. It happens. The book doesn’t really tell us if some of these issues were resolved, but I do hope that Dawn and Emily can become close friends again.
Sloane. Most of the information about Sloane that one can glean from the book stems from Emily’s memories. I didn’t see anything special or unique about Sloane. Plus, all of this information is from Emily’s perspective, so it’s hard to know what Sloane’s intentions were. Thus, I neither liked her, nor did I hate her. Her character is also a type of character I have met before. All of this made her seem like a flat character. However, Sloane’s back story that gets revealed near the end of the book, makes her character so much more rounder.
Although this book wasn’t one of my favourite contemporaries, this is still a fabulous book.
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