Monday, June 15, 2015

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Great Summer Read

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?

Rating: 4 Stars

Since You’ve Been Gone was my first read by Morgan Matson and I can say with certainty that it won’t be my last.

The story stars quite suddenly, with Emily finding that her best friend, Sloane, is gone. There was no notice, no goodbye message, and no note explaining her sudden departure. But things take a turn when one day Emily receives a to-do list from Sloane. After weeks of worry, she finally receives something from Sloane. Emily believes that by completing all the items on the list she will somehow get her best friend back. And so begins Emily’s most epic summer, filled with new friends, self-discovery, and adventure.

Morgan Matson has developed great characters that were very genuine and memorable. I found most of the characters to be very relatable, Emily in particular. She was very shy and socially clumsy. I am quite shy and tend to be quite awkward in social situations, so I found her very endearing and was able to instantly connect with her.

The novel is filled with flashbacks on Emily and Sloane’s friendship, how they met, and how their relationship evolved over the years. In the flashbacks, we get a sense that Emily is quite dependent on Sloane. She appears to live vicariously through Sloane. She is more confident when Sloane is around because she allows Sloane to take the lead; but when Sloane disappears, she finds herself quite lost. People don’t seem to really know her in school except as the girl who is always with Sloane. Additionally, the flashbacks provide an insight into what kind of person Sloane is; she is portrayed as very outgoing, friendly, and thirsty for adventure and mischief. While reading, at first I was convinced that Emily relied too much on Sloane, but as the story developed I understood just how much Sloane relied on Emily as well.

As Emily starts completing tasks from the list, with the much unexpected help from Frank Porter, she manages to make new friends. At first the friends she makes are almost by accident because she doesn’t know how to handle or avoid certain situations. However, throughout the book we get to see Emily find her own voice, grow more confident, make new friends, make mistakes and learn from them, build new relationships, and most importantly find her own identity.

The book was a great journey of self-growth and self-discovery. I really liked that while the book did have some romance, it was not the main focus. I loved the relationship Emily had with her parents and her brother, and all the relationships and friendships she built over the summer. The book expressed how important it is to surround ourselves with worthy people, because the people in our live have a huge effect on us. The book starts with Emily being completely lost, and in a slight state of depression, but with each page she finds herself and becomes a much stronger person; she does so with the help of the people she has around her. 

The items on the list that Emily had to complete were very funny. There were many times I found myself laughing out loud, earning me quite a few curious glances from those around me.

Since You’ve Been Gone was the perfect start to my summer reading; it was a fun and easy read. It is one of the best books featuring friendships that I have ever read. I found Morgan Matson’s writing style to be just wonderful; she is an incredible storyteller and I cannot wait to read her other works, as I am convinced that they are equally amazing.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more! I was so happy to read this with you. There was a lot going on and she was so relatable.