Author: Morgan MatsonPublisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 449 pages, Hardback
Date Published: May 6th 2014
Find it on Goodreads: Since You've Been Gone
Source: Purchased Online
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? Ok, 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...
Morgan Matson has an astoundingly beautiful way with words that creates round, dynamic characters and stories that tug at every little heart string. Since You've Been Gone was one of my most anticipated novels of 2014 and it did not disappoint. At all. This novel has the same sort of feel as Matson's other novels, but is different as well, in the fact that while it is not the happiest book in the world, it is definitely not sad. It was funny and charming and totally adorable and it touched my heart just oh so much, dealing with friendship, family, loss, love, and self-discovery. I had heard so much hype about this book and was a little scared at first, but honestly? It lived up to everything I had heard about it and more.
In the beginning, all Emily can really ever think about is Sloane, her best friend. They did everything together and Sloane was definitely the leader of their little pack, but when Sloane disappears, leaving only a to-do list, Emily is left to her own devices for the summer. That's where Frank comes in. As Emily and Frank begin to run together and develop a friendship, Emily realises that there's a lot more to life than just her best friend. And so, with her list, Emily gets out of her comfort zone, making new friends and challenging herself in more ways than one. I adored reading about Emily's journey of self-acceptance and discovery and I loved how much growth she went through, learning to be brave without Sloane. It was an excellent reminder for me to get out there this summer and try new things, make new friends, and have different experiences. I loved how it ended, that it was a bit bittersweet, and that Emily had grown so much and could think for herself.
This is by far one of my favourite new contemporaries and definitely will be a favourite read this year, so I would of course recommend it to anyone looking for a touching read that will have you swooning ad laughing and just all around happy. If you haven't read it yet, GO NOW! If you have, what did you think of Matson's latest novel? Let me know!