Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

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?

My thoughts:

I loved this fun YA book! Emily thinks she has her summer locked up - working and hanging out with her BFF Sloane. However, she wakes up one summer morning to find Sloane has disappeared, along with all her plans and fun for the summer. She is not worried, since Sloane and her parents take off at whim all the time. Emily just assumes Sloane will come back home soon. And when she doesn't..well it is all solved by a letter that arrives, that is just a list of things Emily is supposed to do over the summer. Things like, "Kiss a stranger". and "Go skinny-dipping". Basically, all things Emily would never do in a million years, at least without her comfort zone of Sloane, who drags her into things Emily would never have the confidence to do herself.

As the summer rolls along and Emily is working on her list, she finds herself surrounded with a new small group of friends- and feeling more independent, alive, confident. The change is slow but steady, and I loved reading about her evolution into becoming more her own person and not just Sloane's shadow. Don't get me wrong - Sloane is not a bad friend, not at all. She leads where Emily follows, through no real fault of Sloane's. It's just Emily's nature. By the end of the book though, Emily finds she doesn't need the false courage she gets from being with Sloane, she has her own.

I loved this book. I loved reading the list of things she had to do, and about how she checked them off, one by one. Reading this as an adult far past the age of these characters, I was reminded of my own goofy youth, the crazy things we did, the friends I had back then, the fun we had. I think whether you are a young adult or just young at heart, you will enjoy this book. Maybe you will even come up with your own list! If you do, come back and let me know what's on it - I'm curious. Maybe I will even make my own list..

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