Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever in this new novel from the bestselling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.Review: I'm going to hop on the "I love Morgan Matson and her latest book Since You've Been Gone is absolutely great" bandwagon. Sana personally recommended me it, telling me that she'll be looking forward to a wallpaper inspired by it soon, which you should be, too. I've read so many great reviews for it, too, and I loved Second Chance Summer so I knew I had to read Since You've Been Gone ASAP.
Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—someone 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 with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Wait…what?
Getting through Sloane’s list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her—and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter—who knows what she’ll find.
Go Skinny Dipping? Um…
I've had a lot of great friendships over the years and I really wanted to read a book that had that. Since You've Been Gone has that and so much more. Over the course of the book, Emily discovers who she is, how she's more than her friendship with Sloane, love and family. However, there are books that have similar themes and it's not just because of these things that made me love Since You've Been Gone.
I saw a lot of myself in Emily. She takes the safe choices and a lot of who she is, is defined by her friendship with Sloane. Sloane's her best friend and seems like her only friend. However, when Sloane mysteriously leaves, Emily is left struggling to find out who she is, without Sloane to drag her into crazy adventures.
Although most of the story focuses on Emily completing the list that Sloane left behind for Emily to do, Since You've Been Gone is Emily's story of discovering herself. It turns out that she's pretty brave, despite the fact that she believes she isn't. Emily can make friends on her own as well. Her parents and her brother both notice the noted change in Emily, too.
What I loved about Since You've Been Gone is how realistic the characters and story were. Emily has her doubts and her flaws, which are slowly unraveled through flashbacks as well as current-time narration. She broke up with her boyfriend in a rather awkward way and has doubts about herself all the time. But in the end, she is human (cue "Human" by Christina Perri) and that's why I loved her as a character. Sloane's not perfect either, despite the patina of good memories that Emily has.
I also loved how the romance between Emily and Frank Porter was a slow-burn one. I loved how it builded and how right it was. I knew who was going to be the romantic interest early on, but I still loved reading how the relationship between Frank Porter changed. (Side note, can I have my own Frank Porter, please?)
My one tiny problem with Since You've Been Gone was how abruptly the book seemed to end. I wanted to know what happened to the other characters as well, not just Sloane, Emily and Frank, but that's just me.