Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

By 10:17 AM , , , ,

Since You've Been Gone
   by: Morgan Matson

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Received physical copy from BEA.
Page Count: 449 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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...

Being 3rd in line to snag this book and the snazzy heart-shaped sunglasses Morgan Matson only had 20 of? SO worth the wait! I really enjoyed Morgan's Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, so naturally I was excited to get my hands on this one! I love the idea of the whole 'Summer To-Do List' and it really helped shape Emily into her own person, and I loved seeing that development from her.
Pacing: Overall, I thought the pacing went well. There were a few points in the beginning where my ADD kicked in and I felt myself eager to push forward so I could get to what was next.... ok, fine. I just wanted to see more of Frank and Emily together. They are too adorable and I loved how awkward Emily is in the beginning. Seeing her come out of her shell and begin to create a new identity separate from her best friend Sloane is one of my favorite parts in this book.
Storyline: Starting off the summer without Sloane is NOT part of Emily's plan. I felt really bad for Emily because it's clear that her and Sloane do everything together. I can't imagine how I'd feel if all of a sudden my best friend just disappeared without any notice. Emily's parents are about to begin a new play and her and her brother will be left to their own devices this summer. Emily's only contact with Sloane comes in the form of a summer to-do list of all things that will bring Emily out of her comfort zone, which she really needs. The list has some pretty challenging things for Emily, but she is determined to get through them and hopefully when she's done will be able to get in touch with her best friend.
Characters: I liked Emily a lot. She has always been associated as Sloane's best friend and never just Emily. However, this all begins to change this summer. By doing Sloane's tasks on the list, Emily finds herself pushing her own limits as to what she's comfortable with and I have to give the girl props for sticking out some of the situations she finds herself in because I would have chickened out. Losing her best friend, Emily really has no other friends to spend time with, until she unexpectedly runs into Frank Porter, who certainly knows who she is. It's really endearing that he knows who SHE is and constantly corrects his best friend when he slips up on her name. At first, Emily thinks it's weird that Frank would want to hang out with her, considering he's the school's golden boy who has a serious girlfriend. Their unlikely friendship is one that drew me in and I was happy that Emily didn't have to spend all of her time alone. She ends up telling Frank about the list and he wants to help her complete it.
Frank is a good guy through and through. His and Emily's relationship progressed naturally and I like that they became friends first because that's what Emily really needed in the beginning. They just seem to click once they get past their initial awkwardness. The fact that he had a girlfriend was definitely frustrating because I wanted them to see what was right in front of them!
Even though Sloane has disappeared, we do get to see her character in the flashbacks Matson provides for us throughout the novel. Here, we get a better understanding of the girls' friendship- how it began, how they handled boys and relationships, etc. I liked Sloane's outgoing personality and how quickly she accepted and befriended Emily. However, Sloane is a teenager and let's be real: teens are very egocentric. I don't think Sloane intentionally tried to make Emily feel like a third wheel once she got a boyfriend, but Emily couldn't help but feel that way. While I don't agree with Sloane leaving the way she did, I do feel it really helped Emily in the long run.
Final Thoughts: I really did enjoy this one. It was the perfect summer read and I like Matson's writing style a lot. I feel she does a great job writing realistic contemporary fiction and her playlists that she sprinkles throughout her books are incredible. These ones especially are worth checking out! She has included so many bands that aren't really well known and I was squealing over my love of them while reading. For a cute summer read- this is definitely one to pick up.

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  1. Wow! From the cover and title I thought it was the typical YA book about dead loves, etc, but I'm pleasantly surprised to read the plot and the review. Nice review, by the way :) I love the format you did here.

    Have a great day! :)

  2. I just started the audio for this and I'm struggling with it. I'm about an hour in and I just don't get why the best friend would just leave without contact or a goodbye. The way she describes Sloan and from the flashbacks, I picture A from Pretty Little Liars...not good...
    But, I've heard so many great reviews so I'm sticking with it.

  3. I have been on the fence about this one, contemporaries just aren't my thing most of the time. But I have been hearing so many great things about this book. There is just review after review praising this book as the perfect summer read. I think I might pick it up and read it because of the hype, which probably isn't good because hyped up books also seem to disappoint me. But I still really want to give this one a try.
    Great review :D

  4. Great review, Jess! I'm looking forward to reading it this summer - gorgeous cover, friends to more romance, strong female friendship, and great writing? What's more to like? I don't like the fact that Frank has a girlfriend, but since so few reviews mention it I assume it's not touched on that much in the book or a source of too much drama.

  5. Great review! I definitely like the sound of this one. It sounds super cute but also like it might be heart warming too.

  6. So glad this one ended up being a hit for you! I know how excited you were to snag a copy at BEA. Fabulous review.

  7. Ohhhh this sounds sooo cute! I love this type of story, where the MC is a shy girl and she learns to grow up and come out of her shell. Such a great lesson to read about. And I like the sound of the to-do list. Its different and I wanna know how this ends. Plus, I wanna meet Frank! He sounds adorable and hot (duh!). LOL ;p Glad you enjoyed this and that it had great writing! Fabulous review, Jessica! :D xxx

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 


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