Monday, August 17, 2015
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson | Book Review
AUTHOR: Morgan Matson
PUBLISHER/YEAR: Simon & Schuster / 2014
Goodreads / Author's Website
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?
Thoughts and Reactions
Any day I can curl up with a Morgan Matson book is a good day. I put off reading Since You've Been Gone because my library seemed to be sorely lacking and missing it, but I came across it at my local bookstore at the beginning of the summer and couldn't resist. Just look at the cover. Perfect book to read on the deck with an iced coffee. I basically love everything Morgan Matson has written and Since You've Been Gone is no exception. I love the remarkably normal and wonderful characters Matson creates and I can barely collect my thoughts because of all the love.
Okay let's start with the friendship aspect of the book. Emily is this totally normal teenage girl, into a couple of things, but not super popular and feels like she just kind of blends in, but her friend Sloane is all over the place, out there and lovable. When she disappears Emily feels completely lost, but slowly begins to find herself over the summer. It's a really wonderful journey to watch. Emily never discounts Sloane or their friendship and wants to find her, but she also begins to see herself as worthwhile.
Emily's whole journey, finding not only herself, but a new group of friends who recognize just how wonderful she is is amazing. This new group of people slowly forms around her and supports her, just as she supports them. I like reading about the formation of new relationships (that's probably one of the reasons I love books with romance so much) and this just checked all the boxes. The tentative first steps, the getting to know yous, but for friends. It also helped give Emily perspective on her relationship with Sloane and herself.
I also just love reading about adventures and the list bit of the adventure just added to it. Dancing until dawn, skinny dipping? They kind of sound like a great time. They're these crazy things, but also totally doable, totally down to earth tell your friends the story the next day and remember for a lifetime kind of adventures. It made me want to be there with this group doing these things. It's the kind of I can't stop smiling even if I look like a crazy person on the bus kind of writing.
Things on the side that made me love this book. Theatre is included! Emily's parents are playwrights and I think that's just so cool. Sure they're a little distracted by their new play, but anytime theatre is worked into a novel I am so there. The playlists included are also fantastic and I definitely added some of them to my spotify to listen to while reading.
So there you have it, another absolutely wonderful engaging novel by Morgan Matson. I am so in love with this book and know that it's going to be one I revisit in the coming years.