Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Published: May 6, 2014
Hardcover, 449 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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...

I've been waiting for a good friendship book for awhile now. I think it's important to highlight friendships more than romance in YA because really, how many of us really found our true love in high school? My first few boyfriends were not love at all, but my friends were always there for me. So here's Emily, a normal girl who keeps to herself and likes to run. One day she runs by one of the old houses in her town and meets Sloane, she doesn't look back. Sloane changes Emily for the better. Emily actually starts living and they become fast friends, doing everything together. We get to watch their friendship form in flashbacks, but it's enough to show you that Emily loves Sloane. So when Sloane disappears one day and all that's left is a list of things she wants Emily to do over the summer, Emily feels lost, but determined. She thinks if she completes the list Sloane will come back to her. It drives Emily to do things she never thought she'd do with people she never thought she'd do them with. 

Emily's summer is one for the books. I loved following her and checking off items from the list alongside her. With the help of Frank, the cute guy she's known forever but never really hung out with, and a few other friends, Emily somehow manages to have a perfect summer without Sloane. She finds out more about herself than she thought possible and does things she never would have imagined. I think I'll make a list of my favourite things about this book:

1. Emily's younger brother is a daredevil. He doesn't have a big part, but when he's in the book he is either hanging out at the top of door frames or climbing way too high at the rock climbing wall. He was adorable.

2. The flashback scene where Sloane and Emily go to a flea market and haggle their way into getting two pairs of sunglasses super cheap. It was the perfect friendship moment.

3. Frank Porter. He was the perfect book boyfriend (well expect for the fact that he had a girlfriend)

4. The list of course. It was simple, but not. There was a lot of things on that list that I might not want to do either. So I was really proud of Emily the whole time!

5. The drawing that Gideon draws on Emily on their way to the Orchard. He's not a big character, but the flashbacks with him were cute.

6. The running playlists. I'm a big fan of playlists, so I love when authors include them in books!

7. Frank's birthday being the same day as mine. July 19th. Just saying.

8. Emily and Frank dancing the night away at a wedding. It was one of those moments that stand out in books where you know the tables will soon be turning between two characters.

9. The chapter titles being items from the list. It worked really well.

10. The cover art and layout of everything. This is a big part to the book. The inside cover, the back cover, even underneath the cover, portray pictures of Sloane and Emily doing things that happen in the book. I love having a picture to go along with a description and the cover models fit Sloane and Emily perfectly. Kudos Simon and Schuster!

This one the perfect summer read, the perfect YA contemporary and the perfect book about friends. I hope to find more books like this, hope to read all of Matson's books and can't wait to spend the summer with my best friend (hopefully she doesn't disappear on me!)

“I somehow knew that the particulars didn't matter. She was my heart, she was half of me, and nothing, certainly not a few measly hundred miles, was ever going to change that.” 

“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.” 

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