Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

Synopsis

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…

Review

What can I say? This book was 100% ON POINT.

Morgan is one of the freshest and most talented authors in the YA world today. I have loved every single one of her releases. And while this one didn’t exactly make me cry, it definitely hit me with waves of nostalgia and that itch for summer adventure.

I like how this book takes the usual YA tropes and crushes them, turning them into something unexpected but wholeheartedly more real. Your usual grade-grinding A-student? Oh, but he can have fun too. And maybe he wants to pick up running or go skinny dipping. The enigmatic, risk-taking best friend who doesn’t have a care in the world? Maybe she’s not that much of an enigma. And maybe she and the protagonist actually DO have a good friendship, despite extenuating circumstances. The bumbling, eccentric buddy? He’s got more to him than meets the eye too. I fell in love with so many of the characters. Beckett, you are a champ (and I would totally read a whole book about you one day, once you’re older). Emily’s parents are perfectly sweet and cool (and totally capture the quirkiness of theatre). Can I watch Bug Juice? Sloane, I really hated you for a lot of the book. There were some serious dependency issues here. But friendships change, and sometimes that’s not in your power. I’m glad you got the chance to redeem yourself in the book. And Frank, where do I even begin with you?

The storyline was absolutely predictable, but in the best way possible. There was definitely a happily-ever-after ending, but I’m so onboard for that. For a little while, it seemed like Collins’s comments were going to come true. It definitely would have been realistic for everything to pan out poorly, but I’m glad that didn’t happen. If anything, I wish things with Dawn patched up… although I guess it makes sense if that doesn’t happen.

This book was great because it’s like you’re right there in the book, experiencing things in life for the first time with Emily. We breeze through experiences, and end up with a ton of stories and memories of a fulfilling summer. From hugging Jamies to kissing strangers, I loved reaching unexpected solutions to events.

If anything, I didn’t really like the music. It dates the book. Also, how can “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson not get in this? IT’S LITERALLY THE TITLE.

But anyway. This book was funny, sweet, adorable, and summery. Can someone mail me a summer bucket list? Can I be Emily’s friend? Twice Upon a time seems cool. EVERYTHING WAS COOL. I left with a warm-fuzzy feeling of rightness. Morgan Matson really knows what she’s doing here.

Related Reading

  • Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen
  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson
  • The F-It List – Julie Halpern
  • Afterparty – Ann Redisch Stampler
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

Rating: 5/5

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