Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Source: ARC from S&S Canada
Synopsis: (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...
If you're a fan of contemporary YA and you haven't read Morgan Matson's books, your next task in life is to race to the bookstore and pick them up. Seriously. They are that good. Her books so, so charming and relatable, and Since You’ve Been Gone is no exception. Morgan’s books have a Sarah Dessen quality to them, which, in my opinion, is a huge compliment.
Since You’ve Been Gone is a great story of friendship, most of all, but it’s also a book about discovering yourself, about romance, and about family. The book intrigues readers from the beginning with the mystery of where Sloane and her family went, but it very quickly focuses on Emily as a character. It’s a book about who Emily was, who she is, and who she wants to be. It’s a summer of dares, of Emily stepping outside her comfort zone.
I love how Morgan Matson writes relationships, romantic and otherwise. The romance here is a total slow burn, but it’s completely epic. Emily’s summer is spent with Frank, and their friendship is so lovely. They have such a rapport, a complete understanding of one another. Their conversations were amazing, and their chemistry leapt off the page. All the secondary characters were fabulous too. I loved Dawn. I smiled at Collins and his wannabe pimp attitude that covered insecurity. Emily's brother Beckett and his need to climb everything was adorable. Em and Beck's parents were a bit clueless and obsessed with their play, but you could tell they loved their kids all the same.
Since You’ve Been Gone is a story about hidden layers. It’s about surprising yourself and others surprising you; who people seem to be isn’t always who they are. I loved the characters and how the story was told. I adored both of Morgan Matson’s previous books, so it was no surprise to me that I loved this one as well. Morgan Matson is absolutely an auto-buy author for me, a must read for all lovers of contemp YA. I highly recommend her books to fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Leila Sales.
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