Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson


Though I had a little bit of a rocky start with this novel, in the end it was a fun, fluffy, interesting YA Contemporary read.

Emily and Sloane have been best friends for two years. They are opposites--Sloane is crazy and adventurous and Emily is shy and contemplative--but care about each other more than anything. Then Sloane suddenly leaves at the beginning of summer with zero explanation or any indication of where she is, and Emily feels alone and completely lost without the girl who pushed her to try new things.

But then Emily receives a letter from Emily; a list of dares and activities that Emily is supposed to do--like dance all night and kiss a stranger. And Emily can't help but think that finishing this list will bring Sloane back. But as she gains the courage to check each item off the list, acquiring new friends along the way, she begins to question her entire relationship with Sloane. Was it was really that great? Or did she imagine it to be better than it actually was?

This book and I didn't really get along at first. I couldn't get into it. The writing was fine, the characters were fine, but nothing was that interesting to me. Maybe it's because Emily started off with the most boring dares, but I'm not really sure. It wasn't until I'd read almost 200 pages that I started to really enjoy it. Then I plowed through it in three hours.

I really loved being inside of Emily's head. She was kind and smart and didn't always want to stand out. She was a someone I would along with read well if she wasn't fictional--she's just really personable. And though I loved Emily as a character, my major issue with the book was, oddly enough, her relationship with Sloane. I hated Sloane. Well, maybe not hated, but I definitely didn't like her. She was manipulative and pushy and conceited--and she's a girl who ignores her friends when she's in a relationship. That's the worst. Sloane almost always chose her boyfriend over Emily, even though he treated her terribly. And I understand that Sloane was there to help Emily experience new things, become less shy, get her out her her shell--which are all good things--but it felt a little like she was trying to make Emily more like her.

The best part of this book were the side characters. Frank, Collins, and Dawn were awesome. And because I'm a Sloane-hater, I liked that she was getting new and better friends; friends that were fun and outgoing, but also had more similar personalities to Emily's than Sloane did. But I didn't like that Frank was in a relationship. There could have been just as much drama and misconstrued emotions if he wasn't involved--maybe that they were just unable to express their feelings to each other. It's not a huge deal, but it's worth noting that it could have been a little different, and that would have made the novel a little better.

My review sounds like I'm kind of ragging on this book, but I really did like it. I rounded it up to four stars! It's just always easier to describe the things you don't like about a novel than the aspects you do. But this novel was funny and honestly a nice read.

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