Monday, May 9, 2016

Morgan Matson Week!! Book Review: Since You've Been Gone

It's the #UnexpectedlyEpic #MorganMatson week over Mostly YA Lit and I'm participating!  There'll be lots going on over there this week, so be sure to check it out!  I'm new to Morgan Matson and just discovered Since You've Been Gone, but as you'll see below, I love it!  Tomorrow I'll be writing a little about being a Morgan Matson "newbie."  So don't forget to check back in!  Enjoy.

Since You've Been Gone
Morgan Matson
Simon & Schuster, 2014
Genre:Contemporary, YA
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 out of 5

~What It's About~
Emily and Sloane have been best friends ever since Sloane moved in, and ever since she moved into town, Emily has had a life.  They've done everything together.  But now Sloane is gone and Emily hasn't heard from and doesn't know where she's gone.  Their perfect summer isn't going to happen and Emily is going to have no one to talk to.  But she has one thing: a letter from Sloane--or actually a list.  13 tasks for Emily to complete this summer that scare her to death.  Skinny dipping, Dancing till dawn, Hug a Jamie?  With the help of some unexpected friends, Emily sets out to accomplish every task on her list, certain she'll figure out the mystery of where Sloane has gone and why.

~The Good~
I love this book.  I love it!  

Emily reminds me of me when I was a teenager (and into college and adulthood, actually), as she is constantly riddled with anxiety and awkwardness in just about any social situation she finds herself.  The over thinking about what she should say, followed by inner turmoil over what she managed to wrangle out of her mouth was just textbook.  It felt real to me.  Maybe because I related a little too well--even now in my 30's.  Maybe she was just incredibly likable and lovable and it's so easy to hope for Sloane to return and rescue out of her awkwardness.  

What I appreciated most about this book is that it's not about a romance, and it's not even really about Emily and Sloane's relationship.  It's about Emily.  It's really and truly about her and how she's suddenly dropped into this situation where she no longer has that comfortable place.  Her friendship with Sloane was what made things a little easier for her, although it also allowed her to never do anything herself.  Instead she had always just ridden along with her friend.  Emily now has to do something for herself.  She has to speak for herself.  She has to find out who she is without Sloane.  

There are so many different things going on in this novel.  In addition to Emily having to change and grow and figure out who she is on her own, there is, of course, a romance brewing.  However it's iffy because he's already taken and Emily would never admit that she is attracted to him.  There's Emily's relationship with her family as well and how it changes now that she's not always wrapped in what Sloane is doing.  

Slipped into all the present day events (searching for Sloane and trying to complete the 13 tasks) are flashbacks into Sloane and Emily, starting from when they first met.  We not only are seeing the result of Sloane's leaving unannounced, but we're seeing how they became Sloane and Emily in the first place.  

~The Not-So-Good~
I didn't find anything I disliked about this novel.  I'm trying to come up with something, but I loved it so much!

~Final Thoughts~
Since You've Been Gone is a story about friendship and finding yourself.  It's about growing up and facing your fears.  Morgan Matson has crafted an engaging characters who are real and remarkable at the same time.  They are characters you would like to one day meet. 

Check back in tomorrow as I talk about my discovery of Morgan Matson.

Please consider following me if you enjoyed this review!


  1. I've heard so many awesome things about this! I haven't read anything by Morgan Matson yet, but I hear amazing things about all her books. I have this one for my Kindle...I might have to give it a go!

    1. I haven't read her others but after reading this one, I'm going for it! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I absolutely love all of Morgan Matson's books! This is without doubt one of my favourites that she has written. I just love the way that she portrays friendship. I've just reviewed her latest book, The Unexpected Everything. Would thoroughly recommend it!

    1. The portrayal of friendship was the best part of this book--not just her friendship with Sloane, but with the friends she ends up making throughout the summer.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I really must get round to this soon! I loved Morgan's debut and sophomore novel, and when I did the Which Character Are You? Quiz I got Emily, so that has definitely made me want to bump it up. I think I'll have to make time for it next month :) Great review!

    1. You should definitely read it! I absolutely saw myself as Emily from the get go. I related to her on so many levels it was crazy.

  4. I LOVED this book too! It is so good and realistic. I love Morgan Matson's writing. I am so excited for The Unexpected Everything and I hope I can buy a copy of it soon. Great review! I am so glad you loved reading it! :D

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to reading more of her books!