Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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...

(taken from

5/5 Stars 

I adored Morgan Matson's Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. As a result, I knew I'd have to get my hands on Since You Been Gone. I'm also a fan of novels with realistic, quirky friendships. Sloane and Emily's relationship drew me in from the first page and never let me go. 

Rarely do I find a book that so perfectly captures the awkward, forced interactions of teenage social gatherings. I've been in Emily's shoes before, and I could easily relate to her painful discomfort at parties without Sloane by her side. I've also been that girl who has a best friend attached at her hip, and the novel brought back so many high school memories. It's been a long time since a book struck a chord so strongly with me. 

I love that Matson always includes bonus features in her novels. From mentions of songs to notes left by friends, she constantly makes her story more relatable for teenagers in today's society. I especially appreciated the mixtape lists found throughout the story (I may or may not have a playlist called "Since You've Been Gone on my phone now). Her descriptions of Sloane's fashion statements had me visualizing outfits as clear as day. Her expert writing style makes it simple to visually fabricate Emily's life in your head. 

The romance in the story is authentic. No brooding, mysterious strangers here. Instead, Matson whips up a tale of friends who turn into more. After the plethora of supernatural or dramatic relationships that have peppered the YA shelves lately, it's always refreshing to read about a relationship I could actually imagine functioning in the real world. 

Since You've Been Gone contains numerous deep, poignant life lessons, from learning to trust yourself to taking risks every now and then. I'd highly recommend it to any high school girl, simply because it is strikingly honest. Matson is truly gifted, and I'll be waiting for her next novel anxiously. She's definitely earned a place on my favorite authors list. 


My Reaction in a Nutshell

Favorite Quote(s)

“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.”