Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

Song For This Book: Two of Us by The Beatles


I went into this book looking for a fun, summer-y read, because the weather has turned nice out this way, and I wanted to pretend it was actually summer already. And I was pleased to find that this book fit into that very well. It was easy to get through, with lots of fun things taking place, and a satisfying end to it all. It’s a great book if you’re looking for something to take to the beach this summer.

I do feel as though I would have enjoyed this book a lot more when I was younger. But maybe that’s just what I get for reading young adult books when I’m in my twenties. But it was still fun to read.

The Good Points of Since You’ve Been Gone:

I really liked how the characters developed in this story. It wasn’t something I was expecting for this particular book, which made it a really nice surprise. I loved getting to learn about the characters and their underlying issues and needs, and going along with them as they learned that the world wasn’t quite what they thought it was, or that the other characters were not what they were originally thought to be.

Maybe this is related to my above point, but I loved the enigma that is Sloane. We barely get to see her throughout the book, and when we do, it’s mostly in flashbacks. And yet the whole book revolves around her. It works, though. She drives the story forward, and she’s not even there.

I loved that we don’t know everything at the end of the book. You do get closure on the main points, but there are some loose ends that aren’t tied up when you’ve finished the last page. I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving away spoilers, but I always love when books do this. In real life, everything doesn’t come together right after the climax, and it’s always nice when that happens in literature too.

The Downsides of Since You’ve Been Gone:

I almost DNF-ed this book about 10% of the way through (I read an e-version of this one, and am not entirely sure about page number, so you get percent). It just seemed silly up to that point. Once past that, it improved significantly, and I am glad that I continued with it.

Some of the flashbacks just seemed out of place. I know they related to the list and were giving us an idea of who Sloane was and her relationship with Emily, but they seemed a little silly, especially since Emily tended to explain the list on her own anyway. I was tempted to just skip them all the way through, and I probably wouldn’t have missed much.

All in all, a fun, summer-y read that has a nice ending and lots of fun characters. Definitely one that would suit your beach bag.

Have you read Since You’ve Been Gone? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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