Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Release Date - May 6th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
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? Okay, 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…
The Reader's Lounge first book of the year, is a amazing rendition of friendship, love, and loss; from the highly acclaimed author of Second Chance Summer and Amy & Rodger Epic Detour. I've been meaning to read this for ages and when it came up as our first book by vote, I was very excited to get started.
Emily is a girl living in the shadows, invisible to the social eye as it were, until she meets a very loud and characteristically vintage girl named Sloane. They first met on one of Em's running route, Sloane had locked herself out and was in desperate need to wash her hair before it turned green. Your probably thinking, what a weird girl, Em thought that and so did I! Sloane and Emily have been inseparable ever since. Until, out of the blue, Sloane has just...gone. Emily is completely at a loss what to do, she's phoned, left messages and gone round her house. It's only when a letter arrives that she knows what she has to do... complete the list in hope to find Sloane.
Since You've Been Gone is a novel about finding yourself, going through the motions but also going outside your comfort zone. You are completely surrounded by a world you are unable to identify with because the person who helped you in no longer there. At first I felt like Emily as quite moany to a point, she was so narrow-minded when you think about her character overall. But to be honest it is totally relatable, if you think about it. There is always someone who is the heart of the group of friends that make you a part of them. Now Emily's tie to her and to society as they both know it is broken. What I find is that we see a depth of friendship like no other, where Emily will travel to the world until she finds her best friend.
Emily has met a very unique persona of a friend, so she is used to seeing the world through a different pair of eyes. When she starts to tick off the list, she builds new friendships and new relationships which you see such a difference in Emily, starting with and most importantly with Frank Porter, her romantic interest. Frank is shown as the guy who the most popular, has a beautiful, yet he finds himself stuck for the summer at home. Their first meet was rather adorable as they seem so awkward with each other, but I felt it as if Frank really showed his true self. Frank doesn't push being her friend, but its as if they are meant to be together as they naturally grow and towards each other. With Frank comes Collins, you could say he's the funny guy of the group, always making things light and interesting when it comes to certain points of the list. Finally there is Dawn, a drama-queen none-the-less whilst I wasn't overly keen with her in the beginning purely because I didn't want her to replace Sloane so much either.
As one of Miss Morgan's first books I've read, I believe that this is only the beginning for me and her written prose. Her style, is so easy to connect with and I loved how she incorporates various music Mix's and little snippets of parchment in the book, it really gives a different feel to a contemporary that I wouldn't usually read. Since You've Been Gone stands out from all the rest! A friendship like no other, you really would want to read this!
Rating - 4