Tile: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Harcover > 449 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: May 6th 2014
Genre: YA > Contemporary > Romance
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 Why: The first time the cover for Since You've Been Gone started roaming the blogosphere, I just knew I had to get my hands on the book ASAP. The cover is simply gorgeous and it definitely caught my eye from day one. But the cover wasn't the only factor to get me excited about this book. When I saw it was a YA contemporary romance about a girl who must complete an out of comfort zone list left behind by her best friend, it just screamed READ ME NOW! I've begun to realize exactly how much I love contemporaries, especially when I can relate to them on a wide scale, and Since You've Been Gone was nothing but what I needed in my life right now.
The What: Throughout my reading, I could tell right away just how much Morgan put into Emily's world to make the developing emotions and events authentic. I didn't need it to be pointed out to see how much Emily grew as a character and it was great to see the ending results of a very confident and honest girl. Emily's journey was to grow as a person and find her best friend, but what she least saw coming made the story a lot more fun to read and it was great to see how Emily would handle new experiences. Since Sloane was nowhere nearby to help Emily make decisions and determine what she wanted, seeing how Emily went through those hurdles alone showed the advancement of someone who had always been self-conscious to ever try something new before. It was definitely something I could relate to.
When Frank entered the story as someone Emily thought she knew because of what others knew him as, it was hard for me to see how he would fit into the story. Frank definitely has a knack for solving—and creating—puzzles, but not until he put his skills to test and showed his real charm that I felt Morgan made a great decision in creating a character such as him. The small yet growing feelings throughout the story between Emily and Frank was adorable to read about when they both tried to stay oblivious to the fact that there was any type of feelings. It made it a lot more realistic to know that these characters were falling for each other deeply, yet truly, hard for each other knowing it wasn't exactly right and called for. It just came naturally to them the way their budding friendship did. The answers that Emily longed and searched for throughout the entire story of why Sloane left made those answers a lot more believable. It twisted things into something not even I expected, but left no room for me to doubt that Sloane was after all a good person, just lacking confidence.
The Character(s): As much fun as it was to read from Emily's POV and see how she developed as a character, I always found myself hoping every chapter would involve Frank in some way just so I could read about him more. Even when people—including Emily and Sloane—had a preconceived notion of who Frank was, there was still a lot left to learn about him. Frank was not just the smart guy who could speak and act intelligently, he was also kind, honest, and a gentleman. If he were my neighbor or lived close by I wouldn't mind going running with him either.
The Scene(s): If I had to choose one scene from Since You've Been Gone to love the most, I honestly wouldn't be able to choose because there was just so many to like! Instead I'll choose three that I can remember super clearly and that I definitely wouldn't mind rereading over and over again. When Frank invites Emily and two of their other friends over to an empty home for his own spin on camping, let's just say that things ended pretty adorable and it's also when Emily puts into place her confused feelings. The chapter about skinny-dipping had to be the funniest! I couldn't stop laughing like a crazy person for a while, especially when their friend Collins did something that marked him even more as a trouble-maker. Last and not least would have to be where Frank and Emily dance together at a party she thought she was crashing. That chapter showed me as a reader how much Emily was truly developing into her own person and not caring about how ridiculous she might have looked. All that she cared about was having fun, which she hadn't experienced since Sloane went MIA. This chapter marked just how much Emily had grown and it all happened because she was finally letting herself be who she should have always been. Emily thought being defined by others was the best way to go, but ultimately what mattered most was defining herself into the person she wanted to be.
I looked back at him through the rain that was pouring down between us and took a breath to try and say something, when he leaned forward, cupping my cheek with his hand, and kissed me again. (384)
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson was overall an amazing read. I loved, loved it and I know I wouldn't mind rereading the book again whenever I feel I'm starting to miss the characters. Although I'm sure I'll be missing Frank the most in all his swooning glory. I'm also sure that this story will stay on my mind for weeks, if not months, just because it has become a constant thought of mine since I finished it. There's always that nagging thought of what might have happened afterwards when things were finally figured out. I admire how Morgan showcased her MC and made her into a brave character by the end of the book. There were many obstacles for Emily to go through, but ultimately she learned to be a better version of herself. The romance in this story was also super adorable and I hope most readers enjoy the story for what I feel it showcases: a relatable, cute, funny, and perfect summer read!
Brenton Thwaites as Frank
Ayla Kell as Emily
For Since You’ve Been Gone it was somewhat difficult finding people to fit Emily, Frank, and Sloane. What do you think of my choices? Would you agree or choose someone different for some or all of the characters? What did you think of the story and/or characters?