Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone
By Morgan Matson
Published: May 6, 2014

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...

My review:

Emily's summer plans (and really her life) are upended when she realizes her best friend has disappeared. Sloane has always been the leader in their friendship and without her, Emily feels lost and devastated. Then she receives a list from Sloane in the mail. Sloane used to give her lists of tasks to try to do when Emily would go on trips but Emily usually ignored the lists or just managed to do one or two things. Now, this list may be the way that Emily finds Sloane again. As she sets out to cross the tasks off her list and searches for clues about Sloane, Emily steps out of her comfort zone and discovers her own strength.

I found it easy to relate to Emily because she reminded me of myself as a teen. She is a cautious introvert and she relied on her friendship with Sloane to give her a place to belong. Being forced to live outside Sloane's shadow makes her realize just how much her own identity was wrapped up in Sloane and people didn't even get the chance to know her because she hid behind Sloane so much. Emily's journey starts out with the purpose of finding Sloane but instead she finds confidence and makes new friends.

It is interesting that Sloane starts to disappear from the book a little as Emily finds her own life more fulfilling. The reader gets to observe Sloane and Emily's friendship through flashbacks. I admit that I was angry at Sloane for basically deserting Emily without even a proper goodbye. It is a hard thing as a teen to lose friendships and though it is explained in the end, I did not feel kindly toward Sloane for most of the book. I did love how the book examined different kinds of friendships and how the friendship with Sloane was resolved.

The romance with Frank developed nicely. I liked that it was gradual and grew out of their friendship. Frank was a good friend to Emily. I also enjoyed the secondary characters in this book and I thought they added to the story. Emily's friendship with her younger brother is really sweet. While I did feel like this is another teen book with "absent parent syndrome" I think Emily's parents seemed like caring people when they weren't absorbed in writing plays.

Overall I thought this was a nice story about friendship and growing up. It wasn't as emotionally heavy hitting as the author's other books but it would make a great entertaining beach read. I think fans of Sarah Dessen and contemporary teen romance would really enjoy Since You've Been Gone.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of Amazon Vine


  1. Yes! I agree. This book didn't really hook me till 1/2 way through, but it was entertaining overall and great for vacation. I really liked the character of Frank. :) Good point about the "absent parent" syndrome. I have been seeing that a lot lately. Ugh. Great review, Christina!

  2. Frank and Emily's gradual relationship was fabulous! I loved the secondary characters too. Definitely a fun story, once it got going.

    Nice review!


Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!