Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Summary:

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?

Review:

I’ve been in love with Morgan’s writing ever since I read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour waaay back. I had been planning on reading her other books for a while and now I finally got to this one and oh my god I am not disappointed! I fell in love with her writing all over again and this book made me wish I had a summer exactly like Emily’s.

“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”

Sloane and Emily have been best friends for two years but then summer arrives and suddenly Sloane is gone without a trace to where she’s run off to and she doesn’t even pick up her phone. Naturally, Emily is worried sick. Until there’s a letter in the mail.. from Sloane! But it only includes a list with things Emily has to do this summer.. things that would mean getting out of her comfort zone.

“1. Kiss a stranger
2. Go skinny-dipping
3. Steal something
4. Break something
5. Penelope
6. Ride a dern horse, ya cowpoke
7. 55 S. Ave. Ask for Mona
8. The backless dress. And somewhere to wear it
9. Dance until dawn
10. Hug a Jamie
11. Apple picking at night
12. Sleep under the stars.”

While Emily worries about how to get all those things on the list done and how to get through the summer without Sloane, the unexpected happens. She runs into Frank Porter, a guy from her school. Serious and dedicated, but stuck working at an arcade with his best mate Matthew (who everyone calls Collins). Frank helps her when she’s run out of gas and asks her to help him with running (Emily’s on the cross country team) in return. And so a friendship begins. They run every day, and eventually start to hang out with each other and with Collins, and eventually Dawn, the girl from the pizza parlor next door to where Emily works, too. And together with them, her new made friends, she starts crossing things off the list. After having clung to Sloane’s hip for two years, Emily is now her own person who has, unexpectedly made her own friends and doing things this summer, thanks to Sloane’s list, she would never have done otherwise.

“I looked like someone who’d had a night, and had a story to tell about it.”

This book!!!!!! I loved it so much! I had to say that in the beginning when you find out that Sloane disappeared and you catch some flashbacks, that Sloane annoyed me very much. But that’s all cleared up eventually, and now I like her. And Emily.. man, talk about character development. She’s so lost without Sloane, it’s sad. But eventually, while working through the list, she finds herself with help from her new friends and that’s so beautiful.

“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”

Thank you Morgan, for making me fall in love with your characters and a huge thank you for the Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour reference. It made my day.

This book is the perfect summer read and you should totally read it, because if you won’t, you’ll miss out on a great story. Oh, and in a well-ordered universe.. everyone has their own Frank Porter.

amy calloway sisters

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