Thursday, 28 August 2014


Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson

Published: May 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: YA, Contemporary

"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...Go skinny-dipping?
Wait...what?"- taken from Goodreads

First of all I just want to say that after reading this fantastic book it is now my favourite contemporary novel to date. It was fun, happy and totally light-hearted, which is exactly what I am looking for in a contemporary novel. Too often, these types of books rely on making the romance the main compartment in the book when in actuality this book focused on friendship and the coming of age of the main protagonist, Emily.

To start with Emily was unhealthily reliant on Solane and was almost a shell of person but throughout the book, without her even realising she was becoming an individual who can hold herself with her own friends who appreciated her for her and not because of who she was friends with. This isn't to say that Emily didn't still have flaws even at the end of the book because of course she did, what teenager do you know that is the model representation of a teenager?

The friends that Emily makes on the way of her completing her list are equally as imperfect as Emily but their friendships and the interactions between them all are hilarious, real and caring towards each other. Yes, they have their arguments and disagreements but thats fine because they all help each other to better themselves. I actually disliked Sloane more than I liked her, I think she was selfish for always just assuming that Emily would go along with everything she did. To be honest I never felt like in any of the flashback chapters when Emily is reminiscing on why certain things are on the list, that Sloane ever really wanted to give Emily a chance to shine.

Some people who have read and reviewed this book mention that they don't like the fact that at the end of the book there isn't closure with all of the characters and you aren't entirely sure if all is rosy in their garden but I don't think that is an issue, in some ways its what makes this book even more real and relatable because in life not everything is resolved with a simple 'sorry' or within a few days and I appreciated that because it did what a lot of YA contemporaries are afraid to do and that is not wrap everything up with a pretty ribbon just because it is the end of the novel. One thing for certain is that I am about to go and buy everything that Morgan Matson has ever written because if they are as good as this then I will certainly be very happy.


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