Released: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: galley gifted by author (OMG THANK YOU)
Summary from Goodreads:
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…
In case you’ve been living under a rock or haven’t only recently started reading my blog, then I need to inform you that I ADORE Morgan Matson’s books. Like, the day I get to meet her IRL I will probably cry and be a mess because her books have just really helped me through things and that means a lot to me. Since You’ve Been Gone was literally my #1 anticipated book of the year and it did not disappoint.
Matson’s writing is some of the best I’ve come across in YA. There are some authors who it feels like writes down to teens/dumbs down the writing/vocabulary so they can presumably understand it better. There are also authors who write so pretentiously that it sounds like an adult writing a teenage character. Matson manages to balance both of these aspects. Whether this is purposeful or not, she writes in a way that treats teens as the intelligent individuals that they are, but also understanding the way this age group thinks and speaks. I found this to be especially true in Since You’ve Been Gone. There was a realism to the characters and their feelings that made it feel like her characters could have been my friends in high school.
Another very strong aspect of this book that I briefly mentioned above is that I felt like I knew these characters and I cared about them. Sloane and Emily are almost identical portraits of my best friend and I. I am SO like Sloane it is kind of crazy, and same for my bff and Emily. Now, while I could not relate to Emily one bit because I’m not very shy or cautious or anything, but I still was interested in her story. Like, for me I normally need to relate to the main character in some way, but that wasn’t the case with this book. Emily felt so real for me that though her hesitance to do anything DROVE ME UP A WALL, I also understood and wanted to see what kinds of adventures Sloane’s list would take her on.
Also, this is the PERFECT summer story. There are crazy adventures (skinny dipping!), awesome friendships, and a SUPER CUTE budding romance that I will ship until the end of time. This is a really great story of self-discovery, of facing your fears and going outside your comfort zone because amazing things can happen when you take chances (It’s really true!). I would recommend you pre-order this or buy it as soon as it’s out because it is A++++. You guys need this book in your life. Trust me.