Since You’ve Been Gone
By Morgan Matson
Available May 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…
This Blonde’s Review:
When Emily met Sloane her life was changed forever. They became best friends by chance and ever since then Sloane and Emily have been a team. When people see her they expect to see Sloane right beside her. When Sloane disappears one day Emily isn’t sure what has happened. All she knows is that Sloane isn’t there and neither are her parents. When she gets a list she knows that if she completes everything on there somehow she’ll know how to find Sloane again.
Watching the way Emily slowly grows as she confronts the things on the list that make her nervous was great. Character growth is huge, especially since it wasn’t like these were huge revelations. It was something little, like being willing to accept help from someone new, that slowly grew to her being the kind of person who will go skinny dipping without being afraid.
Frank was such a great character. Watching their friendship grow was wonderful, and then seeing all of the signs that maybe there could be something more there made me hopeful. I couldn’t help but admire his responsible nature and that we didn’t have a typical misunderstood bad boy thing. I also liked that there were so many other options for her, despite feeling invisible there were guys who saw her and appreciated what she had to offer, including an ex and a stranger.
As we learned about Emily we also learned about Sloane. We see her through the eyes of the people who know her and see that she was just what Emily needed in her life. We also see that while Emily was content to live in Sloane’s shadow that it’s time for her to stand on her own. It became hard for me to know if I wanted her to find Sloane or not since more than anything I wanted Emily to be the stronger person she was turning into.
I do wish I had found out more at the end of the book though. There were certain relationships that were left in the air that I had hoped for more conclusion on. But it felt like the book was more about the journey for Emily than where it ended up so it almost made sense not to go back and find all the endings.