◆ Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
◆ Read April 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ 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.I got to enjoy this contemporary while I was in sunny Valencia. I wanted to bring a book with me that had a summery-vibe to it and Since You've Been Gone did not disappoint. In fact, it was far better than I expected, I practically finished it in one sitting!
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? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a Stranger? Um...
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? Wait ... what?❞
Basically, Since You've Been Gone is a really charming book with such a catchy, easy writing style that I could not stop turning the pages. Everything about the writing just felt right. This was helped by the addition of the playlists I'd already grown accustomed to in Amy & Roger's Epic Detour AND..... a bucket list! It sounds like a cliche, but it worked out really well in this story because the items on the list were chosen by the protagonist's friend. I for one love a bucket list every now and then.
Though this all sounds rather nice and appealing, the main reason why I would recommend this book is because the plot focuses greatly on female friendship. There aren't nearly enough books about this topic and I took great pleasure in reading about Emily and Sloane. How they met, how they confided in each other, how they were always seen as a package deal. More so, I saw the bucket list as a metaphor for their beautiful friendship, with Sloane encouraging Emily to become a self confident and happy person, separate from her friend. The book also explored other topics such as romance, yet that never undermined the focus on the friendship and I love Matson for it.
Emily went through some spectacular character growth throughout the book, which was interesting to read about. She learned to be brave without Sloane's support. She made friends on her own, stepped way out of her comfort zone and did things she would not have even imagined a year prior. It was easy to relate to Emily and even easier to somehow feel inspired by her 'journey' to become an independent person.
To summarize it all, you should read this book if you're looking for a light summer read or if you're looking for a contemporary that focuses more on the friendship and a little less on romance. The writing alone will make for a fun read!
5 stars because:
✓ Female Friendship
✓Bucket lists and playlists