|Cover Courtesy of Goodreads|
Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Goodreads Synopsis: 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?
My Review: Yes, I finally got to read a contemporary by Morgan Matson and see what the hype was about! And I think the book is a solid contemporary read, and pretty much lived up to my expectations.
All the characters were really great people. They were written realistically, and were supportive, loyal, and friendly. Emily was very relatable and down-to-earth. Frank was also a really fun and kind character. Character development was also not lacking; in fact, I think every main character had their own arc. Emily's family is also pretty wacky (in a good way!), and it was nice to see a strong family dynamic, as this is pretty uncommon in YA.
I liked the mystery of the book, plot-wise, and how all of the items on the list were pretty important for Emily's personal growth. It was fun to see how Emily completed all the tasks, but I will say that she got through a lot of the tougher tasks pretty quickly.
The setting was also really fun because I kept getting summer vibes; this is probably the first book I'd recommend if you want to feel summery.
My only complaints would be that Emily probably didn't even need to complete the list to find Sloane, and that the ending was a bit too perfect (although I really wanted a nice ending, so I guess I shouldn't complain!). The story also seemed to lack a greater significance, which sometimes winds up happening in contemporary novels, but maybe this time it was because of the perfect ending?
Overall, Since You've Been Gone was a great light, summery contemporary read. I rate it 4 stars, and am excited to read more of Matson's work!