Published May 6, 2014 · Simon & Schuster
GOODREADS · THE BOOK DEPOSITORY · Amazon
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?
By the sea, sunglasses perched on your nose, you lie on a beach towel and work on your tan. With a glass of cold, sparkling lemonade in hand and the sun warming your skin, this perfect summer day couldn’t get any better. Except, it could. Because Since You’ve Been Gone is the ultimate summer book that will make your sunny days even brighter (lets just pretend it’s not summer all year round here in Singapore, where I live).
This was my first time reading something by Morgan Matson (though I have been wanting to read Second Chance Summer for ages too) and I’m definitely not disappointed. She has this amazing way of putting inexplicable feelings into words and once you’ve read them, you’ll be all “YAS. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT FEELS LIKE. HOW DID SHE EVEN COME UP WITH THAT DESCRIPTION.”
“It was like hitting the snooze button on your alarm—your sleep in that window is never very good, since you know it’s borrowed time, and that it will be over all too soon.”
– p. 359
A little like Taylor Swift’s amazing lyrics, speaking from the view of a humongous fangirl.
Reading this novel was also an eye-opener for me. Emily – the protagonist – is a complete introvert while I’m an ambivert leaning slightly towards the extrovert side. Witnessing how she attempted Sloane’s list despite her shy nature was fascinating since I could never predict her decisions. If you’re an introvert, however, I think you would find Emily really relatable.
My sole issue with this novel lies in the fact that Frank, the adorkable guy who helps Emily out with Sloane’s list, has a girlfriend. It’s pretty obvious the two would develop feelings for each other and while it may be unintentional, it doesn’t change the fact that he has a girlfriend. Call me archaic but straying before breaking things off is still rather wrong even with how events turned out at the end of the book.
Nevertheless, Matson is an amazing author who’s able to create such magical settings yet maintain realism, since her books are of the contemporary genre. The ending of Since You’ve Been Gone could’ve been teensy bit more conclusive but it wasn’t the sort that will horribly leave you hanging.
If you can overlook the questionable morales revolving around Frank and Emily’s relationship, this book is really one you should pick up ASAP! And if all of Matson’s other novels are just as well-written, there’s no question I’m reading them too.