While the heavy use of ice cream and frequent mentions of pizza will most likely make you crave carbs like there’s no tomorrow, Since You’ve Been Gone will also make you feel all soft and fuzzy on the inside with its summery vibes.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published: 6th May, 2014
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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?
So, now that you’ve been warned about the potential ice cream triggers, let’s see why this is just one of the cutest summer books ever.
- The whole story takes place during the summer vacation.
- All the guys and girls hang out in this awesome place called The Orchard. It’s actually an orchard. They meet there, have parties there, and it’s literally what I wanted to do in school holidays when I was 17. We didn’t have an orchard though. Bummer.
- Emily is adorable. She’s a really smart, but very shy teenage girl. She often feels like she has nothing to say, but that’s fine, because Sloan talks enough for the both of them. Emily basically is happy to just share secret looks and laughs with Sloan, and resigned herself to living vicariously through her best friend. Until the day Sloan disappears, that is.
- Frank is such a cool dude! He’s the same age as Emily, but quite mature, and shows a level of compassion, empathy and responsibility that could easily put some adults I know to shame.
- It’s about friendship from all angles. The good, the bad, and the loss. Sloan has already pushed Emily’s limits and got her do things she’s only ever just dreamed of before, but sometimes I think she went a bit too far. It’s all fun and games to act like an adult when you are 17, but being sulky and pissed off at your best friend for not wanting to engage in something illegal is a bit immature. I didn’t particularly appreciate the challenge of kissing a stranger either on the list. Yes, it would benefit Emily to come out of her shell a bit, but there’s a big difference between making new friends and being more open and ending up in situations that could be potentially dangerous. I’m not saying kissing strangers is definitely going to end in disaster, but one should only kiss strangers if one feels like kissing one. Considering that Emily did not feel like doing it, and basically had to force herself, just to be cool enough for her friend who was not even around, raises some eyebrows, and doesn’t make Sloan seem such a good friend in my eyes.
- It touches upon question regarding one’s self worth, and how to appreciate ourselves.
- The whole mystery surrounding Sloan was intriguing. Of course I kept thinking it’s going to be something sinister, but had to remind myself from time to time, that it’s not that sort of a book.
- The music in this book is amazing! Frank and Emily take up the habit of running together and swapping playlists, and we are presented with the full list. It includes The Beatles! Thanks, Frank!
- It’s about making mistakes and taking responsibility for them. About forgiving them.
- The budding romance is very subtle, and not at all in your face; cute, but not cringe worthy.
- It has all the silly and relatable teenage drama I went through at that age. The awkward dancing around important subjects, the fear of rejection and the clumsy ways of making up for one’s mistakes. I seriously just wanted to hug these kids and tell them it’s all going to be fine. Just talk to each other, guys! Nobody’s a mind reader!
- Beatles songs! Did I mention the Beatles songs?
- Ice cream! Lots of it!
If you are still unsure whether you should read this, or have already read it but feel nostalgic, check out some of these songs Emily and Frank were listening to.