Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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
Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon UK
Series: N/A
Rating: 4

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 inΒ  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.


  1. I need to read this ASAP. I can not resist “cutest summer books ever”, it seriously sounds like a fun read I’ll enjoy during this hot summer we’ve been having. Great review, I’m off to get this book. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arghh! My wish list is seriously bloated to the point of exploding … So I guess adding one more book won’t make any difference! Seriously good review by the way. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, good idea!
      I went low-ish carb two weeks ago, it’s hard enough on its own, without reading books that talk about yummi carbs πŸ˜€


  3. I recently read Save the Date and I loved it, so I’m excited to read Since You’ve Been Gone! It sounds so cute and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This review makes me want to drop my current read and just read this one.It sounds like a really good,relatable read.I like the fact that the teen issues/life was realistically portrayed.Kissing strangers should definitely be a personal decision πŸ™‚ Great review Norrie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? πŸ˜€
      Some authors come prepared!
      I haven’t read Ace of Shades, so dunno if they mention music in the book, but the author created a playlist for it and it’s awesome.


  5. This sure does sound like a nice contemporary story. The kissing a stranger challenge thing definitely seems borderline dangerous, depending on where you are and who you run into! I’ve seen this author around often for her books; it’s nice to see she knows her stuff! πŸ˜€ Great review Norrie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m “reading” her new book, Save the Date. Well, listening to it. I still prefer Since You’ve Been Gone, but this one is pretty good too, but it’s more about family stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved your review! I just finished this book last week and really enjoyed it! πŸ™‚ Have you read any of Morgan Matson’s other stuff? I want to now, but I’m afraid it won’t live up to my expectations. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      I’m currently listening to Save the Date on audio. It’s pretty good, and i like the characters and how chaotic but loving their family is. It’s also kind of funny. But I don’t like it as much as i did Since You’ve Been Gone. The printed version might be better, it has some comic strips apparently πŸ˜€


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