Morgan Matson is one of my favourite authors and so Since You’ve Been Gone was one of the summer reads I was most looking forward to – and she didn’t let me down. It confirmed that I’d read everything and anything that Morgan Matson writes. Ever.
Since You’ve Been Gone is the perfect YA contemporary novel, especially as it isn’t all about the romance. Emily and Sloane are the best of friends and are incredibly close, so Emily is left lonely and confused when Sloane disappears without a trace. She’s not answering her phone, her house is empty, and no one knows where she is. She’s too embarrassed to tell her family that her best friend has left her. She doesn’t have anyone else, but then Emily discovers a list of tasks that Sloane compiled for her. If she does everything on the list – from dancing until dawn to kissing a stranger – maybe it’ll lead her back to Sloane?
I adored Since You’ve Been Gone because it’s a wonderful combination of friendship, family and romance. Even though the romance with Frank Porter – the boy who offers to help Emily find her best friend and complete the list – is slow and really lovely, it’s not the main focus of the story. It’s all about Emily discovering who she is without the person she’s spent the most time with, and who knows her better than anyone. It’s about doing things that are outside your comfort zone, and making new friends in the process. Emily’s new-found friends make the story what it is, a cosy and wonderful summer trip. And Emily’s relationship with her little brother is a delight. Although some of the things that Sloane has set Emily to do may not seem life-changing, as a fellow introvert, I can see that they would’ve made Emily feel accomplished – I’ve never gone skinny-dipping myself! And as for Frank Porter, I’d go running with him and swap music playlists any time!
Since You’ve Been Gone is another perfect contemporary story from Morgan Matson. If you’re a fan of the genre and you haven’t read one of her books, you’re really missing out.
Published: 6th May 2014 (US) 3rd July 2014 (UK)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster