Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

Author: Morgan Matson

Release date: 5th May 2015

Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction, Romance, Realism

Target audience: YA 12+

Publisher: Simon and Schuster


Since You’ve Been Gone is a funny, moving, and engaging story of friendship, first love, and finding yourself. It was so enjoyable. I didn’t want it to end.

Emily’s best friend Sloane disappears at the beginning of the summer break with no explanation. She doesn’t answer her calls or emails. Emily feels utterly alone. They had all these exciting plans and now Emily has no one to have an adventure with. Emily and Sloane are inseparable. But with Sloane gone and no way of contacting her Emily must find a way to survive the holiday. A couple of weeks into the summer break, a list arrives in the mail, which can only have been sent by Sloane. Emily decides that doing all the things on the list will somehow bring Sloane back to her. So despite her shyness and introverted personality, she begins to tackle the things on the list: riding a horse, stealing something, and kissing a stranger. It’s a challenge but it just might make this summer something to remember…

One of the things that I liked about this book was that Emily’s character felt really believable. The self-conscious feelings she experiences before speaking is something that I think will be familiar to teen readers. I loved that this story was in part her journey into being brave enough to leap before thinking about all the consequences. It was about seizing the moment but not about encouraging recklessness. Emily is still sensible and practical and I liked that.

I liked that she had these impressions of her classmates and that she learned to see beyond what they portrayed at school. Frank Porter is a romantic hero. Collins is a sensitive soul which he hides behind his loud mouth. Emily’s relationship with Sloane was also really interesting to follow. We learn some from Emily’s reminiscences and some from flashbacks to the months before Sloane disappears.

This book made me laugh. It made me want to turn page after page. It’s the perfect teen summer read. It’s about enjoying the days ahead, finding your voice in a crowded room, and taking a leap of faith. Another great novel from Morgan Matson. The best one yet! Read it for the romance and fall in love with the friendship.
If you enjoyed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you’ll enjoy this!

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