Book Review | Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

07 January 2015

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell. 
But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend.
Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?
| goodreads |
I've never been a huge fan of contemporary fiction. I always seem to have trouble finding books in the genre that aren't incredibly cheesy and predictable, with characters that are actually enjoyable. I've tried my hand at reading several of the popular books, but none have ever impressed me much.
So, naturally, when I picked up Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, I was not at all expecting it to impact me as much as it did.

It started out as a nice, cute, funny, summery read, but towards the end it began to really touch on things I've been struggling with in my own life.

I don't know why. You would probably read this book and think "how in the world did this change Hannah's life?" Disclaimer: it didn't change my life, it just made me realize some things about my life I need to change.

There are two types of people in the world: the Emilys and the Sloanes.

The Sloanes are the outgoing people who everybody loves, they don't mind being different and don't care if other people don't like them, they do what they love anyway.

The Emilys are the people in the background, too scared that they'll mess up to do anything too spontaneous and crazy.

And I realized through reading this book that I am an Emily... and a Sloane. It's hard for me to explain. I sort of feel like I am a Sloane stuck inside an Emily. As Emily went through the list that Sloane sent her, I started feeling more confident myself. And the end was my favorite, but I won't spoil it.

I loved all the characters, Frank and Collins and Dawn, and, of course, Sloane and Emily. They all had their own distinct personality, and it was perfect. The character development in this book was phenomenal, and not just for Emily. Every character changes by the end.

The whole list was so unique too. I kept getting excited for what crazy task Emily would do next.

There were also playlists scattered throughout the story, like when Emily was running. It was a nice little touch that I really liked. I almost wished I didn't have to give the book back to the library so that I could find a time to look up all the songs on the playlists.

The chapters were a bit longer than I usually like (each of the chapters were all mostly close to a hundred pages). Each thing on the list had it's own, personal chapter, but I felt like it could've been broken up more. Even though I did love the story, I found it hard to read because I never had time to get through the long chapters. But that is a seriously minor problem.

If you are a big contemporary fan, or not-so-much, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book. :)

P.S. some of the letters on my keyboard have been sticking. I apologize for any letter-less words you might stumble upon.


  1. Another great review, Hannah! This sounds like a seriously cool book. I'm going to keep an eye out for it.

  2. Wow, this sounds awesome! I'm going to look it up right now. Wonderful review, btw. :)

  3. I really want to read this book, and I hope my library has this, because I've heard so many great things about it. Great review!

  4. Oh oh oh me too! I LOVED THIS. I love contemporary but I rarely find ones that I'll really adore. I'm an epic action and adventure reader, mostly. *nods* Buuut, I am an Emily. I related to Emily so so so much. I grew up always wanting to be a Sloane and it made me sad, because it's okay to be an Emily! It truly is. It's such a special book and I love it to pieces.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  5. Great review! I'm usually not a big fan of contemporary, either, especially when it comes to YA. But I've heard such good things about Morgan Matson that I really wanted to try one of her books. And I found this one online super-cheap several weeks ago, so I guess it will be the first of hers that I read. :) I think Amy & Roger's Epic Detour sounds really good, too.