Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

ARC, 448 pages

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Published by: Simon & Schuster


For fans of: Chick-lit, Contemporary, Romance, Womance, Realistic Fiction,YA 


     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. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what? 
     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? 
     Go Skinny Dipping? Um...





     Morgan Matson is one of my auto-buy authors. It doesn't matter what she comes up with, when a new title of hers is released, I automatically add it to my TBR pile. And that's exactly what happened with this one. With this read she not only justified that 1,000 times over, but she also solidified my belief that she is the Queen of Realistic Fiction.


     I feel that the easiest way to review contemporaries is starting with the characters and then going on the romance. So, lets start with Emily. Emily at the beginning seems like a very shy, normal, teenage girl. But as the book goes on and we see the flashbacks on Sloane, we see that Sloane is the exact opposite and forces Emily to be courageous and do some things that are definitely out of character for her. All because she was worried if she didn't do them Sloane wouldn't like her any longer. To me, she seemed really impressionable. At first it bothered me a little, but she grew tremendously during the novel and I could see why Matson chose to do it that way. As for Frank, I really liked his character. He felt like a real teen boy with real fears and real life stressful situations. He was everything a teen boy really is. He really helped Emily turn her life around and managed to help her just have fun. And last but not least, there's Sloane. While she was there she seemed like a great friend. But just leaving like she did and not mentioning anything was a little hurtful. She didn't give either one of them a chance to stay friends. She just gave it all up. I could see why Emily was a little hurt. It felt like to Sloane their two years as besties meant nothing.But even still, Sloane was a whimsical and carefree girl with some deep guarded secrets. 


     As for the romance, I could see it from the very beginning. I wasn't sure because of that one thing, but as the story went on I found myself not caring. I know it was bad, but I was really starting to ship them. Even when the other dude got in the picture. But with that being said, I was really upset when they had the little argument. As she just kept cutting him off and talking over him I could feel myself starting to get upset as my ship was sinking lol. But I was so happy that things came together in the end. At the end of a summer where they both found out so much about themselves, they both deserved to be happy and I'm glad they got that. 


     Last but not least, I want to talk about the writing style. Morgan Matson is the Queen of YA realistic fiction. From the very beginning I was sucked in to Emily's story as if I was her next door neighbor and was really watching each scene play out. I really want to know if there was anything on that list inspired by a true story lol. Because that's what it seems like. It seems like the list was the only fiction part and Matson went through some old memories and put them on a page for her readers to enjoy. 


     So basically, I loved this book and Emily's story. I'm hoping for another one with Sloane completing her list or basically telling her story a little more in depth because I would really like to see what happened to her and what will happen to her. Clearly I was invested in this story and it's realistic characters and awesome romance. 


Overall, I give this