book review: since you've been gone

I have heard so many good reviews about Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, and finally have gotten around to reading it. I totally loved it! I'm rating it 4.5 out of 5.

Since You've Been Gone is a summer read about a girl named Emily, who has been best friends with Sloane for two years. They did pretty much everything together, and Emily never had a problem with being Sloane's shadow. Emily was the more quiet, introverted one. One day, she finds that Sloane had left, and still had not returned for the next three weeks. No note, no text, no phone call. She and her family had simply left without any notice. One day, a mail arrives for Emily. It was a list unmistakably written by Sloane, who had written thirteen things for Emily to do during the summer. Emily believes that completing the list could lead her back to Sloane. And so here is a story of a girl getting out of her comfort zone, crawling out of her shell, and discovering the many things she has been missing out on.

Let me start by saying how i was able to relate very well with Emily. Even though her level of anxiety is probably worse than mine, i still found myself being able to relate to her in many ways. Morgan Matson's writing was very easy to follow and has it's own style to it, which was very lovely to read. I love the way she can make you feel like you're growing with the character. I could feel myself getting excited when Emily becomes braver to try out the things on Sloane's list. I actually felt more adventurous myself.

The book starts off slow. Pretty slow, actually. For about 100-150 pages I was honestly forcing myself to get through it, because I remember people telling me that it gets really good. And i wasn't disappointed. Once she started to do more things on her list, everything got pretty exhilarating and I couldn't stop reading. I think the ending was also a little slow, so most of the fast-paced excitement is in the middle of the book. The awesome thing is, i realised after i had finished reading that it was so strategic for the author to make the start quite dull. Because when i thought about it, that's how Emily's life really was at that point. Boring. Dull. Unexciting. And so it was like we went on this journey with her, and felt the things that she had felt. I love realising these things.

The characters in this story are just fabulous. The character development was fantastic. Apart from Emily, i found myself growing somewhat attached to Sloane, and to the people Emily ends up being friends with. I love the way the author wrote the book. She writes in the present, and adds in bits of the past so that we can see Emily and Sloane's friendship develop. I loved it. I love that we get to discover who Sloane was during those "flashbacks" because she was basically non-existing in the present. I got to understand why Emily had gotten so upset when Sloane left, and why she was willing to do the things on the list for her.

A great part about the book is the song references. There were so many playlists being shared, containing a lot of artists and bands i have never heard of. It was really interesting to discover the characters' music taste, and it's indirectly the author's way of recommending some great songs to the readers. I tabbed the playlist parts so that i can check the songs out later.

The romance in this book was really cute. It wasn't rushed at all, and i even found myself giggling a few times. I appreciated that it started out awkward and wasn't so focused on, rather than typical summer reads where the romance is the biggest element of the book. THIS BOOK WOULD MAKE A GREAT MOVIE.


I really like the closure at the end, when we finally discover why Sloane had left. Honestly i was beginning to think we weren't actually gonna find out what happened to her. I think i also understand why she left Emily like that, why she thinks it's easier that way. I can relate to it somehow. And awwhh i love that she didn't doubt Emily for a second when she found Sam kissing Emily. That's a BAE right there.

Let's talk about Frank. I absolutely loved his character development. It may not be that obvious, but the list had helped him grow out of his own comfort zone as well. I love seeing the difference when he's around Emily, and when he's around other people. I honestly was not fond at him at first(he sounded a bit like a uncool one, i think it's because of his name), but he surprised me. Perhaps it was because Emily's perception of him kept developing as she got to know him more. I am a firm believer that having a great personality can automatically make someone appear attractive, even if they physically aren't that so. I didn't think he was cheating on Lissa, i think he really did see Emily as a friend at first and the feelings just happened. I'm glad he settled it the right way with Lissa, he's such a gentleman.

I wish there was more explanation about Emily's friendship with Dawn and Collins. Did Dawn end up forgiving Emily? Do all four of them start hanging out like usual again? There should have been an extra chapter just to describe this.

My favourite thing from the list is definitely the skinny dipping one. IT WAS HILARIOUS. I laughed so much reading that chapter. Also, how amazing is Frank's house??

I have a crush on Frank.

I would not mind at all if there was a sequel for this book. I'd like to see how things work out between everyone once school starts.


I just realised that there aren't any swearing or sex in this book, which i am so happy about because it shows once again that a great book doesn't need those things. It's a very decent YA contemporary read, and if you wanna read something nice and light you should definitely read this one.


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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.