Monday, 28 September 2015

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um... 

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

This was a classic, light hearted summer romance, least of all because it actually took place over the summer holiday! Mostly it was a tale of friendship; Emily and Sloane have been attached to each other's hips for going on two years but suddenly Sloane has disappeared and Emily is helpless. I don't think she had realised how dependant she was on Sloane until she went away and was at ends without Sloane to guide her. 

The narrative had a balanced before and after so we see how Emily and Sloane's friendship started and grew alongside Emily dealing with a Sloane-free summer. But Sloane has sent her a random list, something to do, something that will make Sloane's disappearance make sense. I really liked this concept, made it into a strange little adventure and it gave Emily a sense of purpose to get her friend back.

What I loved most was the real character development with Emily. She is used to being compared (and comparing herself) to Sloane so by forcing her to move on, do things she wouldn't normally do, Emily breaks out of her comfort zone, makes surprising new friends, new relationships, understands her family and one best friend a little better. Plus there was an adorable romance and Emily became braver, expanded her friend circle, grew in confidence. It was funny and sweet and built on the importance of friendship rather than needing a guy to feel better about yourself. A quick and lovely read for summer love. 

Published 3rd July 2014 by Simon and Schuster. 

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