Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson


It is the summer before senior year. Emily’s best friend, Sloane, has been missing for two weeks. Her and her family disappeared one day and never came back. Sloane’s phone is off and there are no cars in her driveway. Where did they go? Just as Emily is about to tell her parents what happened, thinking they can help, she receives a list from Sloane in the mail, with no return address. Sloane has been sending Emily lists for as long as they’ve been friends. Usually, Emily isn’t able to complete any of the tasks, but this one seemed different. She thinks that maybe if she does every item on the list, she will find Sloane. And so, a summer of unknown begins.

  1. Kiss a stranger.
  2. Go skinny-dipping
  3. Steal something.
  4. Break something.
  5. Penelope.
  6. Ride a dern horse, ya cowpoke.
  7. 55 S. Ave. Ask for Mona.
  8. The Backless Dress. And somewhere to wear it.
  9. Dance until dawn.
  10. Share some secrets in the dark.
  11. Hug a Jamie.
  12. Apple picking at night.
  13. Sleep under the stars.

To you and me, this list may seem confusing, but Emily knows what every item means.

What a fun book. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is one big crazy summer adventure. When Sloane leaves Emily behind with no explanation, she feels all alone. Emily has every right feel this way because Sloane was her one and only true friend; something she didn’t realize until she was gone. Once Emily begins checking things off Sloane’s list, she starts making friends in unexpected places. Emily is extroverted. She is used to tagging along with Sloane and being known as “Sloane’s friend.” Emily’s summer slowly turns into a season of stepping outside of her comfort zone.

Since You’ve Been Gone is the first Young Adult book I have read this year. I really enjoyed Emily as a character, as well as, Frank Porter, one of her unexpected friends. Frank is the class president and on his way to being valedictorian. He is “perfect” in every way. When Emily goes “apple picking at night” at an orchard where everyone parties, Frank saves her when she desperately needs help. In return, Emily starts running with him. Their awkward friendship made the book even more interesting.

Even though I liked the whole book, including the ending, I just keep thinking there is a lot of things left unsaid. I wish there would have been one more chapter at the end to tie up some loose ends between other characters that weren’t present in the last couple of chapters. I can’t wait to read more of Morgan Matson’s books. Since You’ve Been Gone flowed a lot like one of Sarah Dessen’s books. Her books are usually about friendship, summer, and love, just like this one.


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