At the beginning of July I continued my Morgan Matson binge-read, so after rereading Amy & Roger and Second Chance Summer, I went straight on to reading Since You've Been Gone. It was the first time I read this one.
Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: ya, contemporary
Imagine one day finding out that your best friend for the last two years has just disappeared without a trace. That's what happens to Emily: her best friend Sloane goes missing. She fruitlessly tries to get in touch with Sloane until she gets a letter from Sloane. Actually, it's not really a letter but more of a list. On this list there are thirteen tasks that Emily has to complete. Some of these 'challenges' make absolutely no sense to her and some are very hard for her to do. But Emily is convinced that she'll find Sloane back when the tasks are completed. And so she finds herself spending her summer holiday doing things she would normally never do.
-Emily: She's a girl who, at the beginning of the story, is completely lost without her best friend Sloane. It very soon becomes clear that Emily depended on Sloane for a lot of things and at the same time stood in Sloane's shadow. Throughout the story, however, she becomes more and more extroverted by doing things that are totally out of her comfort zone. She almost becomes a totally different person and she actually likes who she is becoming - up until one certain event in the story, that is.
-Sloane: We mostly get to know her through flashbacks and at one point I started to really dislike her because how she treated Emily when she was with Sam. But as you get to know her better, you can tell that she's not really the extrovert, carefree person she pretends to be.
-Frank Porter: He's this very serious, smart guy with a steady girlfriend who suddenly appears in Emily's life. They start to hang out together and Frank helps Emily out with a lot of the things on the list. I really like Frank because he's a bit of a complex character: On the outside it looks like he's got everything planned out and he knows what he wants to do/become. But his life is much more complex than you think. I liked how he was a completely different - even more humane - person around Emily than he was at school. Even though we don't see him at school, his behaviour there is hinted at by Emily.
-Collins & Dawn: Collins is Frank's best friend and a really funny character. Dawn works at the pizza place next to the ice cream parlour Emily works at. They accidentally meet, but they become good friends.
This book deals a lot with (emotional) changes and growth. Not only Emily but also Frank and even Collins become these different people throughout the story. I liked the concept of a 'to-do' list to help Emily become a more confident person. I again enjoyed the flashbacks because they help you to get to know Sloane better.
I really liked this story, so I gave it 4.5 stars. I didn't give it 5 stars because of one tiny thing that happens near the end of the story. I know it was 'necessary' for the story, but still. I would have liked to have read a bit more about Dawn and Collins, especially towards the end of the story.
I liked how the relationship between Emily and Frank evolved slowly and it isn't until the last page of the book that they decide to give their relationship a go. I know you could tell they had feelings for each other rather quickly, but still that wasn't the main focus of the story and that was a good thing!
Oh and, yay, I found the Amy Curry (Amy & Roger) reference again. I'm not sure if there is a Second Chance Summer reference or not.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now