So as you may have noticed I’ve decided to take part in the summer writing intensive Ready. Set. Write. which has put me spending some of my normal reading and reviewing time into my own writing. I’ve also been preparing for UtopYA which was last week and it’s been crazy to say the least. I was hoping to post before but there was so much to do! I’m still adjusting to being back and unpacking and such, it’s a slow process. For further on my trip and to enter to win a swag pack (tons of stuff) check it out here. On to a much needed review.
I read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson a couple weeks back with a friend of mine. She does a great job of giving a completely spoiler-free review you can check out here. I have a couple of her books but this is the first one I have picked up and it was mostly because of the great reviews I have seen/heard on it and the fun summer cover. The inner jacket is even like a scrap book and just makes you feel nostalgic. The basic premise is that of Emily who has been defined as ‘Sloane’s friend’ since they became friends a few years back. She was okay with that. She loved it actually. Then one day her friend is just gone. Right before what is supposed to be their epic summer.
Sloane is gone without a trace or word but she does send a to-do list much like the ones she’d sent Emily in the past on her short trips and Emily is convinced if she completes the list she will bring her best friend back. The list seems harmless enough, apple picking at night, dancing until dawn, easy enough. Kissing a stranger or go skinny dipping…a bit more of a challenge for Emily.
So overall I enjoyed the book. I liked following along in Emily’s journey because, frankly, I connected to her. I related to her shy nature and feeling more at ease when a friend is by your side to allow you to be more open and take the lead when you are unsure. I’ve recently started working on that myself, UtopYA was a HUGE step for me and really put me out of my normal comfort zone but so worth it. I really liked Emily even when she did things I didn’t really agree with. One of those things being still holding Sloane up as such an amazing friend when from the start I wasn’t sure I liked her at all. Leaving a friend high and dry without a word as to if you are okay or anything is not friend material to me. However, I did like the flashes of their past together which showed different aspects of their past together.
Now while I didn’t care much for the Sloane character I did enjoy getting to know new people in Emily’s life from Frank, Dawn, and Collins. Watching as she comes out of her shell and learns to adapt to her life as it currently is and come out of the shadow of Sloane I wanted more. I looked forward to watching each item on the list come up and be worked on crossing it off. The way she went about the list so methodically as if doing it would bring her an answer and in the end it does though not the one she had been looking for. The story for me was really about coming into your own and again it resonated with me and made me want to create my own to-do list of wild crazy things to cross off and put me into new situations that put me out there.
|Inside dust jacket!
With memorable characters and self-discovery filling large parts of the story there was also a great deal of care put into the relationships. Of course the here and gone aspect of the Emily and Sloane relationship but more than that. The friendships she makes along the way even if she didn’t intend to do so. She also has a good relationship with her family which was refreshing, specifically her brother.
I gave this book a solid 4 stars. My only downside for the book was more personal than anything else. I just never grasped the depth of the friendship between Emily and Sloane. I understood Emily’s side but never the connection between them, though it was more of a personal issue than anything else. I also wanted a bit more at the end, more closure and answers to a few questions I had about the resolution but I’m told they come up later in another book all being in the same world and such. I still highly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading her other books in the future.
Rating: 4 Stars