Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

From Back Cover: 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? 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. 

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After I ended up loving both Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer, Morgan Matson quickly joined my list of contemporary authors I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. So, I was thrilled when I received an ARC of her newest novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, for review because it shortened my need to wait for its release.

In a well-ordered universe, here are five reasons (in no particular order) why you should get your hands on a copy of Since You’ve Been Gone:
  1. The realistic depiction of friendship: I thought Matson did a fabulous job of showing a friendship from a variety of different angles. For example, through Emily’s thoughts, you see Sloane portrayed ideally whereas through flashbacks, you come to learn some of Sloane’s faults. When combined with Sloane's list of dares and the ending, the flashbacks also enable the reader to understand how important their friendship is to both girls.
  2. The protagonist: I found Emily really easy to relate to because her personality is similar to mine. The way she reacts and the choices she makes are ones that I could see myself making too if I were placed in the same situation.
  3. The slow personal growth: Accomplishing Sloane’s list of dares causes Emily to change in a very natural way, and it’s only at the end of the novel that you realize just how much she has grown over the course of the summer.   
  4. The secondary characters: I loved that they seemed like real people and were complex. For example, though Collins is Emily’s friend, he is also simultaneously jealous of her friendship with Frank, his best friend, because it means that he gets to spend less time with Frank.
  5. The romance: Although I didn’t completely love the romance because Frank still had a girlfriend when he hooked up with Emily, I did like how it developed. I found the transition from the two being acquaintances to friends to something more to be very nicely paced.
Since You’ve Been Gone was released on May 6, 2014 by Simon & Schuster. 

Comments About the Cover: Besides making me want a scoop of ice-cream, I like that the cover has a fun summer feel to it. I also really like that it emphasizes the friendship aspect of the novel by showing two girls hanging out and looking like they’re having a good time.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Simon and Schuster Canada) for free.


  1. Morgan Matson is one of the many contemporary authors I still need to read, as I'm sure you can guess. But I do really, really want to read her books after hearing consistently great things about them from you and seemingly everyone else. It seems like she knows how to write good characters and relationships so I'm excited to get that from her books. Great thoughts!

  2. I've yet to read anything by Matson and I need to fix that very soon! This does seem like a great read. Whenever I read the title, the Kelly Clarkson song starts playing in my head. Lol

  3. I'm so stoked for this book. I loved Second Chance Summer and this book seems to have many things I adore - friendship, dares, and summer. The cover is pretty perfect, imo.

  4. I've heard lots of good things about this book. I really need to check it out!! I love realistic friendships, so I'm excited about this one!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. Good secondary characters totally add something great to any book, it's my favorite bonus. I also love the sound of the friendship because it reminds me Maybe One Day, and that was my favorite aspect of that book too. And yes, character development!

  6. Even though the cover had me from the start, I will read it because of the things you love in the book. It just sounds amazing. :)

    Nina from J'adore Happy Endings

  7. Okay- I need this book in my life. You have sold me on it. I haven't read anything by Morgan Matson- but I think I need to. I haven't heard a single bad thing about her writing.

    Thanks for the review!

  8. This is the second very positive review I've read for this book today and I must say that I'm completely convinced. I don't read contemporary often, but this seems worth a try.


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