[I dare you to read this review and not get Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 earworm of the same name stuck in your head. (Here’s a link to make it harder for you. You’re welcome.)]
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson was #1 on my tentative summer reading list because I had heard so many great things and I absolutely ADORE the cover/jacket design. When I won a copy from Goodreads, it was like it was meant to be. I picked the perfect weekend to dive in, and dive in I did. I finished it in under 24 hours.
Since You’ve Been Gone is centered around Emily, who is known as one half of the “Emily and Sloane” package. Sloane is her best friend and they are inseparable until one day, when Sloane just disappears with no warning. She doesn’t answer her phone, she isn’t responding to the many voicemails and text messages Emily sends her, and none of her family members are in the house they lived in. What happened? Emily has no idea. Then a list from Sloane makes its way to Emily with tasks such as “Hug a Jamie”, “Go apple picking at night”, and even “Go skinny-dipping” on it. If Emily can finish all of these tasks, she’s sure it’ll lead her to Sloane. So, even though she’s totally not used to not having Sloane around and is the awkward and shy one in their duo, she sets out to complete the list.
To be honest, I didn’t like Emily at all at first. She seemed a little too dependent on Sloane and a little bit whiny. I understand that that was the point – to have her develop throughout the novel – but in the beginning she was a bit exhausting to read about. However, as she starts to find her footing, I started enjoying the novel much more. The list features some pretty quintessential summer activities, like “Sleep under the stars”, “Share some secrets in the dark”, and “Apple picking at night” that makes this feel like the perfect summer novel. As Emily starts to find her own life away from Sloane, she becomes more confident and sociable and it’s a refreshing change. It slowly became less of “If Sloane were here, this would have happened” and turned into “I went here and did this.” I loved it. It doesn’t hurt that her running partner is so darn cute…
Anyway, (ahem), I would confidently recommend Since You’ve Been Gone for anyone looking for a light, summery read. Yes, Emily is a little annoying at first but I promise she gets over it (as much as one can when her best friend suddenly vanishes without warning). There are some really cute swoon-worthy moments and great friendships in the novel. I can definitely see myself re-reading this book next summer.
Verdict: I know it won’t be for everyone, but as far as summery teen reads goes, this one fits what I’m looking for. It is lighthearted and cute. A fun read!
Read if: You like young adult novels, love bucket lists, love books about friendship, are looking for a cute summer read.
What’s your favourite summer book? Do you have a favourite summer memory?