Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

“The list arrived two weeks after Sloane had been gone two weeks. 

I wasn’t at home to get it because I was at Sloane’s. Where I had gone yet again, hoping against hope to find her there. I had decided, as I’d driven over the her house, my iPod off and my hands gripping the steering wheel, that if she was there, I wouldn’t even need an explanation.”

When Emily’s best friend Sloane disappears without a trace Emily is worried. Sloane and her parents are gone, Sloane isn’t answering emails, texts or phone calls and no one knows anything. Then Emilly is sent a list, she knows its from Sloane, who would give her lists of things to do and see every time she went away, and thinks it might give her clues as to where her best friend has gone. On the list are 13 tasks that Emily, the wallflower, would never in a million years want to complete… but if it means finding out where her best friend has gone she could dance until dawn, kiss a stranger and go skinny-dipping, couldn’t she? 

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Yet again Morgan Matson hits the nail on the head when it comes to summer time contemporary fiction and I loved every minute. Since You’ve Been Gone is the best coming of age story I have read this year and I hope it will be universally loved. 
The story is brilliant. Right at the start you know that Emily has no one other than Sloane and her family, and right at the beginning you know that the list Sloane leaves will take Emily right out of her comfort zone and help her become the person she should be. I really related to this book because in all honest Emily is 17 and kinda like me at that age. She has her whole world in front of her but she hasn’t even begun to think about what she could do with it and the focus is more on friendship than on romance and sex. I think a lot of the time with older YA you do get so much focus on those kinds of things that the basics like making true friendships that will last a lifetime kinda fall by the wayside. 
There’s a goodreads review which claims this is is a tame read and I kinda agree with that… it is tame but not everyone is throwing their clothes off and getting wasted at every chance they get at 17, especially not the people I know! I used to get drunk and do crazy things at that age but more so at 18 and 19, 17 is a precious time in a persons life because there is still some element of innocence that can be maintained if you wish for it to be and with a shy, reclusive girl like Emily that innocence is obvious. I don’t think the tameness of this book was anything bad at all and in fact I actually liked it because it made it different from a lot of other books out there. 
This is Morgan Matson’s third book and in all honesty I would say its the least rated one from me but I still loved every minute. It doesn’t like up to the chemistry in Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour or the emotional roller coaster that is Second Chance Summer but its a brilliant summertime read which I think will give YA contemporary lovers the fix they want and need! 
Since You’ve Been Gone was published on July 3rd by Simon and Schuster. My copy was purchased at my favourite indie bookstore, Storytellers Inc. 

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