I've read it! I've finally read it!! I think I've heard so many bloggers talk about this I've lost count. But let me tell you something: this book is talked about for a reason. ;)
Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster's Children
Published: May 6th 2014
No. of Pages: 449
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?
Apple picking at night?
Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn?
Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger?
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?
5 stars: Page the bird salutes this book, and starts
flying with joy.
I loved this book. Loved it. It's so perfect, so heart-capturing, such a beautiful story about friendship that I cannot name a book that graces the subject in a way as exquisitely as Since You've Been Gone. This book is remarkable- one of a kind. I have fallen in love with it. :)
To me, what makes this such a good book is the ever-developing story. It;s one of change, of discovery, of love and a friendship that becomes even stronger by the end of the book. It's undeniably hard to capture the way this book makes you feel, but it's something you are missing out on if you don't read it and understand it for yourself.
But the theme of friendship in this book truly is amazing. It's not just a simple story about two friends, but one where you realise that sometime we don't know enough about ourselves to really know another person, and that true friends become even closer when they finally figure themselves out. Emily took on an amazing journey that led her becoming a better version of herself, from someone who is lost without Sloane to someone who has grown into her own person without that need to leave anyone behind. It's possible to grow and be different without changing your whole life, because a lot of the time you were truly the person you have become.
I think that I learnt a lot from Emily, even though I've never been in a situation like her's or Sloane's. I saw her create a better friendship through her adventures, saw her come alive and make other friends, but still maintaining her friendship with Sloane, who Emily came to realise need her as much as she did Sloane. Emily's growing understanding of Sloane was something that I loved. She started seeing that Sloane wasn't perfect, that she had flaws just like Emily herself had. In the end, it was the best realisation she could have had, because it just made their bond stronger and they both became better because of it.
What I'm trying to get at here, is that Emily showed that sometimes you have to break out of the role you've become used to playing. Sometimes, you have to understand that growing as a person doesn't mean you have to leave your past behind: Emily didn't change her friendship with Sloane, but let herself use it to grow and make both of them stronger people who now know, no matter who they are or where they are, they will have each other. Change isn't always a bad thing. In this case, it was the best thing,
Sloane's character was also one I loved, perhaps one of my favourites. I liked how carefree she was, how Emily's descriptions made her come alive off the page. But what I liked even better was when Emily would remember past events, and through her memories I got to make my own evaluation of Sloane and discover what she was really like. That was the best part: that I got to truly find out who Sloane was just like I was doing with Emily. I learned her flaws and saw the experiences that cracked her outer shell. I saw how impossible it is for anyone to ever be perfect, or to have a perfect life. But the fascinating thing is that Morgan Matson made me feel and learn all that from a character who is largely absent during the book, and it just makes me love reading even more.
As much as I love every single part of the book, the two things that put the cherry on top for me where the list and music playlists throughout the book. I just love the idea of following a list left to you by your best friend, of just going for it and doing things you never thought you would do. You know what? I want a list. Someone make me a list. Even better, can Morgan Matson make me a list? One day, I'm going to follow the list in this book, because why not!? Anyone want to join me??
OOH, AND THE PLAYLISTS! I love those too much and every time I spotted a song I knew I was just filled with delight. I didn't actually know that many, so I'm going to listen to every song in these playlists whenever I'm on the computer, starting now!
Since You've Been Gone is up there with my favourite contemporary reads, and has made me desperate to get my hands on Morgan Matson's other books.