Friday, January 16, 2015
Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: 06/05
Received as a gift for Christmas.
Emily's best friend Sloane disappears, almost without a trace - the only thing left behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that wallflower Emily wouldn't normally do, and definitely not without her best friend.
But what if completing the list could bring Sloane back?
Dance Until Dawn?
Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger?
Um . . .
Go skinny dipping?
Wait . . . what?
Emily only has the summer to check everything off Sloane's list.
The question is, what will she find at the end of it?
'Second Chance Summer' and 'Amy and Roger's Epic Detour' (also by Morgan Matson) were both surprisingly good reads. So good, that I gave them five star ratings and declared them as favourites. If I were to have no books left on my TBR I would re-read these two novels again. I love the YA contemporary fiction genre and Morgan Matson writes it so well. So when my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I just had to put this book on the list. The verdict? I enjoyed 'Since You've Been Gone' just as much...
I really liked how the idea of friendship was explored in this book. The main character spends the summer without her best friend questioning whether her friend was as nice as she thought she was, how much the friendship had changed her as a person and how people perceived her because of it. The main character also questions how long her new friends will be in her life for. I felt like I could really identify with the main character because I live in a small town and most of the people I was friends with in high school left town to go to university after school finished.
The main character Emily reminded me a lot of myself as she is tall, shy and has to justify her music taste to her friends. This novel could have been a real downer when you consider the plot and that the previous two Morgan Matson books I read made me cry. Luckily though, Emily decides to go ahead with the list and turn things around. After reading this book I got that whole "I can achieve anything" attitude. It didn't last long, but the book has that kind of effect.
I found that the chapters were quite big in this novel and thought it was cool that they were named after items on the list (well most of them were anyway). The novel also skips between present and the past, with Emily sharing some of her memories of Sloane with the reader. If you are into fashion/style I think you will really enjoy some of those flashbacks. I really liked how the chapters were longer as it meant I read the book more quickly as I like to finish the chapter before saving my place with a bookmark.
'Since You've Been Gone' also focuses on the difference between image/representation and reality. There are plenty of examples of characters assuming the wrong thing about another person because it just seems that way. I think this message never gets old.
Overall, I give this novel five out of five stars and a Favourite. I know that makes it the third favourite book in a row, but those three books were all highly anticipated novels, by great authors. If you enjoy contemporary fiction, then I would recommend this to you.