Sunday, August 31

Morgan Matson - Since You've Been Gone

“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.” 

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?

Go skinny-dipping?

I liked this book less than I thought I would but it was still pretty enjoyable. Maybe if I had read it when I was still in summer mood I'd have liked it more. I guess we'll never know but one thing is for sure Since You've Been Gone is a perfect beach read with it being a light, fun and dramaless novel. 

The novel starts off with Sloane already gone without a word or a clue of where she could be. Emily waits and waits but she wants answers and more than anything she wants her best friend back. When Emily gets a list from Sloane with 13 things she'd never ever do she thinks that if she'll be able to tick everything from the list Sloan would somehow come back and explain where she was. 

In the centre of the novel is the list, even most of the chapters' titles are named after an item from the list. The things Sloane wrote down for Emily were very random, it went from hug a Jamie to skinny-dipping. Don't start this novel if you're looking for a book about a rebellious summer because the things Emily had to do weren't that big of a deal but I think most people could find something on that list that they wouldn't do. 

In my opinion if you want to put a thing, in this case the list into the centre of a novel than it should have a meaning. I know that Emily meet with all her new friends thanks to the list but I still wasn't comfortable with it. I'd hoped that all the items will mean something to her and will make her braver but really most of those things were ones that would have made Sloane happy and not Emily. All the things on the list were pretty random like stealing, I'm not Mother Theresa but I don't think it's okay and then another is breaking something... what? Is this a big deal or what? 

What saved the book for me was how Emily was with her newly found friends. They were amazing people who encouraged her to do what she wants. All three of them wanted to help her but she gathered her courage and did some things alone too. Don't get me wrong I think everyone need people who'd support them but you also have to be able to do some things on your own once in a while. 

The romance was slowly developed and cute. It was everything I could ask for in a novel which wasn't focused on the love story. Frank was such a wonderful character, it was great to see how Emily realized that even if she had known him from school for a long time, she's never actually known him.

The ending felt rushed to me considering that Sloane was one of the main characters -Emily constantly thought back to the important moments of their friendship -  she got way too little pages in the end. 

My other problem is that this book was too damn long for a story like this. There were parts that I thought I would fell asleep at plus I never connected to any of the characters. 

Emily was such a plain heroine, I never really liked characters that always hide behind their friends' back. And I don't think having only one friend is realistic... more so because they've been friends only for two years and it's hard for me to imagine that before that Emily didn't have any friends. 

Frank was alright, but how he was described in the beginning was so much different from how I imagined him by his actions. Sloane wasn't really sympathetic and I found her excuse of why she did not tell Emily where she went extra lame. 

All considered this was a boring-ish but still enjoyable summer read.  

Favorite character: Frank
Least favorite: Emily 

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 2/5
The characters: 3/5
The cover: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 3/5

I decided to change my previous three star rating to 4 stars! 

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