Monday 4 August 2014

Since You've Been Gone Book Review

Today I'm going to review a book that I read and loved recently, called 'Since You've Been Gone' by Morgan Matson. It's a summer read for sure, with elements that we can all relate to.

The novel centres around two best friends, Emily and Sloane. Sloane is by far the more confident of the two, whilst Emily is content to allow her best friend to take the spotlight. At the beginning of summer, Sloane leaves town unexpectedly, without telling Emily where she is going or even hinting that she is moving at all. Emily is distraught, already mourning the loss of the amazing summer they had planned. Weeks go by without any word from Sloane, until a letter is sent to Emily containing a list. Sloane was famous for her lists, so Emily immediately recognises the sender, and quickly realises that every item on the list is something she is afraid to do (such as skinny dipping, or kissing a stranger).

With the hope that completing the list will lead her to Sloane, Emily begins her journey to complete all the weird and wonderful items on the list, and the book shows her growing as an individual, and learning how to be someone who isn't just known as 'Sloane's best friend'. By the end of the book (I'm not going to spoil anything here) Emily is barely recognisable from the timid character we saw at the start of the book, and she has met a whole new group of people. At this point she questions whether Sloane's disappearance was a good thing, because the space was what she needed to become her own person.

I truly do love this book because not only is it a light, summery read, but it also creates suspense, and emotion for the characters. Let me just tell you, the character development in this book is HUGE. I mean, I really can't stress that enough. I also liked the romance in the book between Emily and Frank; it wasn't passionate and in your face, it was very slow and deliberate and stuck to the side-lines of the plot, leaving the main storyline open to be all about friendship. That sounds cheesy, but I always enjoy a book that's centred around a non romantic relationship. Mainly because it stresses that all relationships are of importance, whether it be family, friend, or love interest orientated. We don't really see Sloane in much of the book, only in memories, which meant that Emily was really able to shape the summer however she wanted, without the influence of her best friend.

Emily is such a relatable character, nervous in the face of anything even remotely new. Since my name is Emily, and I tend to be a nervous wreck half of the time, this book was especially relatable to me (although my best friends haven't disappeared on me yet, thank God.) The book explores topics of first love, and discovering yourself, and Morgan Matson writes in such a way that you just sit there, nodding along to the words in the book. So many moments in this novel I couldn't believe how true they were to reality, and situations that we all have to deal with.

I would definitely recommend this book (5 stars) and am going to continue reading books by this author. I actually just went out and bought another of her books, 'Second Chance Summer', so we'll see how that goes. Thankyou for reading this review if you did, I know it was a long post!

See you next post!

Emily xoxo

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