Crazy To-Do List and Missing Best Friend | Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date:May 4th, 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Bought the Audiobook
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? Um...

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? Wait...what?


Hello, people! I’m back with another review. However, this time, I won’t be reviewing a book that I read, but rather a book that I listened to. Yup, that’s right. I listened to the audiobook! It’s my third ever audiobook and I was IMMENSELY, OVERWHELMINGLY, SHOCKINGLY satisfied and happy with it.

I am so glad that I gave this book a chance because I haven’t exactly had pleasant experiences with Morgan Matson’s previous books. I mostly thought her books were boring to the point where I fell asleep many times. Granted, I fell asleep quite a few times listening to this audiobook, but it was because I was too tired and not because this book was too boring or bland.

The story is about a girl named Emily who has a best friend named Sloane. They are the always-together kind of best friends. They do everything together and you can’t get to know one without knowing the other. They’re like a packaged deal. Sloane is charismatic, loves risks, adventurous, and always able to make everyone love her. While Emily is shy, reserved, quiet, and basically just the polar opposites of everything Sloane is. But one day, when summer holiday just starts, Sloane vanishes, right after she and Emily finished planning for the best summer ever. All that is left of her is a list of crazy things that she tells Emily to do. So, Emily ends up doing all of those things throughout summer, wishing that finishing the list would somehow lead her to Sloane.
The premise itself didn’t particularly make me interested, like at all. Thus, that’s why I had never even considered picking this book up after years. But, when I just started my Audible subscriptions and was looking for books to listen to, this book piqued my interest because of the good reviews. It also didn’t hurt that the narrator sounded nice in the audio sample. And oh boy did I not regret choosing this book at all.

This is the kind of book you read/listen to when you’re looking for something light, pleasant, but overall exciting. I started this book knowing that I would get real-life conversations and real-life characters. I didn’t expect anything too grand or earth-shattering to happen, but I still enjoyed every passing second just like I would enjoy a suspenseful fantasy novel. Emily’s journey on trying to cross the things off her list was really enjoyable to listen to and I got excited whenever she decided to break out of her shell.

Not to mention, I got the feeling that Emily would NEVER even try to finish the list if her best friend hadn’t been missing, but she had been, and that makes everything even better. I could feel her desperation on being reunited with her best friend in every minute that passed. That’s mostly the reason why her character is developed very nicely—not rushed or forced, just perfect and so real.

At the beginning of the book, she irritated me so much because I just couldn’t relate to her. She is too shy, too scared to do anything. She overthinks and over-analyzes everything to the smallest detail that it frustrated me to no end. But as the book progressed and she does more things in the list, I grew to love her more and more. What made me love this book was the fact that Emily starts doing the list for the sake of finding Sloane but ends up finding herself instead. She becomes an upgraded version of herself that she loves by the time she finishes the list and I love her for it.

There hadn’t been that much romance in this book, which I think is also very relatable to real life romance. In real life, you don’t fall for people just hours after meeting them. That romantic feeling is developed slowly and without you even knowing it, you’ve fallen for them. This is how romantic relationships should be developed in books and the fact that this book has it makes me love it even more.

BUT, mostly, the reason why I ADOREEEE this book so much is how similar Emily and Sloane’s friendship is to mine. I couldn’t help but think of my best friend whenever Emily describes her relationship with Sloane and the impact Sloane brings to her life. I could relate to Emily when she finds out that her best friend is gone and can’t be contacted for WEEKS or even MONTHS because I’ve been there, too. My best friend has the tendency to ignore the messages on her phone whenever she's having a family quality time, thus I'm ignored most of the time *sad face*. I knew exactly how Emily feels when she has an urge to talk to her missing best friend about the fact that her best friend is missing. Because the BEST person you can talk to when you're missing someone is that person itself.

All in all, this book is everything you could ever want in a contemporary YA book. It will make you feel deeper than you ever thought possible. The friendship feels so real and makes you want to actually know all of the characters in real life. You might be one of those people that gets bored with friendship stories, but let me assure you, GIVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE! By the end of this book, you will feel a sudden urge to create a list of crazy things to do that you’ve always been afraid of. You’ll suddenly want to break out of your shell, like Emily does. I’ve never given a contemporary book 5 stars and I would gladly give this book more if possible. IT’S THAT GOOD.

Rating: ★ ★

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