Sing It: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Posted 14 May, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 30 Comments

YA Contemporary
448 pages, hardcover
Available now (May 2014)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough. Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

You know when you close a book and lean back with a sigh and a happy smile? This book gave me a happy smile, and I stayed up late to finish it (a big sacrifice, considering I’m already dragging at the end of the school year!). Totally worth it. *yawns* *reaches for more caffeine drinks*

The author of a favorite 2010 read, AMY AND ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, Morgan Matson hit another one out of the park with SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE. Shy, introverted Emily and her BFF Sloane have an awesome summer planned…until Sloane and her family move without warning and without any information. Calls and texts go unanswered. Nothing’s left in the house where Sloane lived. And Emily’s devastated. 

Until a letter arrives. A letter with 13 to-dos that challenge Emily to step outside her carefully drawn boundaries and push her self to get “out there”. At first, she hesitates which I can totally understand. It’s hard for us introverts to leave their comfort zone, especially when there’s no one there to back them up. But Emily isn’t the type to cry for long. Sure, she misses Sloane but she also doesn’t want to be stuck in the hot house while her parents ignore everything around them as they write a new play (writers. *shakes head*). As Emily crosses things off her list, she also meets new people, overcomes fears and pushes far past that little comfort zone into a great summer experience.

Emily’s such a normal character. (I almost hate to say that because “normal” is considered by some to be, well, not such a great thing.) She’s like the everyteen, someone who’s feeling her way in the world, trying new things even if they’re scary, and figuring out who she really is when she isn’t attached at the hip to a huge personality like Sloane. I liked the really good people she found to hang out with. So often, YA authors hang stereotypes around characters’ necks and that’s good enough for them. These people that Emily befriends are more than the Perfect Student, the Best Friend, or the Wingman. They’re so much more and that genuineness rings true throughout the story. 

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE is one of those pitch perfect summer reads that will have you wishing for long summer nights spent lying outside and counting the stars while sipping Diet Coke through red Twizzlers and giggling with your best friend. Fabulous.

My one quibble? I sing this damn song every time I read the title. Grr. Earworm. *headdesk* Share Time:

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30 Responses to “Sing It: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson”

  1. Twizzlers, Diet Coke and a perfect summer read by the water = Happiness. Since You’ve Been Gone sounds wonderful, Mary. Glad you enjoyed it and that it left you with that happy feeling you get from a great story. 🙂

  2. I haven’t read any of Matson’s novels and I’m not 100% convinced they’re entirely for me. Still, this seems so promising and gotta love that title (and the song!), so I’ll hopefully check this one out soon. Wonderful review, Mary!

  3. I can’t wait to read this one! I liked AMY AND ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, but I absolutely loved SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, and ever since then Matson’s been on my watchlist. Also–thanks for getting Clarkson stuck in my head too 😉

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  4. The song is now stuck in my head! However I won’t hold it against the book…

    This does sound like a freaking great summer read. I like being left with happy feelings.

  5. Oh, okay…I wouldn’t have given this one a second thought before, but it sounds fantastic, Mary! I love a sweet, summertime read, and this sounds like it perfectly fits the bill. Morgan Matson just has a way with creating the perfect feel-good books, doesn’t she? Lovely review, Mary!

  6. Dammit Mary! Now you’ve got that song stuck in my head too! *shakes fist at you* I haven’t read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, but I heard such great things about it and can’t wait to give Morgan Matson a try! Love the books that just leave me happy and satisfied, I’m definitely in the mood for one of those right now:) Fantastic review!

  7. UM… THANKS for the earworm! /sarcasm 😉 LOL Seriously I didn’t hear it until you pointed it out. Now my brain is singing it.

    I do love the sound of these characters. You are right… I hate it when they label people and then that is enough. I love it when they become more genuine. It can only enhance the main character. Yes, you got me right here and now I want to read it despite the earworm. 😀

  8. Wasn’t this one just so awesome? LOL i LOVED it like crazy and the whole friendship of the aspect was protrayed amazingly and so honest! Glad you really liked this one and could connect with it
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  9. I need a book that will make me smile! It’s been so long since I’ve found a true feel-good read and although I so rarely read contemporary, this sounds like something I’ll actually like.
    So thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    And for me, it’s Sinead O’Connor, oddly enough: “Since you’ve been gone I can do whatever I want…” 😀 Clearly I’m old.

  10. oh another I need to add to my list 😀 I love getting books like that, it’s been a while since I stayed up to finish one.