Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Genres: YA | Contemporary | Romance,
Published: May 6th 2014 by Simon & Schuster

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?

Despite the two stars I have given this book, I love the premise behind it. But what can I say? I just felt like it lacked the enjoyable factor that I was hoping for.

 The book follows a very promising story-line.  While I'm quite positive the plot would have definitely been something I would have enjoyed a lot, I felt like the book kind of dragged on. It was pretty slow, and I just wanted the list to be ticked off faster. I enjoyed the story when it was revolving around the to-do list, but otherwise, both the narration and pacing was dry, and I could barely refrain myself from skim reading.

 The book itself is pretty long for a contemporary book with over 400 pages.

 I was very disappointed, especially with Emily's character. The things in the to-do list seemed a lot more interesting than it was made out to be. I thought Emily was going to do some particularly rebellious things - even if rebelling against her own shy nature. But no, it was too simple. The excitement, the fun, the anticipation - all of it was lacking.

 During the summer, she meets people who proceed to become much closer to her than she would have ever thought. One of them is Frank Porter, the love interest and the 'over-achiever' of the school. I liked him much better than everyone else. Since there wasn't much of romance included, I got to see him as an individual character who shined through.

 After Emily manages to complete everything on the to-do list, I was expecting a climax that would have me clutching my heart and bawling my eyes out. But no. No such thing. Which meant that instead of crying my guts out, I rolled my eyes because it felt pretty...useless. Everything Emily went through, especially since it didn't seem like she learnt or experienced anything peculiar.

  In conclusion: I am very disappointed with the book, mostly because I was expecting so much more. Things pretty much dragged on. However, there were scenes that I enjoyed and loved very much.

 Recommended to people who like contemporary with less romance, and don't mind the slow pacing.