Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Genres: YA Contemporary
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
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?
After a long two to three hours here is my Spotify playlist for Since You’ve Been Gone! Not a country music fan but the music rubbed off on me a bit. Unfortunately, Spotify doesn’t include Curtis Anderson which was a significant part of the overall book! Sorry!
Well Ordered Catfairy Thoughts
“In a well-ordered universe,” I would rate this book ten stars! Since You’ve Been Gone has been on my tbr list since I read about it on a Buzzfeed list last year. I promised myself that I would read it and of course, my book plans went awry somehow. Now I just want to go back and kick myself because I should’ve read it sooner! It was the perfect summer book and it reminded me of my high school years growing up with my best friend, who was actually very much of a “Sloane” kind of character. SYBG made me feel so giddy after reading it, that it made me want to run out of my house to “hug a Jamie!” (Actually one of my biggest high school crushes was a Jamie. My “Sloane” clone best friend in high school would attest to this!)
Now you might be wondering who the heck is Jamie? Why would you all of a sudden want to hug a Jamie? Well here is the “Sloanedown!”
Morgan Matson’s begins her book with Emily who lives in a quaint small town of Stanwich, Connecticut.
Meet Emily (Played by Kristen Stewart )
Emily is introduced as a classic wallflower who has a pension for running and country music. Emily lives her life vicariously through her best friend Sloane who is always pushing her to take risks, even though Emily doesn’t fully commit to all the crazy antics that Sloane tries to get her to do. Emily is used to taking the backseat and she is fine with her best friend Sloane having the limelight until one summer…a list pushes her to take chances…
Pop Culture References
Sloane is your typical Rayanne from My So-Called Life. Actually, think of Sloane and Emily’s relationship as an awesome bff Rayanne and Angela duo.
Meet Sloane (Played by Alison DiLaurentis)
Sloane is the best friend that any introverted girl in high school could ask for! She lives her life on her own terms without a care in the world! She has an adventurous spirit and is the ultimate person you want to spend your summer with! Sloane comes up with the coolest summer activities such as going for a pizza crawl, finding the best cupcake in their town of Stanwich, and mapping out vintage flea markets in search for a nice pair of heart shaped sunglasses. Who could resist someone who plans out a pizza crawl after all? I love her passion for life and would totally watch a double feature of Troop Beverly Hills and Clueless with her while drinking soda from Twizzlers anytime!
The story begins when Emily receives a note with a list of thirteen things (Which includes “hugging a Jamie”) to accomplish for the summer. The only thing is that she has the list but her best friend is gone. Emily is used to getting a list of crazy things to do but she barely accomplishes all the things on the list because in the words of Emily, “In a well-ordered universe” she would only accomplish things that are in her comfort zone.
Now there is no explanation as to why Sloane disappeared over the summer but Emily is devastated that she won’t have her best friend to share another adventurous summer with. Now all Emily has to do is create her own adventurous summer along with a wicked summer playlist, a new friend from a pizza joint named Dawn, and did I forget a cute redhead named Frank?
Meet Frank (Played by Stefano Masciolini)
Unexpectedly on her morning run, Emily gets to know a cute boy named Frank. Frank on the surface is your ultimate do-gooder boy that you went to high school with. He has never been on the high honor roll and is the junior class president of the school. Throughout the book, the layers of Frank get peeled off little by little and the goody two shoes exterior slowly melts away the more Emily gets to know him. Frank inspires Emily to check off the thirteen items in her list while he obsessively learns to speak through Beatles songs and Emily inspires Frank to have better running playlists that include some good country tunes. Sounds like the summer of love to me!
The chemistry between Emily and Frank is undeniable. They have this natural bond with one another and I just love the friendship that they developed with each other. What I love most about the relationship between Emily and Frank is that it is very organic and the romance doesn’t develop immediately. It was driving me crazy that Emily didn’t admit that she had feelings for Frank and she didn’t admit to it until almost the very end of the book. (And reminder this book is 449 pages long!) But that’s what kept me reading the book and that’s what makes the book an amazing summer read! The character development was flawless and nothing ever felt rushed or slowed down in the book. There was a perfect balance between the two.
SYBG is about taking risks in life and realizing that even though those risks are scary they are worth taking in the end! Sometimes it takes someone special to make you realize how amazing life is when you expose yourself to different experiences. This book left me with such nostalgia for my high school years and brought me back to how the simplest things were so complicated back then. The book also reminded me to laugh a little, not take myself too seriously, and as a registered scaredy cat it helped me to push myself to take risks…such as climb Machu Pichu! (Which I actually did this summer btw!)
After reading this book I recommend that you grab your best friend this summer and make your own insane/risk taking to do list! If you can make a to-do list of thirteen things what would you write in your list? Comment below!
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