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Since You've Been Gone Paperback – May 5, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Emily is bereft when her bubbly and energetic best friend, Sloane, leaves without saying goodbye at the beginning of what should have been the best summer of their lives. Sloane was the one who planned their adventures and befriended everyone they met, and Emily is feeling more than a little lost when a letter arrives from Sloane containing a list of tasks for Emily to do over the summer. Hoping that the list contains clues to Sloane's whereabouts that will become clear as she crosses items off, Emily tackles the challenges, making new friends, overcoming her fears, and gaining confidence as the summer goes on. Readers will root for Emily as she gets a new job, skinny dips, uses the fake ID Sloane got for her, crashes a wedding, and kisses a stranger. Though marred by a few leaps of logic and the occasionally clunky turn of phrase, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book with a terrific romantic subplot and an ending that ties up the loose ends believably and satisfyingly. It will appeal to readers who loved Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (HarperCollins, 2005).—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Imagine the ominous stillness of waking up one day to find that your best friend and constant companion is suddenly gone—family and all. Emily and Sloane shared every thought via text ever since Sloane moved into town, and Emily became the faithful sidekick to her fearless personality. Now, without Sloane as her navigator, Emily is stuck with no friends, no job, and no plans, with only her self-absorbed playwright parents and adventuresome younger brother, Beckett (one of the many literary references sprinkled throughout the narrative). Then a to-do list arrives in the mail from Sloane, and Emily begins a transformative summer that she hopes will lead her to her friend. In Matson’s gentle portrayal, Emily’s completion of the list propels her to participate in her own life, stand in no one’s shadow, have a voice, and value that which makes her whole. The author of Second Chance Summer (2012), among other titles, creates a time-and-space experience for teens that might actually interrupt their social-media convos until they’re finished reading. Grades 7-12. --Gail Bush --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
1. Kiss a stranger
2. Go skinny-dipping
3. Steal something
4. Break something
6. Ride a dern horse, ya cowpoke
7. 55 S. Ave. Ask for Mona
8. The Backless Dress.
and somewhere to wear it
9. Dance until dawn
10. Share some secrets in the dark
11. Hug a Jamie
12. Apple picking at night
13. Sleep under the stars
For the last two years, Em and Sloane have been the best of friends. So when Em returns home after a family trip to discover that Sloane and her family have completely disappeared, she’s beyond shocked. Even more so when a list comes in the mail in Sloane’s handwriting, detailing what Em is supposed to do for the summer. Left without any other options, Em follows the instructions and discovers that she may be just as strong on her own as she is with her friend. Em gets a job, begins new friendships, hangs out with her brother and more in the summer she never expected to have.
A great story about self discovery and how we can often left our friends define who we are instead of defining ourselves. Em’s journey was fascinating, even if it’s from the perspective of a lost sixteen year old girl. Watching Em grow as a character is the best part about this book, and how she finds her inner strength to explore her past decisions and makes better future ones based on it. All of the side characters were very well developed and never felt one dimensional; they read like people the reader would meet in real life instead of a flat character in a book.
One criticism to be noted on this work is the length. It was about 450 pages which can be daunting. Also when reading, there seemed to be a lot of details on places/people/things that weren’t extremely important to the book. For tweens who are reluctant readers this would not be ideal. For voracious teen readers it shouldn’t be a problem. This book may be for the older tweens, but the content was fairly clean. Not too many curse words, and no more than a few kisses in the romance department
This book is a neat little package wrapped up in a bow. You slowly pull it apart and cannot wait to see what is inside, but the wrapping is so pretty you want to do it delicately. I love this whole book. I didn’t want to go to sleep, I wanted to read. I wanted to hide away with this book and keep it a secret from the world.
The book was so well-paced, all the sudden I looked down and an hour had past and I was over halfway done with the book. I was sucked into the world-building and Emily’s life. I wanted to be part of the list and wished that my friends and I would have done something like that with each other. I especially love the lists Sloane would write for Emily when she was going on vacation.
I know I say I can relate with so many characters, but Emily and I were so on the same page. I had a friend like Sloane and I was her shadow. She was a bright bulb and people really just new me as her friend. I was along for the ride, not enjoying the ride. Once my parents divorced and I had to start at a new school, I had to force myself out of my comfort zone like Emily did.
Sloane was so neat, I can’t help but wish we got more of her in this story. I think Morgan Matson should write this story, but from Sloane’s POV.
I have a new book boyfriend! I have the hugest book crush on Frank. Oh boy, I think he is at the top of my list now!
The only thing would be wanting more Sloane, as I have already mentioned.
“I knew the answer to that immediately. It was like swimming under the stars, like sleeping outside, like climbing a tree in the dark, and seeing the view. It was scary and safe and peaceful and exciting all at the same time. It was the way I felt when I was with him. Like a well-ordered universe.”
I don't want to spoil anything and this book is already very hyped, and now I understand why! If you like contemporaries i'd highly recommend checking this book out!