Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Mystery
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's
Publication Date: July 3rd 2014
Pages: 449
Format: Hardcover
Buy the book: Amazon



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?

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I read this one as part of a Goodreads buddy read, and I want to thank everyone who read it with me! 

This was a love story about two friends Sloane and Emily. Like all good love stories, the two main characters have to deal with distance, misunderstandings, and other obstacles that threaten to keep them apart, and the reader is forced to simply go along for the ride.

Emily is almost painfully shy, but she has a secret weapon to combat this shyness, her charming and amazing best friend Sloane. When the story begins, Emily is at the start of what was supposed to be the best Summer of her life because she was going to spend every possible minute with Sloane. There’s just one little problem, Sloane has disappeared and the only thing she left behind was a list of crazy things that she wants Emily to do.


As I mentioned before, Emily is very shy and Sloane’s list has some wild things on it like “kiss a stranger” and “skinny dip”. She thinks that if she can somehow complete this list it will bring her friend back, and there isn’t a whole lot she is not willing to do to get Sloane back.

The majority of the book focuses on Emily’s attempt to complete the list. As she crosses more and more things off the list, she becomes a more confident person. She meets not one, but three new friends, and has more fun than she was ever thought she could without Sloane.

Of course one of her new friends is a cute boy, Frank. They had a sort of hybrid relationship that I am reading more and more in YA fiction, and I like it. Their friendship came first. Yes, they had chemistry and it was clear that they belonged together, but I always felt like their friendship was more important than whether they kissed.


An equal amount of time was spent on Emily’s relationship with Sloan as it was on her relationship with Frank. Even though Sloan was missing, I got to know her through flashbacks. At first I was annoyed by how attached Emily was to her. It was hero-worship at it’s finest. But as the story progressed, I got it. Sloane is pretty freaking awesome! She wasn’t perfect, and she could be a bad friend, but she had such a magnetic personality. She also did a few things that let me know she really cared about Emily. Emily spent a lot of time alternating between missing her and being pissed that she had been abandoned, and I spent a lot of time wishing Sloane would come back and deciding Emily was better off without her. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and it was nice to be so invested in a non-romantic relationship for once.


The mystery of what happened to Sloane was present throughout the entire book, and I won’t spoil anything, but I was a little let down by the “big reveal”. I never got a  good reason for why Sloane chose to disappear like that. In fact, there were too many things that were left unanswered by the end of this book. I liked Emily and enjoyed reading about her epic Summer, but I also prefer books that give more closure to the reader. Sure real life is never tied up in a neat little bow, but I don’t read for real life

Despite my lack of answers, Emily’s personal growth and the friendships that she developes over the Summer are well worth reading this book. If you want a nice, easy read about a shy girl having the Summer of her life, falling for a cute guy, and reminiscing over an amazing friendship, you’ve found the one.

I have to add one more thing before I go…

Since you've been gone

Thanks to this book that song has been going through my head for days, and now I have passed the sickness on to you. You’re welcome! 😀

I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up. There was no sexual content or cursing.

4 Roses
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Author Biography

About Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan's three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW "Flying Start" book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Her third book, Since You've Been Gone, was published in 2014.

Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

  1. It has been a while since I have seen a review of this book but I have heard it is a perfect summer read and I know a lot of people love it! I want to try it out myself as well at some point. It’s a shame about there being so many unanswered questions though. But I like the sound of development and a friendship kind of romance.

    1. I will say that the questions involving Sloane, the MCs best friend, are answered. It’s the biggest Mystery in the book so I’m glad the author gave some closure on that.

      Also, the romance is sweet without being too much. 🙂

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