You're about to read a book review about a book that was pretty immediately added to my favourite books pile in my head, before I quickly finished it with adoring eyes and actually added to my favourite books pile. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson is an awesome, modern coming of age story that I know I will be recommending to people for the rest of my life.
Since You've Been Gone is the story of Emily and how her tendency to live in the shadow of her best friend. Sloane, and a challenge for this to dramatically change turns into a summer full of adventures and friendship and, well, a boy! When Sloane disappears as summer begins (the summer Emily anticipated with eagerness and excitement because of her best friend), Emily's journey to discovering how strong and capable she is begins too. Although you may say it begins because of the list Sloane almost dares Emily to complete in a letter - the last contact between the best friends before summer comes about -, we see how Emily's achievements are all because of herself.
The list includes stealing something, riding a horse (Em's biggest fear), skinny dipping and much more! The list is full of challenges that completely terrify Em- the type that completely shout "This is out of your comfort zone" kind of thing. Soon, though, as she begins to tick a couple off of the list, the list becomes an exciting dare. Along the way she meets Dawn and Collins, and becomes friends with Frank- the boy everyone sees as good at everything; the school genius. With a friendship group she never would have anticipated - she only needed, Sloane, right? -, she is no longer in the shadow of anyone.
What I like is that I don't believe Em really changes. I don't think being quiet is a bad thing; I don't think knowing what you like and wanting to take the "understudy role" is a bad thing. She always shone in her own, quiet way so I never wanted her to believe she lived a bad, boring life. Because she didn't! Em doesn't become a crazy, out of control teenager- she realises everything she is capable of and the happiness she finds in the people she meets along the way. She becomes less scared and more eager. I was very invested in Em and her happiness because she is such a good, good person that deserves good, good things. I felt attached to her and although I was sad to close the book, I was happy with all she learnt and achieved.
Since You've Been Gone is a tale of friendship and all that can be achieved from it. It's a feel-good book that teaches us a lot: how we can surprise ourselves in the best of ways; how we can take control of our lives for the better; how, as long as we are safe, coming out of our comfort zones can be seriously awesome. The friendship that blossoms in the book is something special and up there with some of my favourite friendships from books- you know, Harry Potter, Paper Towns kind of awesomeness.
You know I said I will always be recommending this book? Yeah. Read it.
Things To Do & Things Completed,
The Girl in the Moonlight.
P.S. This is the first book I have read for my "read before the end of summer" plan: HERE.
P.P.S. I don't know why the photos I use have recently been looking awful as soon as they are on a blog post but hopefully I will figure this out soon and it will improve.
P.P.S. I will stick to my Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule soon.