Morgan Matson has done it again. After a delightful Second Chance Summer and the heartwarming Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, I could only have expected the best from Since You’ve Been Gone. Barring a few issues I had, I feel that this book lived up to every expectation I had, and in some cases, even exceeded it.
Sloane was the reason Emily could come out of her shell and have a fun, interesting life. But, just before they were about to have the most amazing summer together, Sloane disappears, leaving Emily all alone behind. The only thing she does leave behind is a list – a list of things (like Kiss a stranger, Go skinny-dipping, steal something etc). Emily assumes that the list would lead her to Sloane, and back to her happy life, and thus decides to complete all the things in the list. Thus begins a journey of fun, a journey of love but most importantly, a journey of finding yourself.
The book was beautiful. The entire process of self-discovery, and how Emily changes from a shy, easily-overlooked person to an independent, strong female. Right from the beginning, Sloane’s been shown as having an upper hand in their friendship, with her being the ‘shine’ of the duo, with her being the one everyone noticed, and Emily always just tagging along with whatever Sloane did. The essence of the book lies in Emily breaking out of that shell, Emily finding out that she doesn’t have to depend on anyone else for her happiness, and in Emily discovering another side of herself.
From the very beginning, I was pretty much disappointed with their friendship, in fact, I’m not personally a fan of such relationships where one friend always gets the spotlight and the other one is just ‘there’. But then Emily starts to hang out with other people, and slowly start doing things she never thought she would, discovering much about herself and about life.
The writing is just so beautiful, and the character developement makes me wish something like this happened to me too. I mean, not the losing the best friend part 9duh :D) but how she keeps doing all the things in the list, breaking through the initial hesistance and finding joy in each one of them.
Frank Porter’s character, the college ‘genius’ is very well sketched too. He becomes one of the first friends she makes and then later becomes her love interest. His character development too, from how he changes from the genius know-it-all to the warm, friendsly, adventurous boy is both delightful and heartwarming.
The only issue I had was the ending. I just felt that the ending was a bit flat, and the entire point of Sloane leaving Emily (the reason behind that) was lame, I feel. I just let out a sigh when I read about why exactly Sloane left her and I was like huh? That was it? I guess I was just expecting something deep out of that.
So, overall, in spite of that one little issue, I felt the book was phenomenal. It’s a must read, and I definitely recommend it to everyone.