Since You've Been Gone
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
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?
"I have never seen anyone look so suspicious," Frank said, shaking his head. "Ever. I figured I should probably stay close, just in case."
Can I just declare this book as "most obtrusive earworm-creator ever"? Because I've definitely been spending a disconcerting amount of time singing "since you've been gone, I can breathe for the first time" which really isn't something I expected to be doing, like, ever. But, aside from that, this book didn't really do much for me, sadly. I've been cradling rather high hopes for Morgan Matson, which she has yet to live up to. Not that this was a bad book, it just also wasn't a particularly good book.
Honestly, I expected something more funny and less dull. The only scene I actually thought was kinda funny was when Collins introduces Ben (or Benji), other than that there isn't really anything that made me even crack a smile. I think my expectations were drawn from the concept (I just kinda figured a list that is supposed to make your summer adventurous would be fun) and consequently never noticed that no one (whose reviews I read) actually talked about it being a "funny book".
As for the "dull" part, well, none of the items on the list actually interested me that much. Sure, apple picking at night sounds like a lot of fun – but not the way Emily did it. I related to Emily a lot at first because I've definitely been the extremely shy friend of "the super cool girl everyone likes" but I quickly realized that my shyness is very different from Emily's. For example: I'd never think that dancing until dawn would be something I could ever find, even remotely, enjoyable (granted, I do have a lot more anxiety/panic attack problems than Emily does, so anything to do with lots of people is immediately off-putting to me). Now, because it wasn't me who did the dancing but Emily, which is why I got the appeal it had to her and why I saw how it was a nice experience and stuff, but that doesn't mean that I was as intrigued by the list as she was. (I'm definitely more of an adrenaline-junkie, outdoors-y person, give me a list where the first item is "parachute" and I'd be happy but "kiss a stranger"? Nah.)
Obviously, there were a few things I liked, mainly the friends. Frank is really sweet (and everyone who has playlists with The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, The Beatles and Arcade Fire on it scores extra points with me) and seems like a generally good guy. I really enjoyed the friendship/romance between him and Emily, although I'd have hoped that
(Attention: Spoiler ahead!)
he'd broken up with Lissa a little earlier because I disliked that Dawn and Collins just vanished at the end of the book.
Dawn was also kind and sweet and Collins seemed like a generally good guy (I didn't like how dismissive Emily tended to be towards him). Beckett was also, reasonably, fun but we didn't really get to see that much of him – more than of their parents (which I missed), sure, but still.
Sloane, however, I didn't really like all that much. I think that was partially because we didn't see that much of her and half the time she wasn't really portrayed in the best light, and partially because – as I've mentioned before – I have been friends with the kind of extrovert, super-cool girl everyone likes with the significant difference that that friendship didn't play out as great as Emily and Sloane's did so I was rather vary of Sloane to begin with.
"Are you okay?"
"No," she said, then seemed to rethink this. "Well, I mean, I'm, like, physically fine. I'm just …" She took a breath. "Can you help me break into my house?"
Overall, this book is pretty down the middle for me: 3/5 stars.
Name: Since You've Been Gone
Deutscher Titel: Dreizehn Wünsche für einen Sommer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
(I do have to say, though, that I really, really like this cover. I don't know why but it's so pretty!)