Warning: If you expect Kelly Clarkson's song to be turn into a book, you are in for a big surprise.
Question: What would you do if you best friend suddenly disappears and all you have left is a list of things to do over the summer?
SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE is a YA contemporary novel written by the beautiful and very talented author Morgan Matson. This is Matson's third book and I am very excited to find out if the author's writing as wonderful as I have been told.
I have purchased this book over the summer as one of my book hauls on www.amazon.co.uk/books . And since then, it has been sitting on my shelf. I have heard really good reviews about this books so of course I must have find out for myself if they are all true. So since I have joined Carpe Librum Girl's TBR Pile Challenge, this book was one of my first choice to be read. Actually, it's because of this book, most of my January Reading Challenge's books are green. Has anyone noticed that little detail?
Emily and Sloane are best friends and spend nearly all their time together. Then one day, out of the blue, at the beginning of their epic summer together, Sloane and her family disappears. She doesn't pick up her phone, her house is empty and Emily is besides herself. Where is her best friend? Is she coming back? Why she didn't say goodbye? Is this the end of their friendship? And then, a letter arrives in Emily's mailbox. It's written in Sloane's handwriting and all it's in it is a to-do-list of tasks that wallflower Emily wouldn't normally do. Thinking it will bring her some answers, Emily throws herself into the journey of completing the tasks on the list. And on the way she finds some unexpected surprises. But will the completing of the list bring her back to Sloane?
Let's have a look at the edition of the book first. A paperback. 449 pages long written in two different fonts to establish what's the present and what's the past. A very summery picture of two best friends on front and the back. All you think about when picking up this book is, this could be a great summer read. And it really turns out to be a joyful ride.
To be absolutely honest, I wasn't very excited about the concept at the start. When I first picked up the book, I thought it might be a mindless reading to keep my mind busy for a little while. Nothing too complicated. At when reading the first 30 pages I thought, it might be a little bit boring with the detailed descriptions. But it turns out, I was wrong.
I have enjoyed this book so so much. I actually wasn't able to put this down as soon as I discovered the list itself. Being able to relate to Emily's character and some of my friendship and girlfriends who remind Sloane in so many aspects, I was hooked. I wanted to find out how will Emily cope with the tasks in hand and if she will be able to complete them. But one thing I was sure about was the fact, that the list will change her and helps her open up a little bit.
I have love all the characters in the book. The beautiful Emily who lacks the confidence and needs to open up to the world more. The brainy and nerdy, but very cool and turns out sexy too, Frank - the class president... The girl, Dawn, who's heart has been broken by her best friend and boyfriend when she caught them kissing.. The always too confident, hard on the outside, but a big softie and teddy bear inside - Collins.. Even Sloane, who I couldn't stand at the beginning and was angry with for leaving Emily without saying goodbye, who turned out to be as damaged as any of us.. All of them were wonderful characters, every reader can find a piece of their soul and being in them. We all can find the one character we can relate to. We all can re-live our story through theirs. Very inspirational and beautiful.
At the end I was blown away by this book and couldn't say more praises about it. I have loved the ride filled with joy and unexpected surprises. I went through minutes of true happiness and then minutes of sadness when reading this story. At one point I found myself crying for Emily, and then kindly smiling at what was happening... I have truly enjoyed every single page and chapter and I have loved how the shy Emily - the ugly duckling - turn into a beautiful confident swan who found her true self at the end. She found who she meant to be all along.
Thank you Morgan. This story was an inspiring, exciting ride. I am now in a mood to write my own to-do-list filled with tasks I was afraid to do before. I know it will be worth at the end. What a wonderful tale of love, friendship and self-discovery.