What if your best friend just disappeared in summer? Well, that’s what happened to Emily in the book “Since You’ve Been Gone,” by Morgan Matson.
Sloane, Emily’s best friend disappeared two weeks before a list from Sloane made its way to Emily’s house. Lists were something the two girls made very often, but usually, Sloane made them for Emily.
The first one was written when Emily was traveling to Scotland for her parents’ play. Sloane wanted Emily to have the best experience while visiting another country, so Sloane wrote her a long list of things people native to Scotland usually do. “Try haggis” and “calling three people ‘lassie’” being just two from the two-page list.
Though the most recent list didn’t have a return address on it, Emily knew who it was from, and Emily finally felt relieved because she knew Sloane had to be okay. The two best friends have completely different personalities. Sloane is the wild and outgoing of the duo. She is the one always dragging Emily to parties, while Emily, on the other hand, would rather stay home and watch tv or read a good book.
The point of these lists was to get Emily out of her shell and to make her have a summer she was never going to forget. Kiss a stranger, go skinny dipping, and steal something are just a few from the list of 13.
She meets Frank Porter who helps her complete the list and he helps Emily find her best friend and helps her make new friends along the way.
“Since You’ve been gone” shows great character development. It really shows how Emily grows during the summer and how Sloane’s lists help her.
Emily starts by doing the easier ones first like apple picking at night. Eventually, she starts doing things that aren’t on the list and things she would never do like going on an overnight road trip with a boy!
Emily couldn’t imagine herself without her best friend. She depended on Sloane and thought she wouldn’t be anyone without Sloane, and that she couldn’t make any other friends unless they were Sloane’s friends too.
The first two weeks since Sloane disappeared, Emily was always at her friend’s house trying to figure out where she and her family had gone. All she could think about was Sloane.
Once she started her list, Emily found herself forgetting about Sloane’s absence and started living her own life.
In all of Matson’s books, she adds a playlist that you could listen to while you read her books. I think that’s an amazing concept! Listening to a playlist that inspired the author to write specific scenes in the books I think adds depth and closeness to an author and their fans.
Moran Matson has five amazing books! Now that the semester is finally over, it’s a great time to pick up a great book for the winter break!
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