Book Talk: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson





book synopsis When Sloane came into Emily’s life, it’s like she became a new, more daring person and did things she wouldn’t normally do with Sloane by her side — though she still wasn’t quite up to Sloane’s speed. Just as the most perfect and epic summer is about to start for the two girls, Sloane just disappears. She doesn’t leave any explanation — not even when, a few days later, a Sloane-made list that Emily has experienced before shows up in the mail with 13 tasks for Emily to do — things Emily wouldn’t do on her own. Emily hopes that by doing the things on the list she’ll be reunited with Sloane or given some sort of clue as to where she went so she sets out to tackle the list full of firsts, scary things, embarrassing things, random things and more — things that lead her to meeting people along the way who end up helping her complete the list!


good books to read

Morgan Matson is one of my favorite authors ever. Her books always just strike the right chord within me and I connect emotionally and always just love the story, the writing and the characters. Since You’ve Been Gone, I’m happy to report, kept that trend alive…but in a different way for me. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer were really, really personal for me because they dealt a lot with grief and loss. There was that personal connection there for me. This one there wasn’t that same HUGELY personal element (though I connected quite a bit in ways) but it proved my love for Morgan Matson’s books even more fiercely because DAMN can she write a story that sucks me in, makes me love the characters, makes me swoon and gives me all sorts of emotions. Since You’ve Been Gone, like her other books, just does it all for me. That perfect feeling of getting lost in a great book.

So let’s talk:

1. I’m used to Morgan Matson’s books making me cry (okay SOB FEROCIOUSLY in the case of Second Chance Summer) but Since You’ve Been Gone just made me grin like a fool — allegedly…according to Will who apparently watches me while I read but I’m too absorbed to notice. Okay, he’s right though. My face hurt from grinning so much. This book gave me happy feels and I did some happy crying at times. I could produce for you a whole LIST of these moments that made my heart happy or made me giggle. This book is sweet, heartfelt and a wonderful story about friendship and really finding yourself. I just felt giddy the whole time I was reading it. And the relationship between Emily and Frank made my heart melt like an ice cream on a hot day…just a sticky sweet puddle of heart eyed feelings. Ooh the friendship and then the tension.

2. I love lists and I loved watching Emily deal with Sloane’s list: I was so pissed at Sloane for leaving Emily with no explanation..just this list. Like YOU HAVE SOME SPLAINING TO DO, Sloane. WHERE ARE YOU? I half wanted Emily to crumple the list up but obviously I was happy she was going to tackle the list because I was so interested in what some of them meant and HOW she would do some of them (skinny dipping, kiss a stranger, steal something). It was a super fun premise and I felt like each thing on the list helped me to get to know Emily AND Sloane even more. Obviously watching Emily go out of her comfort zone with this list was a given, which I’ll talk about below, but I felt like I got to know Sloane in learning where some of these list items came from and WHY she put them on her. I’m a bucket list enthusiast so I was excited about this premise.

3. I loved experiencing Emily figure out who she was apart from Sloane: I don’t know about you but I’ve had the experience of being in relationships (friendships/romantic/otherwise) where I don’t know who I am apart from the person and it’s only when I’m forced to confront that absence that I start to realize how strongly my identity was in those people. Doing these things on Sloane’s list helped her to start to figure out who she was without Sloane there. Sloane had been such an integral part in her past couple years and Sloane was the driving force of their fun and excitement. I loved watching Emily be brave, in the small and big moments, and start to figure out who she was while tackling this list. Even though at first she was doing this list in hopes it would help her find Sloane, she began to do it for herself. Her growth was wonderful to watch and she honestly kind of inspired me.

4. I loved the focus on friendship: Without Sloane, Emily really didn’t have any other friends so I loved watching her meet some new people like Dawn, Frank and Matthew. I just loved them so much and loved how they ended up helping her with the list and it really became less about this THING she was doing for Sloane but for herself and with these new friends. I also really loved how this experience really gave her perspective on her friendship with Sloane and really added even more depth to it when she eventually figured out what happened with Sloane. All these friendship feels made me miss that feeling of making new friends — those friends who end up being your partners in crime, the ones you tell all your secrets to, etc.

5. Morgan Matson gives me an experience: I could say this about her other books but I think maybe I felt like it with this one even more. She makes me feel like I am really involved in the story with the details she gives and how she takes her time in the best way possible to get you to feel it and to KNOW the characters. She just doesn’t paint me a picture of the scene and of the feelings but she makes me feel and experience everything. I feel like I’m there in the midst of it all. I feel the pain of missing Sloane, the fear of doing the things on the list, the thrill of the moment they skinny dipped,the awkwardness of making new friends and seeing Emily’s ex boyfriend. I couldn’t contain my reactions and feelings at times — the laughs escaped, the happy tears fell, the tension constricted my heart and the love just flowed.

6. FRANK FRANK FRANK. That’s all. Also, that boy has excellent taste in music. Okay, so maybe that’s not all. So often in YA I see these boys who are not in fact teenage boys but like supposed to be hot, hunky man candy with all the right moves and words. Frank made me swoon like a school girl in love but he was not perfect or mysterious or anything. He was a teenage boy who was smart and had so many facets to who he was. He felt like somebody I would have REALLY fallen for. And I loved the friendship that he and Emily built. MY HEART. I would like to guarantee a Frank for my nieces and if I ever have daughters (I mean, unless they aren’t into boys). WEAK IN THE KNEES FOR FRANK!

7. Be happy, fans of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour…the music playlists are back!! And they are so, so good though Morgan said they are a little different in the final copy!

book reviewsI LOVED IT. Morgan Matson just keeps solidifying herself as one of my favorite authors. My heart wants to seize up with happiness over Since You’ve Been Gone. It was a most anticipated book for 2014 and it did NOT disappoint. If you love contemporary YA, read it and then go read her other books if you haven’t!




short book review

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

The Perpetual Page-Turner


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Aw man! I really want to read this book! I loved Morgan Matson after reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. I haven’t even read Second Chance Summer yet, so I think I should definitely do that too. I’m glad this one got you grinning so much 🙂

  2. This is a book I can’t wait for!

  3. This one looks great – been waiting for it too 🙂 Glad that it rocks!

  4. I need to read this book! It sounds so cute and just really like a feel-good read. I need that I think. 🙂 Bucket lists are amazing! So excited to see how Emily tackles Sloane’s list!

    • You do need it!! It’s less a bucket list but more like these things sloane gives Emily to do…things that she wouldn’t typically do. But bucket lists are the only way I could think of it bc she wanted her to do them before the end of the summer! It’s fun! I loved watching her tackle the list!

  5. Music playlists are BACK? YES! Morgan Matson has some GREAT music taste.

  6. So you liked it huh? : ) Not a genre I read, but I love it when people find that wonderful book that gets them so excited.

  7. I’ve got to be honest; I’ve never read any of Morgan Matson’s books. But I have heard so much about this book, and I really want to read it. Now, because of your review, I want to read her other books as well. I can just feel how much you love them and Matson. I’ll definitely be getting Since You’ve Been Gone soon. Great review!

  8. Words cannot describe how excited I am for this book to come out! I love Morgan Matson’s books so much.

  9. Your entire post gave ME the goofy happy grins! I was planning on waiting till the end of May to buy this book, when I was at the store to get Take Me On… But now I think I’ll be at Barnes and Noble the very day it’s released! And my favorite book so far from Matson was Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, so to hear that the playlists are back makes me giddy!

  10. I REAAAAAAALLY want to read this. Right now it is at the top of my *grabby hands* book list. I read/listened to Second Chance Summer over Spring Break and just bought Epic Detour a few weeks ago. I’m happy that there will be grins and not all tear, though!

    Also, the glasses – I need those in my life.


  1. […] so you know recently I already gave away an extra ARC I had of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (one of my all time favorite authors!!) because I loved it so much but, thanks to Simon Teen, I have […]

  2. […] ● Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner wrote “My heart wants to seize up with happiness over Since You’ve Been Gone. It was a most anticipated book for 2014 and it did NOT disappoint.” (Read the rest of the review Here!) […]

  3. […] Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson: If you read this blog regularly, you know I can’t shut up about this one or Morgan Matson’s books in general but this has a great friendship plot in this one! New friends, old friends, stepping back and seeing who you are without your bff. It was just SO good. […]

  4. […] Been Gone (Morgan Matson): My pal Jamie, who happens to be one of my favorite book bloggers, wrote a glowing review of the book on her website. Read her review. It’ll give it way more justice than my couple of sentences […]

  5. […] The Perpetual Page Turner – “My heart wants to seize up with happiness” […]