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How steamy is it? Sweet

Publisher's Summary

Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever in this new novel from the best-selling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger's Epic Detour.

Before Sloane, Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend - someone who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just...disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There's just a random to-do list with 13 bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane? "Go Skinny Dipping?" Um...

©2014 Morgan Matson (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    311
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    48
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Performance

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    136
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    27
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    3
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Took a while but I loved the ending!

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE was actually my first Morgan Matson book (yes, yes, I know)! I had purchased the audio a few weeks prior to reading it and when it was time to for a new audiobook and I happened to be in a contemporary mood, the timing was right to start SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE!

I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Having never read one of her books before, I was going in a little blind with no knowledge of Morgan Matson’s writing style or what might pass for a typical character or concept. All I knew was that she’s a fan-favorite and I felt a lot of pressure to enjoy the book (especially seeing it has a 4.21 rating on Goodreads which is pretty high), so when I started listening to the book and found myself struggling, I really started to worry.

I really thought I was going to be the black sheep on this book. I had a really hard time with the beginning, especially with the characters. I never made it to the point where I thought I would put the book down, but it was really just a middle-of-the-road contemporary read for about the entire first half. I really had a hard time with Emily and how awkward she was and I found her actions cringe-worthy to witness. Other characters didn’t quite click for me either. Emily’s parents seemed silly and like characterizations rather than real people. Collins was goofy and seemed like a bit too much for me and I really didn’t care for him either. And even though Sloane wasn’t physically present in the book at the time, the flashbacks to her interactions with Emily bothered me as well. The writing just didn’t work well for me throughout the first half and scenes felt forced instead of just playing out naturally. BUT the good thing was that I had plenty of friends who had enjoyed the book and promised me it would get better so despite my hesitations, I was ready for the book to improve!

And those friends turned out to be right! I finally found some cute moments between Emily and Frank about halfway through and really started to enjoy their friendship and whatever might be developing between them… then I started to enjoy their relationship even more and before I knew it, the whole book was finally taking shape. Characters really started to feel real instead of just a collection of traits on a page. Relationships were really blossoming — not just between Emily and Frank. I loved the new friendships that Emily was forming in Sloane’s absence and really all of the characters grew quite a bit. I was really impressed with how much each one had changed and felt so much more realistic, but I was sad that I had felt so disconnected from them in beginning. I felt like the growth was exponential but I had that lingering memory of how much they had annoyed me in the first half of the book.

I did enjoy the second half of the book but I just wish I had been able to feel those things in the beginning! Not to mention I felt like one scene was directly out of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (although it’s not that like scene hasn’t happened anywhere else… but I’m so ANNA-obsessed that I couldn’t NOT see it) and a bit of a stunt there at the end that was totally insane for someone Emily’s age (I wonder if there were any consequences for that…) but I just let it go and rolled with it.

I was very on the fence with how I felt about Emily and Sloane’s friendship. I honestly don’t really think I’ve had a friendship like that. A lot of my close friendships were a group of three of us (or more) and I feel like I didn’t have ONE best friend that I spent all of time with who was just MY best friend. Sometimes their friendship felt too clingy for me (mostly likely because I didn’t have the same experience so I didn’t quite relate) and I also didn’t like how Sloane felt so much more dominant than Emily (although I totally understand that). I felt like their friendship has some great moments and other times, I didn’t like it at all.

I guess you could say it was an interesting read for me! I actually kind of liked that my opinion on the book didn’t seem to align with so many others because I was able to have my own take on the book. Sometimes when I love the same book that everyone else loves, it isn’t that the book doesn’t deserve it but sometimes I feel like my opinion isn’t unique so it was fun to bounce my reactions off of other people and see how our feelings differed. I was hesitant in the beginning but upon finishing, I’m excited to read those other Matson books that I have on my shelves! I’m not sure they’re high-priority or that I will love them like everyone else loves her work but I’m also open to leaving my expectations at the door and seeing where the books take me!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect summer reading!

I started and just couldn't stop!

I don't know why I was so immersed...maybe it was the characters, the story, the narration or all of it together but I just
had to keep listening.

It was cute and sweet and fun, and filled with that amazing nostalgic feeling of summers during high school. I miss that feeling, and would love to read more books that capture that.

So this one is a definite two thumbs up!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not bad

The Narrator had a bit of a twang and it took me back to my time in Virginia. Instead of saying "didn't," she pronounced it as "di-unt." It's not a problem, it's just personal preference. It bugged me at first, but I got used to it. The story was alright, but I sometimes got confused when there was a flashback and forgot what was going on. I was kind of disappointed with the ending, but it made sense.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good

Love it . This book is one of my must read books . It's about two girl and their friendship . I enjoyed it so mush
The beginning not that good but the end really good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed more than I anticipated!

Needing to familiarize myself with young adult contemporary realistic fiction, I chose Matson's Since You've Been Gone. Although well -crafted and tastefully done, occasional references to alcohol, nudity, and attraction make this book not suited for younger readers. The story follows 17 year old Emily in an unusual quest through which she finds herself challenged to step out of her comfort zone. Ultimately, this journey becomes a path for developing into her true self. Great!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story..

Wanted to make you start your own list! And start a new thing! Fun read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Was hooked from Start!

I really love this book. Just a fun and light read, that teaches a little about relaxing and enjoying life. I think I could relate to the story and that's probably why I enjoyed it so much!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It’s Officially Summer!

I loved this!! I instantly fell in love with Emily, but I’m still a bit perturbed by Sloane’s actions, even with an (anticlimactic) explanation. “Since You’ve Been Gone” is an amazing coming-of-age summer read!

Emily develops immensely and I’m so happy that I was able to go on the journey with her. Although ‘the list’ is what coaxed Emily out of her comfortable introverted shell and into a strong and confident young woman, it was all with her own initiative. Sloane wasn’t the one pushing her to do anything, instead she simply left without a word and refused to answer any phone calls, text messages, or emails. I still have a bitter taste in my mouth for her, but it ended happily so I’ll eventually let it go.

I also had trouble with the main love interest, Frank, since he was with his girlfriend throughout the entire book. (Long distance or not doesn’t matter—He was with her. Full stop.) Besides that, I really like Frank as a person, a friend, and a love interest when he’s flying single. The side characters, Collins and Dawn, were a lot of fun and made everything more enjoyable. I was laughing out loud and tearing up at all the right times. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, but everyone turned out okay. Go read it—you might just like it too!

Side note: My main quibble when reading was the excessive use of writing tics rather than coming up with creative ways to express emotions. I developed an eye twitch every time a character “let out a breath” or “furrowed or raised their eyebrows”. The noted breathing is practically a prerequisite for YA, but there’s still a line that shouldn’t be crossed into utter annoyance and distraction.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Since you've been gone

This was my second Morgan Matson book and I loved it.

The character's were great and the setting's were awesome and the dares were fun and out of her comfort zone.

The friendships made me smile and laugh.

The narrative for this was really good I loved it and cannot wait to listen to it again.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

worst structured book

it was so hard to want to listen to this book and stay engaged. the chapters are 30 minutes to over an hour long and some chapters have time jumps in the middle of them. i found that the story took so long to progress and the actual mystery of what happened and where is Sloan to be the most boring part of the entire book. this story was way overhyped.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A Dream of Fiction
  • 10-04-16

Great friendship story.

I loved this book, its such as great friendship story that includes a lot of conquering your fears. This is such a great idea for summer projects of making a list of fears to conquer / things to do.

I loved all the characters in this book with probably the exception of of Sloane, I didn’t mind her so much throughout the book where we only really see her through flashbacks but at the end where everything is explained she does annoy me a little bit.

Emily as a character is great and I can really relate to her, it is great to see her character grow and see her overcome certain tasks and gain confidence throughout the summer, and gaining new friends. Who can not love Frank Porter? What a true gent.

The only problem I felt with this book was a lack of excitement / chemistry between Emily and Frank, I thought the way their relationship grew was lovely but was expecting a little more towards the end.

Overall I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars, if there had been that little bit more between Emily and Frank and Sloane hadnt been quite so annoying at the end I think it would have got a 5.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Maya Seligman
  • 09-19-17

I liked this book

I really enjoyed this book. It's really nice to witness Emily's confidence growing. I think the whole list idea is clever... what a cool thing to be sent! I loved her friendship with Frank, it felt real and lovely. He's so nice!
All in all, it was a fun book to listen to, well narrated and a good plot😊

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tia2709
  • 02-17-17

easy listening teenage fiction

Couldn't stop listening! Captivating story about friendship, finding oneself and love. An excellent holiday read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kim (_booksarelove)
  • 04-06-18

Had me Hooked from the Beginning!

This book I had in my Audible library, it had been sitting there for quite some time and I thought that it was about time I listened to it.
It didn't take long for me to get hooked into the story, and from then I listened to it daily just to find out what was going to happen.
I have only read one book from Morgan Matson previously and I really enjoyed it so I was looking forward getting into it.
Emily goes to her best friend's house at the beginning of the summer holidays to find that she was gone without a trace, with no explanation. All Emily had was a to-do list of things that seemed impossible and a whole summer without her friend.
Slowly, Emily made new friends as she tried to make her way through the list.

I couldn't get enough of the plot. The relationships that evolved in that summer between Emily, Frank, Collins and Dawn was something that I had always wanted as a teenager, a small really tight group of people who loved spending time with each other.

I really liked the idea of the list. Having Emily go through and do a whole number of things that she wouldn't normally do, it made her a stronger person and helped her reach out to new people and form new friendships.

I really connected with Emily, I felt her sadness when her friend left, and her determination to finish the list. I felt proud of her when she conquered fears and heartbroken when she did.
The ending of the book was so perfect. It closed everything up in a nice little bundle, however, I would love to know what happens in Emily and Frank's future..I am just going to imagine that they get their happily ever after :)

The narrator of this book was great. Her voice was exciting and changed with every new character. I definitely didn't get bored listening to her, which I find so important in an audiobook!

If you enjoy contemporary romance books, I highly recommend that you pick this one up, I am sure that you are going to love it as much as I did!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful