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Loved With All My Heart | Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

This is it – one of the absolute best YA contemporaries I’ve ever read – Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

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

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since you've been gone by morgan matson book review

Title & Author: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Summer Read

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

How I Got the Book: Bought


“The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one 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. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend.

Apple Picking at Night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…”

Prepare for a Gush Fest

This was the year to get into YA contemporaries. Since You’ve Been Gone is pure joy and sugar and hugs and sunshine.

It will make you FEEL. I can’t get over how invested I became in the characters and how I literally did not put the book down and read it deep into the night. (I can’t do that a lot now. This late-20s lady needs her beauty sleep, but it’s fun when it’s worth it. Like with this book).

I’m so IN LOVE with this book I don’t even know where to start….

The essence of Since You’ve Been Gone is friendship and the process of becoming who you are. I related so much with the main character, Emily. In high school, I was active in school clubs and activities, but I was ultimately shy and hung out with people I was comfortable with. I didn’t challenge myself socially.

Emily is that girl. Her bestie Sloane is vivacious and fun and can do anything. Emily isn’t jealous of Sloane, either; she’s grateful that Sloane is outgoing, so that way Emily can tag along and feel more confident by her friend’s side.

But, when Sloane leaves without warning and only leaves a crazy list of things for Emily to accomplish over the summer, Emily’s forced to put herself out there and decide who she wants to be.

My heavy-handed description doesn’t do this book justice. Everything is fun and heartfelt.

Although Since You’ve Been Gone was billed as a summer read, there is so much more to this book than a mindless beach novel. There is growth and discovery and seeing things with a new perspective.

Bonus things to love:

  • Amazing music playlists
  • Matt. He made me laugh out loud more than once
  • Creative storytelling with flashbacks
  • Bestie love

Plus this…

I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.

There is no fluff here. This book offers pure adrenaline and excitement and emotion. It will suck you in and spit you back out with a fuller heart.

My only teensiest of beefs is with a tiny thread at the end that I REALLY wish had been tied up. It does not involved the main characters, so never fear. I’m just one of those people who need resolution in all areas.

But, in Since You’ve Been Gone is absolutely not necessary and is something that would only stick out to a handful of people.

BONUS: Elena from Novel Sounds created this PERFECT playlist with the best songs from the book: http://8tracks.com/love-without-measure/the-best-of-since-you-ve-been-gone


You must read this book. It’s beautiful and so well told. I loved it with all my heart, and am giving it a million stars. All the way. Since You’ve Been Gone will give you a book hangover for sure – you won’t be sorry.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    I loved Since You’ve Been Gone as well! I put it in one of my recent top 10 lists. I got really attached to the characters too. 🙂

    Great list!

  • This book is definitely one of my favorites! Emily was so easy to relate to, and she grew so much!