Morgan Matson needs to stop ruining my life. It started with Second Chance Summer a couple of years ago when I cried over Taylor and her dying father, and now she’s done it again with Emily and Sloane and Frank. I’m beginning to think she has some sort of vendetta against me. WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, MORGAN.
Since You’ve Been Gone is another masterpiece by one of my favourite authors. Amy and Roger wasn’t AMAZING, but her newest two contemporary novels are two of my favourite books of all time.
Morgan Matson writes such wonderful relationships, and the one that really blew me away in Since You’ve Been Gone was the slow burn between Emily and Frank. By the time the two of them finally realised their feelings for each other, I thought I was going to keel over and die from feels. The best thing about their relationship is that they become best friends over the summer before any romance is involved on either side. There’s no insta-love, no initial “holy fuck he’s the most attractive boy ever”, it’s just epic friendship, plain and simple. And then Matson builds upon it, and continues building until you feel like you can’t breathe. So, yeah, Emily and Frank are one of my favourite couples ever.
And if I was ever to write a book or a fan fic and include a Bella Swan-esque self-insert, Emily would be it. I felt so much of a connection with her that I loved her from the first chapter, and I was feeling all those emotions – ranging from embarrassment to awkwardness to loneliness to happiness – with her. Like me, Emily suffers from crippling shyness, and out of all of the YA protagonists who “suffer” from this, Emily is one of the few where it’s portrayed well. I found myself nodding along when Emily was talking about how she second-guessed everything she said, even after planning it out beforehand and creating awkward pauses. She is me.
I adore Emily, and I want someone to adapt this book into a movie so I can stick a poster of her on my wall.
I don’t really know how else to express my love for this book. I cried, I laughed, I squealed, and I simply fell head over heels in love with all of the characters and the storyline. The mystery of Sloane disappearing played out as I expected, but that didn’t make it any less brilliant. I thought it was amazing how Morgan Matson slowly made the story less and less about Sloane’s absence, and more and more about Emily and her goings on. Because at the beginning of the book, Emily is dependent on Sloane, but as the story progresses she starts to become her own person and she starts to shine.
I have even found a song to go with Emily/the book, which is something I never do because I don’t know enough music for that malarkey. I feel like this one is a good fit because Emily gradually comes out of her shell over the course of the book:
If you gave me a chance, I would take it. It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it.
And also one for Emily and Frank (which might have been included in one of the playlists in the book? I have a feeling I saw it in there):
and another because of reasons:
To end this extremely professional and award-worthy review, I would just like to say: