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

In a well ordered universe, everyone would read this book…

I’d heard so much about this book that I was dying to read it. Why hadn’t I read it up until now, you ask? Well, because I’d heard so much about it! Everyone was going on about and saying such amazing things about this book that I was scared, terrified even, that it wouldn’t live up to the high expectations that I now had. I think that was a mammoth sized mistake on my part. Because I mean, boy did this book live up to its expectations.

The entire book, I felt, had this mysterious kind of atmosphere about it. It always kept me guessing and honestly, never prepared for what was to follow. I mean, just the first sentence – “The list arrived after Sloane has been gone two weeks” – had me hooked. I love all of Morgan Matson’s works (the ones I’ve read till now, that is) but this read might just be one of my favourites yet. The way all the characters just seemed to leap off the pages and into my heart might have had something to do with that.

This book revolves around the persona Emily who’s summer isn’t going exactly how she’d planned – with her best friend Sloane attached at her hip, working a stress free summer job and getting a nice tan. Instead, she finds herself completely alone, Sloane-and-stress-free-summer-less. But…where in the world did Sloane vanish off to? Now that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? In Sloane’s place, now, is a list with 13 instructions (if you’re like me, you’re gonna make an immediate connection to 13 Reasons Why, but – spoiler – there ain’t one). Emily now spends the entire summer checking each item off the list, doing things she would never have had the courage to do, had she not had the slightest hope that Sloane just might come back if she was able to do each and every item on the list. After each action, though, she seems to be changing into a better version of herself – a happier, more confident Emily. Along the way, Emily befriends people she never hung out with before – with Sloane always there, she hadn’t ever needed anyone else. But as the items are ticked off one after the other, will Sloane ever come back…or will Emily be left with nothing but an excruciatingly empty void the size of her heart?

In this novel by Matson, I fell completely in love with the character of Emily. She just seemed so real! Honestly, I could relate to her more often than not. I hated talking to strangers, always felt overly conscious of what others might think of me and absolutely HATED it when things didn’t seem to go the way I’d planned them to. So an entire summer filled with nothing but unanswered and terrifying questions (that too without my goofy-ass best friend)? Consider me scared to death. I loved witnessing Emily’s transformation though. The way she changes from her initial, timid and nervous self and emerges as a confident, not-so-nervous-anymore and frank character. By the end of the novel, I was wishing for a friend like her. Emily’s character appealed to me quite a bit and I think that Matson has done a brilliant job with her character.

Another thing that I absolutely adored in this novel was the friendships and how they were formed to begin with – quite unexpectedly. Instead of having a single best friend over the past 2 years, Emily finds herself constantly surrounded by 3 distinctly different friends – Dawn, Collins and Frank. Dawn was another student from a different school who worked at the pizza place right next to the ice cream stall where Emily had a summer job. Frank was the head-of-almost-everything at school and was thought of as by Emily to be nothing but 100% nerdy and full-of-himself, but had a surprisingly good body. Collins was Frank’s best friend who was constantly trying to land himself a summer fling, but actually landed with nothing but rejections. These friendships were absolutely out of the blue, and that is exactly what I loved so much about them. Most of the most brilliant and cherished friendships that I’ve ever had were the most unexpected ones (I’m thinking about you Ritz (my bff), among other people, when I say this). The fact that Matson brought that idea out in this novel really touched my heart.

I’m glad I decided to take this book off of my TBR shelf and onto my Currently Reading one. This book was a whirlwind with quite a few ups and downs but had me grinning throughout. If you’re a YA addict like I am, you better get your hands on this book as soon as you can. I promise you won’t regret it. I read this book in less than 3 days (even with all my IAs and Extended Essay looming over my head). That should tell you how much I loved this amazing piece of literature. The book Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is a touching book about friendship, family, growth and love and I dare you to not fall in love with it.

My favourite quote from this book, though some might disagree, is

“In a well-ordered universe…camping would take place indoors.” 

Lemme just say, Emily, I honestly feel you and absolutely agree.


Have you read this book before? If you have, then how did you like it? What was your favorite quote? If you haven’t read it yet, did I change your mind? Are you on your way to the bookstore/library right now? (I hope you are…) Is there any book that you loved as much as I loved Since You’ve Been Gone? I’d love to check it out! Don’t forget to lemme know your thoughts on this post! Thanks for taking the time!

-Just Another Magical Soul

Some similar posts:

Book Review – I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Book Review – The Nowhere Girls
Book Review – This Is What Happy Looks Like
Quintessential Bookworm


7 thoughts on “Book Review | Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

  1. emme @ aliterarylatte says:

    Ooh I just finished (re)reading this today and loved it!
    I didn’t really remember much of it as I first read it a couple years ago so it was like my first time reading it!
    Books with lists/challenges are always my faves so I loved this and the relationships in this are adorable.
    5 stars for me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1magicalsoul says:

      I’m pretty sure I’m gonna find myself rereading this book pretty soon as well – it’s just that kinda book, leaving your heart all mushy and light. I’m glad you loved the relationships as well! And yes, a definite 5 star from me!! Thanks for taking the time!

      Liked by 1 person

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