Writing style: 8/10
Character building: 8/10
My Opinionated Review
If you are looking for a fun, light, and entertaining summer read, Since You’ve Been Gone is a perfect book for you. Filled with great character development, fun interactions, and bucket list fulfilments, it offers everything you can hope from a fun young adult summer book.
The story starts with the main character Emily trying to find her best friend Sloane since she has been MIA for a couple of weeks. But the only clue that Sloane has left Emily is a crazy and challenging list that the main character has to complete. Hoping that by the crossing of every single item on the list, Emily will somehow find her best friend, she attempts to face her fears. But unexpected circumstances lead Emily to become quite a different person, develop new friendships, and get out of her comfort zone.
So at the heart of the book, you have the main protagonist Emily, who’s journey from a scared, shy, socially-awkward girl towards a fun, friendly risk-taker is the most entertaining part of the story. At first, I had a bit of a trouble liking this character. She seemed a bit bland, boring, and quite depended on her friendship with Sloane. It was like without her best friend, she ceased to exist. So I was quite glad to see Sloane go because without her in the picture, Emily actually managed to form her own personality. She took risks, did crazy things, and became a delightful character in the process. It was quite easy to relate to a character, because I guess everybody has things that scare us, making quite a few people hide in their comfortable places, and not really doing anything spectacular in the end. Therefore, after reading Emily’s journey, it makes me want to do something similar as well.
I loved that the romance in the book, although present, was not the main part of the story. It felt more realistic and relatable. The characters seemed like real people, with their faults and issues. Therefore, the author did wonders by avoiding the clique perfect innocent girl and a misunderstood guy structures, did not make the romance silly or unrealistic, and actually made me care for the characters individually before inserting an idea of a romantic involvement.
Morgan Matson has incorporated a great female narration with a fun plot, and by focusing on a sole character development and the importance of friendships rather than making the character change because of the guy, wrote quite a remarkable book. Of course, I did see a few faults, like lame teenager misunderstandings, expected resolve of the story, certain actions not making much sense, and, well, being a bit childish at times. However, despite having faults, it never failed to entertain. It was fun, heart-warming, and hopeful.
Overall, a perfect read to relax. If you are looking for something fun and light, it is a book for you. Especially if you feel like you are too closed off in your comfort bubble, this book might change your perspective on things.