Emily's best friend Sloane disappears, almost without a trace - the only thing left is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that wallflower Emily wouldn't normally do, and definitely without her best friend. But what if completing the list could bring Sloane back?
Dance until dawn? Sure, why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um...
Go skinny dipping? Wait... what?
Emily only has the summer to check everything off Sloane's list. The question is, what will she find at the end of it? (Goodreads description here)
Shall we all just take a minute to appreciate how beautiful this cover is. That font though (it makes me swoon). Seriously. I think this is a pretty good description of what's inside. Very pretty, very american, and very very contemporary. That certainly isn't a bad thing though, it was just what I was in the mood for. And yes, I have been singing the Kelly Clarkson song ever since I read it. It is a cracking tune though, so I've linked the video here.
The concept of the book, basically a lonesome teenager completing a bucket list in order to make friends, and change for the better, though not original, was very well pulled off. The actual list was quite unique, and there were some very specific tasks on there. For example 'hug a jamie'. Now i've never seen that one before!
The characters in the book were also very well developed. Even Sloane, who was the disappeared best friend. Although we only met her in flashbacks (nearly) I thought I had a real sense of her character. At first I was under the impression that she was a perfect american teenager, living the dream. But we soon became aware that this wasn't really true, and she just created this image to cover up everything that was wrong with her family.
The narrater and main character, Emily, was also very relaistic. She was likeable and quite relatable. Although she was bland at times, this just added to how endearing the book was and how relatable Emily was. I got the impression that every reader would interpret her in their own way, which is something I really think shows a good author. It made me realise that romance and amazing friends are out there! (Man, I will read this back and cringe sooooo much!) However she was still quirky at times, and I can sort of imagine being friends with her in real life.
This book was 450 pages long, but I found it quite a quick read, perfect for the holidays! It wasn't up there with Anna and the French Kiss, but it was still very good, and now, whenever I think of contemporary, I will think of this. It basically fitted that genre perfectly. I was lovey dovey, but didn't take itself too seriously, and a real coming of age story.
I give this
I will certainly be picking up Morgan Matson's other book, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour.
Have you read Since You've Been Gone? What do you think makes an MC relatable?