Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

since you've been gone

Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and 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.

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?

This. Book. Was. AMAZING.

I didn’t expect to like it, though! I mean, the cover’s pretty, and the premise of the story is interesting, but it’s contemporary. The contemporary genre and I do not have a good history together. We tend to disagree. Just a little bit.

But I didn’t feel that way about Since You’ve Been Gone, not one bit. I LOVED it. Here are a few of my thoughts on the book!

Emily was REALLY attached to Sloane. Like, almost unhealthily so.  

It was very interesting to read about, because it was so obvious… to me. Emily couldn’t see it. Not at first, anyway. Her entire life, her entire identity, revolved around Sloane and the author’s exploration of that relationship (especially after one-half of it had disappeared) was fascinating.

It made me think. I’ve never been in any kind of relationship (with family, friends, or a girlfriend) like that, where I didn’t really know who I was outside of my relationship with that person. Where I didn’t know what to do with myself when they’re not there. Emily’s life is just so different from my own in that respect.

loved seeing how Emily gradually developed friendships with others.

At the beginning of Since You’ve Been Gone, Emily is pretty mopey. And, honestly, why shouldn’t she be? Sloane was EVERYTHING to her and then Emily had no one.

Until she met Frank. And Collins. And Dawn. OH MY GOD I’D FORGOTTEN HOW MUCH I LOVED STORIES THAT ARE ALL/MOSTLY ABOUT FRIENDSHIP. I adored watching Emily slowly come out of her shell, adored watching her see what friendship with people-who-weren’t-Sloane was like. At first she was still so hung up on Sloane that she didn’t even realize how close she’d grown to her three new friends, but eventually that changed. Yay!

I loved the format of this novel.

It’s kind of gimmicky, I guess, but… once in a great while, that’s nice. The title of each chapter comes from one of the tasks on Sloane’s to-do list. And there are flashback sections scattered throughout. And loads of playlists created by either Emily or Frank. It was really cool.

Reading about Emily’s progress on that weird list was a BLAST.

You know how I just mentioned that each chapter’s title comes from one of the tasks? Well, those were almost never the tasks Emily meant to do then. She constantly got sidetracked, or chickened out, or whatever. It was great.

Also, I just really love lists. Here, take a look at it!

  1. Kiss a stranger.
  2. Go skinny-dipping.
  3. Steal something.
  4. Break something.
  5. Penelope.
  6. Ride a dern horse, ya cowpoke.
  7. 55 S. Ave. Ask for Mona.
  8. The backless dress. And somewhere to wear it.
  9. Dance until dawn.
  10. Share some secrets in the dark.
  11. Hug a Jamie.
  12. Apple picking at night.
  13. Sleep under the stars.

This book is just so freaking SUMMERY.

I love summery books. I love any books that remind me really strongly of a season (and that I happen to read for the first time during that season), but summery books are the best. I don’t know why. I was going to say that summery books are lighthearted but now that I think about it, some of my favorite summery books – DramaramaHolesThe Miseducation of Cameron Post – are decidedly NOT lighthearted.

So I don’t know exactly what it is that I love about summery books. But this one makes me happy, and that’s all that matters. Emily had a really great summer in the end (even without Sloane) and it was fun to read about.


So. In case you couldn’t tell from this review, I LOVED Since You’ve Been Gone. It was pure fluff, but honestly? I need more of that. I read a lot of fantasy / science fiction books that are filled with death and destruction… so once in a while, I really really appreciate a fluffy, lighthearted contemporary read.

Since You’ve Been Gone is, hands down, one of the best YA contemporaries I read this summer. Or this year. Or in a long time. You should try it!

Rating: 4/5

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

  1. Cait says:

    You convinced me. YOU CONVINCED ME EASILY. I’m not always sold on contemporaries either, so if you rave I know I’m in for a good time. 😉 I wonder if my library has it….gah and I could use a summery book. It is so supposed to be summer right now. BUT I’M WEARING A JACKET AND THIS IS ANNOYING. -_-

  2. This actually sounds REALLY AWESOME. I was kind of wary of it, since I read another from this author (Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour) and didn’t enjoy it that much. But I love friendship, and contemporary, and the novel I’m working on right now has a similar list!

    Also, I LOVE Holes as well!! High five. That book is awesome.

    • nevillegirl says:

      It *is* REALLY AWESOME. But that stinks about Amy and Roger… I kind of wanted to try her earlier books since I liked this one so much! (I’d never heard of her before, so… again, I had no idea what I was getting myself into by reading this book. But it ended well, no?)

      It’s a great book! You have excellent taste. 😛

  3. Taylor Lynn says:

    This is on my to-read list, but sort of in the middle in terms of priorities…however, your review is fantastic and now I’m super interested to read it! Personally, I love contemporary fiction, and I love books about friendship, so of course this sounds right up my alley, haha. So glad you liked it–hopefully I will, too! 😉

    PS Thanks for stopping by my new blog! Hope all’s been well with you. 🙂

  4. Thomas says:

    As a huge contemporary fan, I’m glad this book appealed to someone who doesn’t always enjoy the genre! The unhealthy friendship in this novel sounds intriguing indeed; despite the mixed reviews I’ve read of this one I might go ahead and check it out based on your review. Hope you read more fabulous books in the near future.

  5. Sunny Smith says:

    This sounds so good! I just might have to read it. The Raven Boys was one of those books that showed me that friendships can be just as good (if not better) than romances in a book, so I’m always eager to find more books like that:)

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