Published: May 6th, 2014
by: Simon & Schuster BYR
Genres: YA, Contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um…
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?
Since You’ve Been Gone, turns out to be totally different than what I was expecting. I had this picture in my head about the girls and their friendship, and all the summer things that teen girls get into. While this is a decent read, I was super annoyed with Emily for half of the book. Co-dependent much? It was Sloane this and Sloane that. I totally chastised myself for being annoyed because I was also thinking about what exactly happened to Sloane anyway. Has she been murdered? Moved away for good? Why won’t she answer Emily’s calls? Emily panicked like she would just die if Sloane couldn’t be found.
I get it. Emily was this loner before Sloane entered the picture. Then she started to come out of her “shell”, and now that Sloane is gone, Emily feels that life just can’t go on. She’s all, “I can’t wear this dress if Sloane isn’t here to give thumbs up. I can’t talk to a guy if Sloane isn’t here to give me a boost.” Seriously, all of this failed to make me love this book. Why? Because if Emily wasn’t an outgoing person before Sloane, why is that a bad thing? If she wants to run cross-country and stay in on weekends, I see nothing wrong with it. Here comes Sloane, with parents who could give a crap about what she wears or where she goes. And the ending was so anticlimactic.
In between all of the annoying, I liked the things Emily had to do on her list. A little. I like that she made more friends, although the ending didn’t bode well for one such friendship. There’s a boy. Of course there is, there’s always a boy. He has a girlfriend whose away for the summer. Then there’s Emily’s almost ex, who I feel deserved an explanation about what happened. She just acted like everything was all good in his presence, but then acted annoyed with him. I love her parents, and her little brother. I even like Frank, because Emily just jumped to conclusions about him. It was no surprise to me, I just hate it when authors input unnecessary drama into teen romance. Like I said, the ending was not what I expected. I was hoping for something more shock and awe.
This is the story of a girl who has come out of her “shy shell”, because of her new BFF, whom then disappears – only leaving behind a list of things for Emily to do. This is Emily living her life and doing things without Sloane there to guide her. It’s a good book if you are a teen who is scared of stepping outside of your comfort zone. The only thing I don’t like is that I feel Emily shouldn’t have to change just because of friends. I’m pretty sure Emily would have opened up as the years went by. If you ask me, Sloane could take a page out of Emily’s book. She’s one of those girls who I wouldn’t want my daughter hanging out with. Sorry, she’s not bad, just too fast for my tastes. And it’s possible to have a long distance friendship. And make new friends. And all the other great things about being a teenager. I also feel it’s equally okay if you are shy, introverted, and all the things most high school kids think are lame. I’m glad I read this, but I’m afraid the hype tricked me again. Everywhere I turned, this book is on a favorite such-and-such list. It just wasn’t that great for me. Still, I pretty much read it in one sitting, it that says anything. It is very engrossing, I’ll give it that much.