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I started and just couldn't stop!
I don't know why I was so immersed...maybe it was the characters, the story, the narration or all of it together but I just
had to keep listening.
It was cute and sweet and fun, and filled with that amazing nostalgic feeling of summers during high school. I miss that feeling, and would love to read more books that capture that.
So this one is a definite two thumbs up!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE was actually my first Morgan Matson book (yes, yes, I know)! I had purchased the audio a few weeks prior to reading it and when it was time to for a new audiobook and I happened to be in a contemporary mood, the timing was right to start SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Having never read one of her books before, I was going in a little blind with no knowledge of Morgan Matson’s writing style or what might pass for a typical character or concept. All I knew was that she’s a fan-favorite and I felt a lot of pressure to enjoy the book (especially seeing it has a 4.21 rating on Goodreads which is pretty high), so when I started listening to the book and found myself struggling, I really started to worry.
I really thought I was going to be the black sheep on this book. I had a really hard time with the beginning, especially with the characters. I never made it to the point where I thought I would put the book down, but it was really just a middle-of-the-road contemporary read for about the entire first half. I really had a hard time with Emily and how awkward she was and I found her actions cringe-worthy to witness. Other characters didn’t quite click for me either. Emily’s parents seemed silly and like characterizations rather than real people. Collins was goofy and seemed like a bit too much for me and I really didn’t care for him either. And even though Sloane wasn’t physically present in the book at the time, the flashbacks to her interactions with Emily bothered me as well. The writing just didn’t work well for me throughout the first half and scenes felt forced instead of just playing out naturally. BUT the good thing was that I had plenty of friends who had enjoyed the book and promised me it would get better so despite my hesitations, I was ready for the book to improve!
And those friends turned out to be right! I finally found some cute moments between Emily and Frank about halfway through and really started to enjoy their friendship and whatever might be developing between them… then I started to enjoy their relationship even more and before I knew it, the whole book was finally taking shape. Characters really started to feel real instead of just a collection of traits on a page. Relationships were really blossoming — not just between Emily and Frank. I loved the new friendships that Emily was forming in Sloane’s absence and really all of the characters grew quite a bit. I was really impressed with how much each one had changed and felt so much more realistic, but I was sad that I had felt so disconnected from them in beginning. I felt like the growth was exponential but I had that lingering memory of how much they had annoyed me in the first half of the book.
I did enjoy the second half of the book but I just wish I had been able to feel those things in the beginning! Not to mention I felt like one scene was directly out of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (although it’s not that like scene hasn’t happened anywhere else… but I’m so ANNA-obsessed that I couldn’t NOT see it) and a bit of a stunt there at the end that was totally insane for someone Emily’s age (I wonder if there were any consequences for that…) but I just let it go and rolled with it.
I was very on the fence with how I felt about Emily and Sloane’s friendship. I honestly don’t really think I’ve had a friendship like that. A lot of my close friendships were a group of three of us (or more) and I feel like I didn’t have ONE best friend that I spent all of time with who was just MY best friend. Sometimes their friendship felt too clingy for me (mostly likely because I didn’t have the same experience so I didn’t quite relate) and I also didn’t like how Sloane felt so much more dominant than Emily (although I totally understand that). I felt like their friendship has some great moments and other times, I didn’t like it at all.
I guess you could say it was an interesting read for me! I actually kind of liked that my opinion on the book didn’t seem to align with so many others because I was able to have my own take on the book. Sometimes when I love the same book that everyone else loves, it isn’t that the book doesn’t deserve it but sometimes I feel like my opinion isn’t unique so it was fun to bounce my reactions off of other people and see how our feelings differed. I was hesitant in the beginning but upon finishing, I’m excited to read those other Matson books that I have on my shelves! I’m not sure they’re high-priority or that I will love them like everyone else loves her work but I’m also open to leaving my expectations at the door and seeing where the books take me!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I loved this book, its such as great friendship story that includes a lot of conquering your fears. This is such a great idea for summer projects of making a list of fears to conquer / things to do.
I loved all the characters in this book with probably the exception of of Sloane, I didn’t mind her so much throughout the book where we only really see her through flashbacks but at the end where everything is explained she does annoy me a little bit.
Emily as a character is great and I can really relate to her, it is great to see her character grow and see her overcome certain tasks and gain confidence throughout the summer, and gaining new friends. Who can not love Frank Porter? What a true gent.
The only problem I felt with this book was a lack of excitement / chemistry between Emily and Frank, I thought the way their relationship grew was lovely but was expecting a little more towards the end.
Overall I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars, if there had been that little bit more between Emily and Frank and Sloane hadnt been quite so annoying at the end I think it would have got a 5.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this book. It's really nice to witness Emily's confidence growing. I think the whole list idea is clever... what a cool thing to be sent! I loved her friendship with Frank, it felt real and lovely. He's so nice!
All in all, it was a fun book to listen to, well narrated and a good plot😊