Since You've Been Gone
Summary:The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, 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?
I honestly have no idea how I feel about this. There is a part of me that would like nothing more than to hand it five stars, but the other part of me feels like something was missing that deterred my enjoyment; something I can’t quite put my finger on, no matter how hard I try.
Our story follows a girl named Emily. All her life, Emily has been shy and has stayed in the background; trying her hardest to get through day by day. Until one day she meets Sloane – the outgoing, life of the party. Despite their differences, the two become fast friends.
Until one summer, Sloane… disappears. Soon after her disappearance, a letter arrives in Emily’s mailbox in Sloane’s handwriting. On it are 13 bizarre tasks that only Sloane would think of. These tasks may be out of Emily’s comfort zone, but what if they can help her find her friend again?
As a protagonist I really enjoyed Emily. She’s the type of girl that would sit quietly in the back of the classroom, answering questions only when necessary, trying not to draw attention to herself. However, once she starts completing Sloane’s tasks – most of which are far beyond her comfort level – she finds an inner strength she never knew she had.
As you all probably know, I’m an extrovert. I love performing, and I love being with other people. Because of this, I found it a bit hard to relate to Emily and the way she hid herself under the shell she created; but, regardless, she was still a fantastic character nonetheless.
If you know me, you’ll know that I absolutely adore any YA book with a huge focus on friendship. Rue and Katniss; Hermione, Ron and Harry; Verity and Julie…you name it. I feel that friendship is a topic that does not get the amount of focus it should in young adult literature; authors opting instead for love triangles and romance. This being said, one of the points that lured me into reading this was the friendship aspect, and I must say it absolutely delivered. Their friendship is told mostly through flash-backs, which I thought was an incredibly interesting technique as you were able to see their friendship truly blossom. Although Sloane and Emily are complete polar opposites, you can truly see how they benefit from one another.
All in all, a solid read. I think it might be better suited for introverts though, as they’ll really be able to connect to Emily and her situation in a way I wasn’t able to.