Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

My first Morgan Matson book and it certainly won’t be my last. A tale of friendship, love, and learning to be brave. 

Since You’ve Been Gone Summary

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made her 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?

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones

Since You’ve Been Gone Review

I had pretty high expectations when I picked up Since You’ve Been Gone. I’d heard great things about it, and with a 4.17-star rating on Goodreads I knew there were lots of readers out there who’ve loved it. In the beginning, though, I began to wonder why it had been rated so highly. I wasn’t at all sure that it was going to be my cup of tea – I found it to be quite slow paced and I wasn’t hooked.

A few chapters in, everything changed for me. I realised that the time taken over this novel is what makes it so great. At 464 pages, it’s a reasonably long book for a YA, but its length means you really get to know its gorgeous characters. I loved the concept, and think a list like Sloane’s would do me the world of good.

To begin with, Emily was extremely hesitant about Sloane’s list of 13 daunting tasks. She’s always been shy and quiet and careful, hiding in Sloane’s larger than life shadow. But you’ll witness Emily slowly but surely build up her courage, and in doing so she discovers a side of herself she wasn’t sure existed.

I felt like I could really relate to Emily, and I think that’s part of why I found the first few chapters so frustrating. Seeing a personality so close to my own reflected on the pages like that was uncomfortable to read and highlighted some truths I wanted to ignore. But watching her come out of her shell and learn to love herself was uplifting, and I felt absolutely inspired.

A tale of friendships, first love and learning to be brave, Since You’ve Been Gone certainly won’t be the last Morgan Matson I read. It was one of my favourite books of 2017, and I’d highly recommend it – it’s the perfect summer read.

My rating 

4.5/5 stars

You might also like 

Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

Two Summers by Amiee Friedman

Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

A Library of Lemons by Jo Cotterill

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella



  1. 6th May 2018 / 7:29 pm

    This is such a wonderful review! I’ve heard about the book a lot, but since it’s a contemporary, I didn’t really care that much. I always like to read contemporaries during the summer and I actually think I might pick this up as an eBook or something when I go on holiday! It sounds right up my alley and it feels like quite a relatable story. 🙂

    • Ashleigh Macro
      8th May 2018 / 1:37 pm

      Aw, thank you Ayla! And that sounds like a brilliant plan, I think it’s well worth it and I can tell by the Goodreads ratings that I’m not alone in that opinion. I hope you enjoy it (and your holiday, too!)


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