Since You've Been Gone

By Morgan Matson

Short Summary

"Since You've Been Gone" is a contemporary novel by the young adult contemporary author, Morgan Morgan.

It follows a girl named Emily, during her summer vacation, in a town called Stanwich, in Connecticut.

At the beginning of June, Sloane Williams, Emily's best friend, disappears, and two weeks, a list of thirteen things to do over the summer arrives at Emily's house.

The list includes activities that are simple, such as : sleep under the stars, dance until until dawn, and some activities that can be challenging for anyone, but especially for Emily, such as : steal something, kiss a stranger, ride a horse (Emily's biggest fear), and go skinny-dipping.

In the end of the book, when she finished doing all of the things on the list, she goes on a road trip to Sloane's aunt's house in South Carolina, with another boy (will be explained), where she ends up finding Sloane in, and gets answers to her questions.

The situations that Emily finds herself in throughout the book, get her out of her comport zone, and turn her into a completely different girl, which was the list's main purpose.

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Emily Hughes

Emily is the main character in the book. The book is told from her perspective, with her narration.

She is a shy girl, and she lets her best friend, Sloane Williams, lead and draw attention to herself because of that.

Throughout the book, she completes a list that Sloane sent her, and makes new friends, like : Dawn (the girl works at the pizzeria), Frank (the most popular boy in her class) and Collins (Frank's best friend), who make her a braver person, and a summer she didn't expect.

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Sloane Williams

Sloane is Emily's best friend.

Sloane always draws attention to herself, for various reasons, but not on purpose.

At the beginning of the book, Sloane disappears, and sends Emily a list of things to do over the summer.

At the end of the book, Emily and Frank find Sloane at her aunt's house in South Carolina.

She explains :"When you move as much as I have, you know how it ends. You promise to stay in touch with people, but it doesn't work out" (page 435, line 9)

Sloane and her parents moved to South Carolina because her parents never had real jobs, so they stay at their relatives' summer houses or second homes, and that is why they move often.

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Frank Porter

Frank Porter is Emily's class mate, and he is the most popular boy in her class.

During the summer, Frank helps Emily complete Sloane's list, and in the end of the book, he helps her find Sloane (they to the road trip to South Carolina).

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Matthew Collins

Matthew Collins (Collins) is Frank's best friend.

He is very confident, creative, funny, and sometimes a little bit silly.

Like Frank, he joins the mission of completing the list, and shares his endless amount of ideas about the list.

Collins and Emily had an argument, and didn't talk to each other since then.

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Dawn Finley

Dawn and Emily became friends, when Emily completed the 7th task - 55 Stanwich Ave. Ask for Mona, and started working at "PARADISE", the ice cream shop (Dawn work at "CAPTAIN PIZZA", the pizzeria, at the same mall as "PARADISE").

Dawn also helped completing the list, but also "replaced" Sloane as Emily's best friend.

At the end of the book, Dawn and Emily had an argument, and didn't talk to each other since then.

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I enjoyed this book a lot.

i related to Emily in a way I didn't expect, since the first page.

Like Emily, I don't like to lead and draw attention to myself, but the story and the plot within the book, made me realize that it's okay to be in the front sometimes, to have ideas and opinions and express them.

Therefore, I think that Morgan Matson's main message within the story is to not be afraid of what other people might think of you, and not to be afraid to be and express yourself in any way.