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. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?
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?
Go Skinny Dipping? Um…
If this happened to me, I’ll probably ditch the list, haha. I don’t do well with dares, random and totally harmless or otherwise. And Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson centered around a dare list prepared by our MC’s missing best friend. But after reading it and I started reeling the details, I realized a few things some pertaining Emily, our heroine and her friendship with Sloane, the perpetrator of the said list. I don’t know it was conscious effort or just something I made up myself, but here’s the fact: I liked what I read and liked what I understood (and conjectured).
Sloane has a habit of being gone without leaving a word, so that’s what Emily though when one day she was gone and left was a list. But weeks had passed and not even a strand of her hair had returned. She decided to do the list she left and while on process of doing she met their serious and academically excellent schoolmate, Frank Porter. With his help she started ticking off that items from the list in hopes that at the end of it, she will get to see her best friend again. But that summer changed something in her, something she didn’t realize while she was with Sloane and it wasn’t exactly a bad thing.
I think the list that Sloane left has nothing to do with her opening up (catalyst maybe but not purposely). I found most of the task completely random and unrelated to profundity in life (and I’m not going to go there). I don’t think that was her objective from the get-go. But in a way that was what happened. Many times Emily mentioned feelings and situations that she hadn’t felt/done while with her. Sloane was the moon blocking Emily’s sun in an eclipse kinda of way. The spotlight wasn’t on her, it was always on Sloane. She didn’t receive compliments, Sloane did. It looked to me that she caged Emily in one place but in a weird way she was also the one the freed her via the list she provided.
I know right off the bat what Frank Porter’s role this entire time. But I liked their transition from someone she thought she knew to someone who he really was. So the romance was good for me. In fact, she liked his friendship first and that evolved into something more. I think the little mishap between them was tad bit off but it did serve a purpose (beyond him being her ride to this little road trip to Sloane). It did make the reunion quite happy, if you ask me.
Sloane’s missing status was one of mystery of the book to me. I confess that my mind boggled with these asinine ideas. Good thing though, it was just quite simple kinda anticlimactic reason why she left and didn’t even leave a single word. And while I think that their friendship was off-balance (scale weigh more on Sloane) it didn’t mean that Sloane cared for her less. After all it was her list that triggered the changes in her—on purpose or not.
Preview Quote: “And it was a kiss that felt like it could stop time. The rain was falling on us, but I didn’t even feel or notice or care about it. We were kissing like it was a long-forgotten language that we’d once been fluent in and were finding again,”