Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson


 

Title:  Since You’ve Been Gone 

Author: Morgan Matson
Paperback: 464 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: star icon star icon star iconstar icon

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Disclaimer: There are minor spoilers in this review. 

One of my favorite book tropes is friend to romance. Once I figured out while reading that this is what SYBG would become, I was immediately more hooked than I was from the start. Emily has been left a list of 13 tasks that are completely out of her comfort zone. Emily dedicates the summer to completing this list that her best friend, Sloane has left her – who has disappeared and only left her this list. This has Emily frantic and confused by the whole situation. However, SYBG is not about wondering where Sloane could have went, it’s about Emily completing the list and how the list changes her life that used to just be her and Sloane. I loved that Emily was discovering herself and the summer she wasn’t expecting.

I definitely should have been eating ice cream at some point during this book because I was craving it when Emily would be working at Paradise. Speaking of Paradise, I really liked the introduction of Dawn and how Emily would tag along on her deliveries! I knew about Emily and Dawn briefly from reading The Unexpected Everything where they make a cameo at Captain Pizza. I like how Matson writes her characters, realistic and you want to become friends with them ASAP. That’s how I felt with Dawn and Emily as well as Collins and Frank.

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I LOVED FRANK. He was a great character and I loved how friendly he was and his friendship with Collins was awesome!! Morgan Matson is great at writing friendships in any type of way. Emily was used to sticking by Sloane’s side and having her do everything like talking and making the decisions. Emily has to learn how to branch out and do things by herself and for herself without Sloane being there. Emily’s character grows immensely. Matson really knows how to write character development. Frank and Emily are friends before anything serious happens romanticly. They run together, share playlists, and joke around with each other, as well as have their “in a well-ordered universe” inside joke.

It’s so SO rare for there to be male/female friendships before any romance happens. Usually it’s just insta-love but I loved how the development of Frank and Emily was written and flowed. For me, I wasn’t anticipating a relationship for Frank and Emily but I was glad for the ending of the book. SO CUTE.

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Matson’s writing is easy to read, fun and descriptive. I especially enjoyed the incorporation of flashbacks in this book. The flashbacks are how you learn about Sloane and Emily’s friendship which led me to my impression of Sloane which wasn’t good. I really wasn’t a fan of her because she seemed like she controlled Emily and Emily was always afraid to speak up. The drive-in flashback scene in particular, Sloane’s boyfriend Sam unexpectedly arrives which leads Emily to being alone when it was supposed to be her day with Sloane. However, I think this experience ties into a lot of the friendship and relationship elements that happen in the book.  Sloane also seemed to be very uncaring of their friendship when Emily showed up at the end of the book. She didn’t seem to care that she was abandoning their friendship and Emily’s feelings weren’t acknowledged.

This book inspired me to make my own summer bucket list. It’s only in my mind right now but I do want to make one with 13 things to accomplish. I saw a lot of myself in Emily’s character as she’s very independent in the sense that she keeps to herself and overthinks things especially in social settings. For example, the beginning of the book at The Orchard. Emily goes by herself and is worried that everyone sees her being there by herself but no one is really looking at all. I related to Emily a lot, however I did get very annoyed by her choices and the way she treated Frank. She expected him to drive her to see Sloane after she ignored him and ran away from him instead of just listening. This made me very furious especially that Frank said yes. However, I was glad that Frank wasn’t acting like nothing happened and told her how he felt.

If you’re looking for a great summer read with character development and a fun friend group, I recommend Since You’ve Been Gone! It gives you all the summer vibes you will need to get into the summer mood. Matson also includes playlists in this novel just like in Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which I enjoyed. If you have read Matson’s other books, you’ll appreciate the references.


 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli ~ SPOILER FREE REVIEW!


 

Title: The Upside of Unrequited 
Author:  Becky Albertalli
Hardback: 350 pages
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: star icon star icon star iconstar iconstar icon

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It was inevitable that I would enjoy this book having loved Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky’s debut novel and this book did a fantastic job at satisfying my book-lover needs.

Molly Peskin-Suso has had twenty-six crushes but has never been kissed. This has come easily for her twin sister, Cassie who has had girlfriends like it was not a problem. Molly learns about growing apart from her sister and finding herself. Everything changes this summer for Molly when she starts working at Bissel, a shop in town and meets a nerdy boy, Reid.

Reid and Molly are my new OTP. I shipped them so, so hard and I was laughing out loud. Reid is a funny guy who is obsessed with GoT and Cadbury Mini Eggs (same to the mini eggs). Reid has a great sense of humor and so much sarcasm. Their story is so cute and pure and I JUST LOVED IT AND THEM AND AH.

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This book has so much diversity within the character’s (race, sexual orientation, religion, mental health and size). Molly and Cassie are sperm-donor children and have two mothers, Patty and Nadine – who are #parentgoals – they’re so chillaxed and very supportive. Their family is Jewish and interracial, we see Jewish traditions implemented or just talk of Jewish culture (Reid is Jewish too 😉 ). Mina, Cassie’s girlfriend is a pansexual Korean American and we see some of her culture as well.

This is such a great coming of age novel about a seventeen year-old girl wishing for her first kiss. Molly’s story is so real, sweet and raw. I definitely related to Molly in many ways. She has a hard time interacting, she’s shy and experiences anxiety. Molly’s anxiety is not overlooked, we see scenes of her explaining her anxiety especially at a party. She talks about how she can’t drink or shouldn’t be drinking because of her anxiety medicine.This was so important because it’s not often addressed to the fullest. She feels like the friend that is being looked at in the wrong way. But, she also is a Pinterest queen and I envy her. I made some edible cookie  dough that she made and it was delicious.

Becky Albertalli takes this book and defeats the “fat girl” stereotype and makes Molly the YA heroine you wish you could be friends with and you’re rooting for throughout the whole story.

If you liked Simon, you are going to love this novel especially because we get to see more of Abby, who is Molly’s cousin. As well as glimpses of Simon and Nick.

Disclaimer: This book is like Mini Eggs, you’re sad when they are all gone. Truly, I didn’t want it to end.


MY GIF  HOW I FELT THROUGHOUT THE BOOK:

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2017 Reading Challenges: Diverse Reads & Contemporary Romance!


challengesI love doing challenges for the year and having a goal to update! I saw these challenges floating around the Bookternet and I want to try them out! Plus, they’re genres I usually read so it’s not too tough! Look forward to many reviews for these books.

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The Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge was originally created and hosted by Pearl’s World of Romance, passed on to Fatin at Romance Book Maven, then passed on to Brianna at The Book Vixen, Then it was Gone with the Words and Love at First Page‘s turn. and is now hosted by Andi’s ABCs.

MY GOALS:

3rd Base: 11-15 Books 
This was pretty easy to choose for me because I read this genre all year, it was hard to choose just 15! This TBR is subjected to change, but these are the contemporaries I want to read this year.

MY TBR:


I am also participating in the Diversity Bingo created by bloggers on Twitter. It’s a bingo board curated for diverse books. I am compiling my TBR which will be in video form and probably a full post! But, this challenge 2017 Diverse Reads will help me complete the bingo challenge because it’s organized. Sign up for 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge hosted by Mishma and Shelly!

Each month will have a diverse theme:

January – Stories based on/ inspired by diverse folktales/culture/mythology
February – POC/ Biracial/ Multiracial Main Character/Lead
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March – Disability
April – Mental Health
May – Religious Diversity
June and July – Sexuality and Gender Identity
August – Non Western Setting
September – Ownvoices
October – Intersectionality

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November – Diverse Retelling
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December – 2017 Releases
 – For this, I’ll just see what I want to read by the end of 2017.

These are my potiental TBRs for these challenges. I will have a full post and video on my Diversity Bingo 2017 TBR which matches with most of my tbr for #DiverseReads. What books are you hoping to read in 2017?

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