I am the queen of lists.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time (actually, yesterday I wrote a list, so literally ANY length of time) you know I like lists. I LOVE THEM.
So when a book presents it’s pretty face to me and says, “Hello, human, I am a List Book and you should read me” — I’m not arguing. In fact, I’m clutching the book and dashing for a quiet spot and devouring it all at once.
(Also there is the matter of Engie @ Musing’s From Neville’s Navel saying it was brilliant. I’m congenial. I like recommendations. Even though it wasn’t necessarily recommended at me. I still took it.)
Now I have something very important to say, so take note:
I LOVED THIS BOOK.
It’s about a shy girl. I am a shy girl. I connected to Emily (our narrator) so fast I just wanted to scoop her out of the 450-pages and make her my best friend. (I was wickedly jealous of her BFF, Sloane, I tell you.) And when a bookworm connects to a character SO tightly? I know for sure this is going to down as Awesome Book Of The Year.*
*Well, moment, because, I actually have read a lot of awesome books this year.
I was worried the bottom line of Since You’ve Been Gone would be Emily’s new friends trying to “fix” her shyness.
It happens. It saddens me. At the beginning, yeeeeeah, they were. There were a few comments indicating that living life not being an extrovert was a sad thing. IT’S NOT TRUE. Being extroverted doesn’t solve all your social problems (it can create them too, you know). Since You’ve Been Gone settled into not trying to change Emily from being shy, but making her comfortable with her friends and her decisions. I liked that.
It’s more about being who you are, than changing yourself. At the beginning of the book Emily wears clothes she knows her friend Sloane would approve of…but by the end, she changes out of the cute dress and wears just a simple skirt and white singlet and feels more herself.
The romance is squeak worthy.
Literally. I FEEL LIKE SQUEAKING. It starts as friendship (as any relationship should) because Frank has a girlfriend (mwhaha, famous last words) and he and Emily are “just friends”. Oh, stahp. You’re adorable.
It goes from Emily spending a summer alone, to having Frank and his best friend Collins, and Dawn (who Emily met at work) being the Super Foursome and doing the List together. I love books about friends! But, of course, feelings change between Emily and Frank…and then it gets all messy and sticky and sad. But I just sat there quietly shipping.
The book starts with Sloane (Emily’s BFF) being “missing”. But she left a list.
I moved a lot in my youth.* So I completely understood Emily’s flailing lost feeling of having friends direct your life one minute and then — BOOM — you suddenly have to learn who it is to be you without them.
* My “youth” was like, um, 3 years ago.
So, yeah, I thought this book was okay.
HA! I loved it freakishly much. It had me laughing. (Out loud! Honest, ask my sister, I’m sure she thought I was watching VlogBrothers, but no, I was reading this incredible book.) It made me feel braver since I’m a super shy introvert myself and it made me remember how important friendships are.
(I feel like YA books sometimes delete friendships in favour of romances. Don’t get me wrong! Romances are fine. But friendships are really important too.)
I only had one problem…the title.
There’s a lot of song lyric references in the book so the title completely makes sense. But every time I look at this book….
Pitch Perfect. Every. single. time.
Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for the review-copy! It came out in May, 2014.
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? Okay, 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…
Cait is having a few blog technical issues with her homepage. Stay with her! She’ll sort it out (or, regrettably, will delete the problem post…which sucks, because she liked that one). Besides wailing over her blog problems, she’s also rewriting. She spent today googling fine dining and got seriously hungry looking at restaurant menus. (RESEARCH, duh.) So far in her rewrite, she’s not used a single sentence from the first draft. Life is like that.