Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 449 pages
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Source: received for review (thanks so much, Simon and Schuster!!)
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?
So this is a book about friendship.
Immediately I liked that. I loved the flashbacks of Emily and Sloane just being best friends. There is not enough of that in YA. More best friend books, please. In my experience of high school at least, friends have been INFINITELY important than any romantic relationship, and there’s so much fodder there for writers. Anyway. I’ll get back to the book.
We also have a lot of lists.
These are things that Emily isn’t particularly keen on doing.
For example: skinny dipping.
I LOVE LIST BOOKS. They have a great structure and you always know where it’s headed. I’m writing one at the moment (well…I will be once I finish NaNoWriMo), and they’re just so much fun. Lists are great.
Emily was a character I really related to…and not just because we have the same name.
Which is weird, by the way, reading a book where the main character has the same name as you. Funnily enough, I don’t read many books with Emilys in them – despite the fact that Emily was THE most popular name when I was born. I guess it’s too common or something?
Anyway, Emily is great.
She’s a bit…shy.
But she’s not the annoying kind of shy – you know, where the author couldn’t think of any other flaws to give her, so she trips over a lot or whatever. That’s annoying. Emily is shy in the painfully awkward way, kind of like me in new situations.
Her dialogue was SO REAL it astounded me. I could hear her saying those words.
Basically, this book is about Emily learning to live without Sloane – making friends, taking risks, having fun. And I loved that. It’s not about Emily having to change, because she doesn’t have to – she’s perfect the way she is. It’s about her wanting to do something different.
There’s also a romance.
(come on, you can totally tell it’s going to be a romance)
I love how this developed. I really do. It was slow-burning and it had problems, and there was that annoying trope of the characters not COMMUNICATING with each other (I seriously hate that), but it was really lovely. And it was based on friendship, which was even better.
This was quite long for a contemporary.
450 pages and really small writing. But it didn’t feel too long, except in some very rare spaces (also I wasn’t a fan of the music playlists, because I didn’t know ANY of the music). It was a great journey: awesome side characters (especially Collins), awesome parents, awesome list. Just awesome.
And it made me want to sing.
(come on, I had to put it in here somewhere)
A wonderful book about friendship and finding out who you are outside of it. Thanks to Cait for the recommendation (she TOLD me so!).
Rating: 5/5 Wonderkitties