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...
In Since You’ve Been Gone, Emily’s BFF Sloane disappears, and leaves behind a mysterious list of thirteen dares/challenges/tasks for Emily to do. Over the course of the book, with the help of some new friends, Emily’s summer changes dramatically as she crosses the thirteen items off the list.
I love lists. I’m always starting to-do lists, mostly for just the satisfaction of crossing things off. I’ve always wanted someone to leave me a list like the one Sloane leaves for Emily. But since I don’t see that happening, I thought I’d write my own! Here is my Since You’ve Been Gone-inspired list of things that would challenge me, things that scare me, things that would nudge me out of my comfort zone. Here goes:
1. Drive a stick shift
I have no idea how to do this. I keep meaning to learn, but then I never end up doing it. I need something like a direct challenge to get me to do it! I think people who can drive stick just seem so cool and confident. Also, I was in France last year with my mother, and learned the hard way that there are like no cars for rent in France that aren’t stick shift. We lived to tell the story. But barely.
2. Go camping
There’s a kind of camping scene in the book. There’s not a real camping scene because I’ve never done it – not actual, roughing it, sleeping under the stars, no Starbucks in sight, camping. It intimidates me simply because I don’t know what to do/how to do it. Nor do I own things like tents or sleeping bags. I’m also not sure of the mechanics of the thing. Like, do you leave the tent up during the day? When you’re away doing whatever you do during the day when you’re camping? I need to figure these things out. And then I need to do them.
I mean, it can’t be that dangerous, right? People do it to celebrate their 80th birthdays. You probably won’t die. Almost assuredly. Really.
4. Drive through the American West
I haven’t taken a really significant road trip (at least a week on the road) since my Amy & Roger research trip. There just always seems to be a reason, or an excuse. But I LOVE road trips and they make me happy, and I sometimes forget that. So I just need to pack up my dog and my laptop and hit the highway. I want to go places I either haven’t been or haven’t spent much time in – the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana. And I need to do it this summer/fall before things get too cold.
I used to go to music festivals and concerts ALL the time. I’ve really fallen off in the last few years, and I need to fix this. But I especially want to go to these three music festivals. I’ve never been to any of them, and am feeling the distinct need to remedy that!
6. Go vegan (for a week)
My friends who are vegan are always telling me how great they feel, how much better it is for you, etc. I’ve always resisted, because…CHEESE. I mean, life force! I don’t think I could do
without pizza long term. I mean, that’s just madness. But I would like to see how I would manage for a week. Surely I can handle a week….right?
7. Ride a horse
This is on Emily’s list in the book, too. In the book it’s because she’s scared of horses, and it’s a big fear-conquering moment for her. I’m not scared of horses – I used to ride all the time when I was a kid. But I haven’t ridden in years now, and need a nudge to get back in the saddle (so to speak).
8. Go skinny-dipping
Eep! This is also one of the items on Emily’s list, but it’s something I would like to challenge myself to do as well. After all, it’s summer, right? J
9. Travel to Australia
I’ve been once, but when I was a little kid, which was…quite a few years ago! I’m dying to go back. Really, my dream is to rent an RV and drive through the outback, but I’m not sure I’m quite there yet. Might have to save that for another list.
Another thing that I’m always talking about doing, but never actually getting around to. It is, at least, much less scary than skydiving.
About the Author
Morgan Matson formerly worked as a teen book editor. Morgan is a lover of roadtrips, having crossed the USA three times ... so far, and a huge music fan, both passions that fed into her first YA novel Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. When not writing, she drinks far too much coffee, watches old movies, and plans out her next journey. She lives in California. - See more at: http://authors.simonandschuster.co.uk/Morgan-Matson/471610454#sthash.QS5KANNL.dpufMorgan Matson formerly worked as a teen book editor. Morgan is a lover of roadtrips, having crossed the USA three times ... so far, and a huge music fan, both passions that fed into her first YA novel Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. When not writing, she drinks far too much coffee, watches old movies, and plans out her next journey. She lives in California.