Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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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? Um...
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? Wait ... what?
OMG I loved this book. It was fantastic. This is my first Morgan Matson book, but since I’ve heard people raving about the others I’ll definitely be reading those too.
The story concept was great. I loved the underlying mystery of where Sloane was, and it didn’t even feel eerie. I’ve been reading too many books lately where people go missing and end up dead somehow. I mean, then it’s pretty obvious when something’s wrong. But when Sloane went missing I didn’t feel that. I just thought, hey, she’s gone somewhere, now let’s see how Emily learns to be without her.
And a good part of that was that even while Sloane was gone from the beginning of the book, we still got to see snapshots of who she was through Emily’s memories. That was really cool. I could totally feel their bond. They did seem right for each other. The perfect best friends. Well, excluding the Sam bit. But even after that, things were all right again.
Spoiler? Maybe? I’m not sure whether it counts as a spoiler, but since it’s not in the synopsis, I’ll just give the heads up. Well, I bet you could probably guess from the synopsis, anyway. But the whole Frank situation was so cute. But serious, you know? At the beginning, perhaps for the first half of their friendship, I really didn’t see them together. They just seemed so opposite. But then I could see subtle signs from Frank that he was interested. It was adorable. And Emily didn’t really notice her own feelings until later- which at times is frustrating but I could forgive her because she had other things on her mind. Sloane’s disappearance? Her parents? The list? New friends? Yeah. But the interesting part was actually Frank himself. He was the typical Boy Scout, Captain Responsible. That is not the usual type of guy you see in a romantic role. I mean, nerds, sure, but not, you know, the do-gooder save-the-whales top of the class. ESPECIALLY when he and Emily didn’t even know each other before that chance meeting. He was just some guy to her, just some guy she had an idea about but never spoke to. And we all have those people in our lives. But it was sweet finding out that he was more under the surface and that he and Em got along so well, after a while of course. The beginning was a bit rocky. Also I liked how there was emphasis on the fact that a relationship with him would be a serious thing. A commitment. Not just some casual fling. I like that. I mean, there really are two main kinds of relationships, and in high school there seems to be a lot more of the casual-fling type. So it’s refreshing to see two people who understand exactly what they’re doing when they decide to get serious- and by that I mean, actually get serious. They know it. They’re not fooling themselves.
It was also cool to see Emily grow throughout. And I knew that that was half the reason that Sloane left her the list. Emily was nothing without Sloane at the beginning, and she had several awkward encounters (that mostly could have been avoided if she’d been brave enough to just tell the truth). I mean, the truth would have helped a lot. I don’t know why she felt like she had to lie to everybody. But she figured that out quickly enough. But then you could see her coming out of her shell a bit more and the person she is at the end is very different from who she started out as. I’m sure she made Sloane proud.
The list itself was cool. Interesting, random, exciting, scary. A nice mix of things. And it was good to note that some weren’t just as easy as waking up one morning and deciding, hey I’m going to conquer this fear today. Some took several tries. Some were terrifying. Some were almost disasters. And some were fantastic experiences. She had quite the summer.
I just wanted to go back to her relationship with Frank for a minute. At the beginning I said that there wasn’t really much they had in common, but sometimes, it’s the small things that are important. Like how they went running every morning. How they shared music and made mixes for each other, meaningful ones. How they had their regular places to hang out and knew that if they wanted to meet up at one at, say, midnight, the other person would be there. Dependability. How silence could be okay, but talking was easy once they got started. How they were constantly surprising each other, mostly in good ways. That’s what makes a relationship, an enviable one. And it also proves that maybe it’s a good thing to not be too similar.
All in all, this book was an adventure. I loved it. There was some humor, a lot of awkwardness, and some really sweet moments. And, of course, some depressingly sad ones. But hey, all that makes a great, believable adventure. I can’t wait to buy this book for my personal library.
reaction upon finishing
that was so GOOD! *book hangover lasting approx. 2 days*
this book in one word