he 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?
Wow. I really did not expect to like this book. You might be thinking… Veronica what did you just say?! and I am rather surprised myself that I had those thoughts too. I am one of those people that LOVES Morgan Matson books. I tell people I don’t even know at the bookstore that they have to read one of her books. The thing is that when SYBG was released, I wasn’t too thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited, but the synopsis didn’t grab me. Kayla bought me the book because she is awesome and I started reading it and… it fell flat. I couldn’t get into it. It was boring. (Yes I know I committed blasphemy by saying that but keep reading please)
10 months later, I decide to give SYBG another chance because I HAVE to. I was at a different point in my life then and maybe my perceptive now will change since I am at a different stage in life. I decide to “read” the book a different way this time too. Once I received my credit on Audible, I choose to spend that credit on SYBG and listen to it on my commute to and from work. Let me jus tell you the wonders a good audiobook does to your overall experience of a book, it gave Emily a voice that I couldn’t have given her in my mind. I got so into the story that I regretted packing all of my books already, and not leaving SYBG out. As I was wallowing because I could only hear SYBG and not read it too, Ms. Matson tweeted that the kindle version of SYBG was on sale for 1.99. I snatched that baby up in no time and started reading it. A month of car rides and reading SYBG at night when I could muster enough energy to stay awake for 20 more minutes, I finished it and it ended up being exactly what I needed.
Emily is a very relatable character. I think my 17 year old self would have connected with Emily more, but nonetheless, I did too at 24. In February I started a new job and I had to be the new girl all over again and It’s easy to be the shadow of a new friend. I’ve done that my entire life, but an important lesson I’ve learned is that you need to have an identity all on your own and be proud of that identity. I came into my new job with this mentality and it has worked. I am my own person and I can also be somebody’s good friend without being their shadow.
This review is more of my journey and not information itself of the book because that is exactly how the book is. I recommend you read it at some point in your life. You may not be ready for it now (or you might be), but you will be ready for it at some point and it will leave you feeling good and content with life.
Before I close, let’s not forget about Frank. I’m not a fan of the name Frank, but this character has even made me like the name. He is the sweetest, most loyal, human character I’ve read in contemporary YA in a long time. Don’t get me wrong I am still in love with Isaiah from Crash Into You (that boy will be the death of me), but there is something so real and raw about Frank that I have to say Ms. Matson did a darn good job with her characters in SYBG.