Synopsis: Sloane marches to the beat of her own drum and, in turn, gives best friend Emily the confidence to do and say things she never would have. But when Sloane disappears, leaving Emily with nothing but a summer bucket list and no clues as to where she might have gone, Emily will have to face some daunting tasks to find her. But is she looking for Sloane, or is she finding herself? So can we talk about this cover? I like a nice cover as much as the next girl, but this cover screams SUMMER and BESTIES to me. I don’t even need a blurb to know this is for me. And those sunglasses! I don’t know about you, but this is my idea of book cover heaven.
I’m a big fan of Morgan Matson (I’ve mentioned her in other reviews before) and I couldn’t wait to read this book. It did not disappoint. From the very start you can feel the great loss Emily is going through, the dread of a summer stretching ahead without her best (and only) friend. I loved the way that throughout the book she is constantly thinking how she should tell Sloane this or call Sloane now – just like all girlies do. And the flashbacks scattered throughout the book help the reader get to know Sloane and understand the dynamic of their friendship.
“The second I got home, I had to tell Sloane – Except, of course, that I couldn’t.”
Emily is a fabulous protagonist. Her emotions and thoughts feel so real, it’s like being in her head. Her minor social anxieties and dependence upon the extroverted Sloane were massively relatable, As a character, I found her incredibly likeable and the more I read the more I was rooting for her; she grew so much throughout the book.
The list breaks the story up nicely, giving strong insight into Emily’s fears. I liked the way each chapter covered an item on the list and how none of the tasks, or Emily’s attempted completion of them, ever became predictable or corny.
“Like the others she’d sent – one appearing every time I went away, even if it was just for a few days – there was no explanation. Like the others, it was a list of outlandish things, all outside my comfort zone, all things I would never normally do.”
Though there is a bit of a love story in the book, this is a story about friendship, in all it’s different forms. In the beginning, Emily is clearly idealizing the memories she has of her and Sloane, but as the book progresses, and Emily gains new and unexpected allies, the imperfections begin to show. Overall, I felt like this book was a perfect blend of summer, romance, adventure and self-discovery. The element of the list never became contrite and gave the story a nice flow. And the ending left me with a massive grin on my face. Can’t recommend this book enough; the perfect book to pass on to your bunk-mates or keep you company in the glow of the campfire!
So I love this book so much that I am giving away a beautiful hardback copy to one lucky Camper! To enter, I want to know what would be at the top of your ‘Summer Bucket List’! The giveaway will run for the duration of IGGPPC Camp and I’ll email the winner. Happy Camping!