Wow what a surprise. I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did, but ending up really enjoy reading it. This is a gem and I am very pleased with it!
First of all, really love the title because it reminds me of Kelly Clarkson (I loved that song back in 2004!) and also really love the cover, quite original. It sets the mood and scene perfectly well.
Sloane and Emily are best friends. Sloane is more daring, sociable and charismatic, whereas Emily is the opposite and in the shadow of Sloane. They did everything together. Sloane was Emily’s only friend, therefore she depended on her, but then one day before summer, Sloane mysteriously disappears. No phone call, no text, note, nada. But what was left was a list that Sloane had written for Emily, therefore she felt obliged to complete, if it meant that it would lead her to finding Sloane.
This is my first Morgan Matson read and I feel like I have nothing but good things to say about this book! Which is saying something because usually I’m always criticizing a little something about a book. Anyway, Emily is a typical main character; she’s awkward, shy and has social anxieties issues, but above all she is a very relatable character. The way the author written it through Emily’s voice made the story realistic to read. I did feel sympathetic towards Emily because she is so use to doing everything with Sloane, so adjusting to her not being there can be hard.
Emily goes through a journey of self-discovery with this list and I felt proud of her. She went out of her comfort zone, became brave and did things she didn’t normally do and eventually growing out of her shell. I was glad she made some new friends along the way and potential love interest, Frank Porter. You know what the great thing about this book was? No Instalove and no clichéd lines. I reached midway into the story and was literally praying that Morgan Matson won’t let me down and she didn’t. I was impressed. It was so well written and well developed between Emily and Frank, how they met, how they became friends, as they started to run together and hanging out together with Dawn and Collins. All books should stop rushing romance and have good development like this one.
The problem with most YA contemporaries (and this is a fact) is that the love interests is constantly always the perfect, cocky, hot attractive guy and sometimes I think I am reading the same love interest book after book. That’s until I read this book; for a change, Frank is a smart levelheaded guy. He’s the class President, which makes him a good example of a leader. He’s someone who just wants to do well and be a good person. There should be more characters like Frank (plus he’s got great taste in music!) I can’t fault that.
I really like the running playlists inserted in the chapters, as both Emily and Frank have included some really great tracks! And also the flashbacks show how genuine Emily and Sloane’s friendship was. I enjoyed reading the first day the met. My favourite from the list was Emily having to ‘Kiss a Stranger’ and ‘Penelope’ because they were both quite funny!
It took me so long to read it because I was worried that it wouldn’t appeal to me or that I wouldn’t like it but I watched The Book Basement’s YouTube Book Review a while ago and she really liked it. So overall, I am still surprised about this! The chapters in the beginning were quite long, but it’s the writing style that captivated me to continue reading. I couldn’t put it down, the pacing was good, it was memorable and something I would like to reread again. I think everyone should read this! It is the perfect summer read.