Dear Morgan Matson,
Before reading your book, Since You've Been Gone, I was just a normal kid going through the everyday motions of life. I had a normal family, normal friends, and a normal life. Everything. About. Me. Was. Normal.
Although from the outside I seemed perfectly normal, on the inside I was feeling far from it. It was as if I was inside a shell waiting for the perfect moment come out. That time never came...instead it was a book that pried me out. How could a book that had so much sorrow, sadness, and anger make a person so happy. From the first sentence, I was pulled in and couldn't find my way out. “It was Solone who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting.” That's exactly what your book did to me.
My shell suddenly shook vigorously and I fell out. I was free from the prison of normal. I was unique, special, different. Anything but normal. That word. It echoes through my head, bounces off my brain, and comes out of my mouth...NORMAL. I've never wanted anything more in my life than to be brave enough to try things that would make people notice me. I still may not be as brave as Emily, but going from the quiet girl that was never noticed to a girl who will talk as loud as she can in dead silence is saying something.
I used to think Emily was frightened, worried, and always second guessing herself. But now I realize it was Solone who was scared and Emily came out of her shell to be with her friend, but Solone just left her scared and alone.
After reading your book, I noticed things about myself that I hadn’t noticed before. For example, in class I raised my hand with courage and pride, instead of having the teacher call on me and being scared to death about getting the answer wrong. At recess I played with the “cool kids”, instead of playing by myself. At home I called my friends instead of waiting for them to call me. I felt like a commercial “new and improved". I walked the halls not worried about what other people thought of me. Your book was the missing piece to my puzzle. You made my life 100% interesting. Thank you.