What Happened to Goodbye
- Pub. Date: May 2011
- Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
- Format: Hardcover , 416pp
- Sales Rank: 88
- Age Range: Young Adult
- Lexile: HL760L What’s This?
Since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move – four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself – whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out. Combining Sarah Dessen’s trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
So, as you can call tell, I have been on a bit of a Sarah Dessen kick since I discovered her outstanding story recently. Now, I know that I have barely touched on her collection of books, however What Happened to Goodbye has quickly jumped to the top of my favorites list. I loved this story – Mclean is someone I can completely relate to. Not only that but her situation is unique.
Mclean has chosen to live with her father after her parent’s marriage ends in ruin after her mother cheats on and leaves her father for the coach of his all time favorite basketball team at his former college. Mclean was able to make this decision on her own after fights in court about what was best for her considering her father has to move from town to town about every six months for his job as a restaurant consultant Mclean has taken this opportunity to reinvent herself in each school, down to a new name for each new persona. They have moving down to a system and it does not take Mclean long to get into some minor trouble in her new town but she is saved my her next door neighbor, Dave. Mclean realizes that instead of building a new persona and picking new friends based on it, people, “friends” if you will are drawn to her in this town and she might not want to leave. She gets involved in a large community project but is forced away after her mother files with the court that she is not getting to see her per the agreement. While away at the “beach” with her mother she overhears a conversation that she thinks is about her and takes off. Remembering what Dave told her that you need at least one friend to call at 2 am that will bail you out she call him for help and ends up getting him in trouble. What is Mclean going to do about this situation she wants to stay but her dad is moving on?
Mclean is a diverse person driven to do things that most teen would not based on her current life situation. I found myself trying to get into her head and figure her out but each time I thought I had gotten then she changed things up on me. Dave is awesome, the total brainy kid who wants nothing more than to be a normal teen and is pushing his parents past their limiting to do so. All of the other “friends” in this book as just as well developed. They all have history, passion and a want to be known. I love this unlikely group of friends and the project they undertake.
I also enjoyed the inside picture of a restaurant consulting business. I found the process very interesting and think that the setting in the book is great. It is such a dense setting with strong emotional ties all over the place. This is the type of setting I look for!
As in all of the books I have read by Sarah Dessen, this book caught my attention and left me wanting more. I would willing read more about these characters and what happens in their future!
5 of 5 Stars! This is a wonderful YA book and one that I would recommend to teen and adult alike!
*I purchased this book and all opinions are my own.