Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

Posted June 1, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Main Character: Mclean
Love Interest: Dave
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads


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 Goodbyeis irresistible reading.

You would think that I’d learn my lesson about not starting a Sarah Dessen book at night time because I always, always read well into the early morning but for some reason, this is a lesson that I just cannot listen to. I started this book at a little before 10pm and finished it at 2:52am.

I couldn’t put it down.

Sarah Dessen wrote a fantastic story about a young girl who is stuck in the middle of her parents divorce. She’s mad at her Mom for cheating on her Dad and she thinks she should be the person to stick with her Dad and help take care of him because he needs her. This story follows Mclean into a new city and possibly a new identity.

Mclean’s father is a restaurant consultant who is hired to come into struggling restaurants and pull them out of the gutter. Sometimes the job is a few months, sometimes the job is shorter than that but always, they move to a new city every few months or so. To get away from herself, McLean has started reinventing herself every time she moves to a new city. It’s weird but it’s what she does. It’s how she copes with the divorce, her life and everything, really.

Right now, they’re in a new town and the first thing Mclean sees when she gets to her new house? A boy hanging out in her backyard, like he has no worries in the world. He’s just hanging out by himself in her backyard and she’s too surprised to say anything at first and then, he sees her and jumps right over the fence and into the next door and goes inside the house. Right from the jump, you can just tell that this new town was going to be a lot different from the other towns.

Because Mclean and her Dad are always on the move, Mclean doesn’t feel the need to get close to anyone because she won’t be in that town for long so what’s the point? That’s part of the reason she has a new identity every time they move but when she meets Dave, Riley, Deb and Heather…she can’t help but fall right in with them.

What an enjoyable read this book turned out to be. I know that I’m always going to get a good story when Sarah Dessen writes it but I’m still surprised by how much I like the books when I’m finished with them. This book was another good one. It’s not my favorite of the Dessen books that I’ve read but it’s still pretty hot darn good.

I enjoyed getting to know Mclean and Dave. I adored that the parents in this story play a big part of their kids lives. There’s no absentee parenting going on in this story. Everyone in this story felt real and I came to care about the whole lot of them. Mclean, Dave, Deb, Riley, Heather and Ellis all became my friends by the end of the book and Mclean’s Dad and Opal were great additions to the story. I loved how Mclean’s mother didn’t give up on a relationship with Mclean and I loved how when Mclean needed them, both of her parents were there for her.

If you enjoy Sarah Dessen’s writing then you’re going to enjoy this book. If you like contemporary YA novels with charming characters and an engaging storyline then you’re going to enjoy this one and well, really if you enjoy reading than I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. Read this book when you get a chance because it’s good dangit!

..and that’s your scoop!

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4 responses to “Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

  1. I got this one while I was in Texas last month and I can’t wait to read it!! I’m so glad you liked it quite a bit.

    I see it now, taunting me from my book shelf, I just need to find some time to squeeze it in.

    Thanks for the awesome review.

  2. I can’t wait to read this one! I got it from teh library but haven’t started it yet. Gotta get on it before I have to return it! Glad to hear Dessen scores again!!!!!

  3. Rowena

    @Alex: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I liked this book since I adore anything Sarah Dessen writes. =)

    @Mollie: I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this one.

    @Ames: You’re the person that got me hooked on Sarah Dessen, I’m surprised you haven’t read this one.

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