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Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Published: May 2011

Source: Barnes and Noble

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 416


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. (Barnes and Noble)

Sarah Dessen has hit another one out of the park. I fell in love with this book immediately. Dessen’s books have always captivated me from the beginning, and this one was no exception. Mclean, a senior in high school, has been living with her dad ever since her parent’s scandalous divorce. Her father is a restaurant consultant that jumps from job to job meaning they move constantly. Mclean has moved four different times in two years. Every time she moves, she creates a different persona – Liz, Beth, Lizbet, etc; she enjoys deciding who she will be instead of what people think she should be. Except when they move to Lakeview, Mclean decides to stay Mclean. She doesn’t completely understand why at first, but throughout the book she begins to realize she enjoys being Mclean much more than her previous personas she thought she liked.

The story is like any other from Dessen: charming, funny, witty, touching, and thoughtful. Unlike other Dessen books though, this one focuses more on the family aspect instead of completely focusing on the life of the main character and a certain boy. The story feels real based on the related circumstances. Everyone, at least once in their life, tries to find themselves, and in What Happened to Goodbye, this is exactly what Mclean is trying to do. She needs to decide who she really wants to be and if she will finally let people get close enough to have lasting relationships with them.

However, this book is not without a good-looking, charming guy. Dave, Mclean’s neighbor, is the extremely smart, cute, and all around great guy that Mclean is afraid of. She doesn’t know if she is ready to get close to anyone since her and her father may relocate at any point. But as the story unfolds and some things turn sour, she finds herself relying on Dave and needing him more than she expected.

What Happened to Goodbye does not disappoint for us hardcore Dessen followers. It will have you laughing, thinking, and maybe even tearing up a little bit. I recommend it to any new and old Dessen readers.

1 comment:

  1. I've only read a couple of Sarah Dessen's books *DUCKS* and have been meaning to read more!

    This sounds a little like another book about a girl who is always moving (Zombie Blondes, maybe?), but I do not think she re-invents herself as this character does. That sounds rather interesting - and fun! Why wouldn't you do that?

    I'll have to read this book! :)


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