What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Published: May 10, 2011 by Viking Juvenile
Another town? Another new school? Mclean really doesn’t mind. In fact, she welcomes the chance to try on a new persona. Ever since her parents’ bitter divorce, she ad her father have been on the move, leaving the unhappy past behind them. And each move has brought a fresh opportunity for Mclean to reinvent herself. Perky rah-rah girl. Drama mama. All-round joiner.
But here in Lakeview, for the first time she’s putting down roots, making friends, and just trying to be someone she hasn’t been in a long time: herself. Dave has something to do with it. He’s the most real person Mclean’s ever met, and he thinks he’s falling in love with the real Mclean. Mclean doesn’t even know who that is anymore, but she wants to find out- before it’s time to move on again.
Sarah Dessen books pretty much define contemporary YA for me. With the exception of Dreamland, That Summer, and Someone Like You, I have been head-over-heels for all of her books. She creates the best male characters: Wes, Dexter, Owen… This book is no different- it has family drama, inner turmoil, and a sweet guy and turned out to be one of my favorite Dessen books so far. Although nothing can touch The Truth About Forever or This Lullaby.
Reasons I love this book:
- Mclean and her dad- It seems to me that in Sarah Dessen books, for the most part, there is usually a mother-daughter conflict while the dad is either gone, dead, or unimportant. (There are exceptions of course- namely Along for the Ride) Mclean’s relationship with her dad is so quirky and unique.
- Dave- Dave is made of awesome. He’s sweet and geeky but has a good heart. I love how he and Mclean first meet, and all of their encounters are great.
- Deb and the town model- Deb is a great character who is a lot more than she seems to be, and when she takes over building the model of the town she really breaks out of her shell. Deb’s kind of nuts but it’s hilariously real- how someone can turn out to be nothing like you expected.
- obsession with basketball- These details are what makes Sarah Dessen books so real, plus it really helped to show how close Mclean and her dad are.
- Mclean’s fight with her mom- Usually Dessen’s main character has a struggle with herself and finding love, while her family issues are secondary. Here there was a lot of time devoted to her fight with her mom and less than I would have liked to see and Mclean and Dave.
- Lindsay Baker- Ugh. She’s some kind of politician and she leaves up to the stereotype of shiny and fake fake fake. She’s extremely annoying, but then that’s who her character is meant to be.
- There’s a really weird transition after Mclean has a heart to heart with her parents. All of the sudden it’s days later and she’s acting like everything is fine and nothing ever happened. It was like the equivalent of a fade to black in a movie and really threw me.
- The cover blurbs for Dessen’s books have always bugged me a little. The blurbs make the books sounds incredibly cheesy like they’re Lifetime movies. If my friends hadn’t begged me to read them, I would have never picked any of them up after reading the blurb.
- (This is not really about this book in particular, but I went to buy this one and the cover price was $19.99! What?! I know that’s cheap for adult hardcovers, but did I miss when YA book prices skyrocketed from like $16?)
- I love the appearances by other characters and places- here are the ones I spotted:
- town of Colby
- the Last Chance
- Heidi and Thisbe
- Jackson High
- Ume website
- Comment if you found any I missed!
- Then, though, I saw the single figure at the back of my house, walking away from the back door. And another person, a girl, running through the side yard, where the hedge would have been, while someone else, with a badge and flashlight followed. There were three people under the basketball goal, one lying prone on the ground. – pg. 388-389
- “Wait,” he said, moving over to the next cabinet and opening it. Empty. “Is this… What going on here? Are you, like, survivalists or something?” – pg. 213
What can I say- it’s a Sarah Dessen book so you should go read it!