Who is the real McLean?
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 Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.
Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
LONG STORY SHORT:
What happened to Goodbye is one of those Sarah Dessen novels that I really like because of the identifying - element. I found the main character so relatable, I didn't have any problems understanding her emotions and why she acted the way she did. Also, I really enjoyed the setting in the story and the weird family constellations. This is a very cute read that I'd recommend for those who want a lighter Dessen - read, a bit different from books like Just Listen or Lock and Key.
What Happened to Goodbye was my second Dessen - book after Lock and Key and I read it way before I started this blog. I think it was almost a year ago. What made me buy it was the synopsis, a girl that wakes up every few months, pretending to be a completely new person? That's what I've tried and failed to do for years and years!
Usually, in Sarah Dessen books I don't care for the guys that much. Especially in the ones I read more recently. I hated Dexter from This Lullaby, I couldn't really understand Sumner from That Summer...but for some reason I loved Dave. He was so cute and weird and awesome and so real - I couldn't stop smiling whenever he entered a scene.
Also, the friendships McLean makes during her last stay are so great. The people she meets - all so different and unique with great character traits and huge flaws! They're funny and nice and you want them to be your friends, too.
As for her family - it's difficult, no questions asked. She barely talks to her mom and there are some things she hasn't figured out with her dad, yet, but again the issues aren't that heavy. Of course, it's hard when your parents divorce after so many years and it might even be normal how McLean treats her mom after that but that's all problems that can be figured out, you know what I mean? She wasn't abandoned by her mom and noone in this book is dealing with depression or eating disorders which makes this book a bit more beach read for me.
I could go on and on about how much I loved What Happened To goodbye. I think it's even more so in retrospect because I remember all the fun characters and want to enjoy the story all over again.
At last I need to mention Dave's parents. They are hilarious.
All in all, I really liked What Happened to Goodbye and can only recommend it. It's based on a great idea and features awesome characters and of course - Sarah Dessen once again is able to display exactly what I believe most teens feel sometimes :)
As this book hasn't gotten a new cover (at least, that's what I think) I decided to compare the US cover with the UK cover (which I accidently bought).
Although I always try to buy the American covers (because...you know...I'm weird like that) this time I must say I'm glad I didn't pay more attention when I ordered the book. I feel like every Dessen book has a girl with an accessory on the cover so it's refreshing to have that British cover with all the colorful junk in the suitcase :)
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties!