BOOK REVIEW: What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen

Date(s) read: November 23, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary

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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.

My Thoughts
So, as it turns out, all of these years I have been completely missing out because I haven’t been reading anything by Sarah Dessen. There are certain YA authors who I pick up and immediately need to read EVERYTHING they’ve written and Sarah has gone to the top of that list. It started with Along For the Ride and has been moving from there.

I really loved this story right from the start, the story of Mclean who keeps moving with her dad after his falling out with her mom (who divorced Mclean’s dad for his favourite basketball coach). I loved that while in every place they moved to, Mclean adopted a different kind of personality, but now her plans were thwarted and she had to – gasp! – be herself.

This was heartwarming and touching and just a fun read the whole way through. I loved the relationships between Mclean and her family, as well as the friendships she made in the newest town her and her dad were in. It really was a story of self-discovery as Mclean tried to figure out who her true self was.

Sarah Dessen is an amazing writer and can really get to the heart of the story in her writing, weaving romance, friendship, family, and so many other things in her stories. It was a page-turner and I loved every single second of it!



19 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen

  1. I’ve never even heard of her. Most of my YA books I stumble across by accident or I read blogs like yours and discover a new book. Great review. Thanks.

  2. She is amazing. She weaves all those pieces together masterfully & seamlessly. I was missing out too. I’m so excited that I’m not caught up yet & this beautiful book is sitting on my shelf.

  3. Sarah Dessen is on my list too! I read everything she writes! I didn’t dislike this one per say, but it’s not my favorite. I don’t remember the name of the girl she makes friends with (the over-achieving one) but she was my favorite part of the book and had the best lines!

  4. I know EXACTLY how you feel about having missed out on her writing! Coincidentally, I started with Along for the Ride as well! They’re absolutely amazing. This one actually is one that I’ve known about for a while, but haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Thanks for the review, Kristilyn! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (21) | Reading In Winter

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