Friday, 5 August 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
(Goodreads profile)

Source: Library (Copy also won in giveaway)
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Release Date: Already out (May 10, 2011)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 402
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.

Combing Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

Sarah Dessen is sort of like royalty in the YA universe - and for good reason, too. I've read all of her books and each of them has been compelling, heartfelt and real.

I liked McLean's character. Although the relationship she has with her mother is strained to say the least, she is very protective of her dad and obviously cares for him a lot. She's turned her whole life into this big game of dress-up, except each new destination her father's job takes them means a whole new personality in addition to the wardrobe change.

Except... now she's not pretending. She's finally giving herself a chance to be herself which, you know, would be great except for the fact that she has no idea who that is. Over the years of re-inventing herself, with names and costumes and clubs, McLean has lost herself.

Luckily, Dessen has equipped her with a great cast of supporting characters: Dave (quirky boy genius), Opal (so full of surprises), Deb (my new hero) and a few more. I loved all of these characters. The relationships between characters are really a huge part of the magic in Dessen's books for me. It was more than the budding romance between McLean and Dave; it was the father-daughter relationship between McLean and her dad and the friendship that is blossoms between McLean and Deb.

Once again, Sarah Dessen has managed to win me over with a story that is fun, comforting and insightful.

Cover Comments: I really love how all of Sarah Dessen's books have that light, colourful vibe going. I can totally picture McLean doing this (I mean moving is such a huge part of her life) and the little details like the bracelets around her wrists are great.


  1. Totally felt the same way about this! I love the feel of Sarah's novels and can certainly see why she has so much acclaim. She writes such a genuine, relatable characters and relationships. I've actually only read two of hers so far - this and The Truth About Forever (which is my favourite!), though I have a copy of Lock and Key sitting in my bookshelf. Must get to that soon!

  2. Sarah Dessen is amazing. I haven't read all her books, but the ones I have, I've loved :). Still need to read this one, glad you enjoyed it - I've always liked the attention Sarah plays to detail! I also love the cameo appearances she has of characters from her other novels turning up :).

  3. Brodie: I hope you get a chance to read Lock and Key soon! It was one of my favourites :)

    Liz: She is :) Yeah, those cameos are always fun. A couple are in WHtG as well so there's that to look forward to!

  4. "What Happened To Goodbye". This story takes place in present time, in a little town. Mclean is the main character, but she personaly doesn't understand her own character. She moves around a lot, ever since her parents' divorce. About every six months, she moves both her house and her personality. This most recent location, though, she is herself. Why? A guy named Dave. Dave helps Mclean see who she realy is, and teaches her what a real friend is. I would highly recommend this book to a friend. Any of Sarah Dessen's books are great. She is an amazing author, especially with this story.