Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

It isn't easy being Mclean. Named after the famous Defriese basketball coach by her father, her life consisted mostly of screaming on the bleachers at countless Defriese games and hanging out at the small- but- charming restaurant their family owns. So when her namesake coach retires, Mclean and her father eagerly welcome his replacement, Peter Hamilton. That is, until her mother falls in love with him and leaves Mclean and her father for five-story houses and sleek new cars, as well as a set of twins that takes up almost all of her time. Ever since then, Mclean refuses to see her mother, instead traveling around with her father, whose job as a restaurant renovator keeps them moving from place to place constantly. Every new place is an opportunity to be someone else, drama queen or preppy rah-rah girl. But when Mclean moves into Lakeview, everything changes, from the quirky boy next door Dave, to Luna Blu, the unpredictable diner her dad is put in charge of. And maybe, just maybe, she'll find the real Mclean out here.

In her trademark captivating style, Sarah Dessen once again creates a completely engrossing story that will have readers burning through the pages as soon as they get their hands on it. The characters are hilarious and original, the plot is surprising and delightful-- how can you not like Sarah Dessen? Mclean's struggle with the aftermath of her parents divorce is easy to emphasize with, and her constant transformation between different personalities at every town successfully sheds light on her desperate need to be someone else, even if it's just a facade. In Lakeview, however, she starts using her real name, which allows her to really look at herself and who she truly is. Not the dramatic one, the popular one-- just herself. I liked that overall message of being yourself-- cliché, perhaps, but Sarah Dessen manages to put it in a whole new context that fits in easily with the novel. I don't know what it is about her books, but with every one I go away feeling as if I've learned something important, even while laughing my head off. The romance is, of course, sweet and heartfelt. I like how the author never focuses wholly on the romantic element of the novel, but the protagonist's problems as well, which makes it so much more diverse and interesting.

 Sarah Dessen's books give me a happy feeling, just because I always know it will turn out all right in the end. It's reassuring somehow, to be able to pick up one of her books and know there will be a happily-ever-after. What Happened To Goodbye is no exception-- it will leave you smiling and aching both at once. For all you Sarah Dessen fans out there, you won't be disappointed!

Favorite Quote: "I'd thought that I didn't have a home anymore. But right here, right then, I realized I'd been wrong. Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go."

** Comes out in stores May 10th!


  1. I love Sarah Dessen books! My favorite has to be Someone Like You(:
    Can't wait til it comes out!:D

  2. Fantastic review! I've actually just started reading this, I'm only a few pages in but after reading your review, I can't wait to dive in further! I read and LOVED The Truth About Forever, so considering how much everyone loves Sarah Dessen, I have a feeling I'm going to love this too :)