If you've read another Sarah Dessen novel then you know what you're in for here: a beautifully crafted teen romance. Mclean's parents had a nasty divorce. Her mom was involved in a scandal that the whole town talked about. Her dad decided to close the restaurant that the two of them had owned together and become a man who goes to other people's restaurants and fixes them. Mclean was supposed to stay with her mom and her friends. She was expected to stay where everything was familiar but she didn't want to. Instead she opted to live with her dad, moving from place to place whenever a restaurant needed help. Mclean took these moves as fresh starts. She reinvented herself in each new place. She took on many personas, from cheerleader to theatre geek to overly active student council member. She was trying to decide who she was going to be in the newest town when all of the sudden she was Mclean again, not any of those other girls. She was true to herself, she made real friends instead of just barely connecting with people and she used her real name. She met Dave and she found herself again. But not in a corny way. The story isn't about how Dave is her savior that encouraged her to be herself again. The reason Mclean was Mclean instead of those other girls happened by chance. She gave her real name to Dave and then she was stuck with it. Dave is an essential part of the story but he's weaved in very neatly. The story isn't just about the blooming romance between Mclean and Dave. It's also about Mclean fixing her relationship with her mother, confessing to her fake personas and finding who she really is again. There are so many great moments to this book and the end just comes together so nicely. If you're a Sarah Dessen fan, or a realistic fiction teen romance fan then this is the book for you.
What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
January 21, 2012