Book Reviews, Young Adult

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

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.

–back cover of What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the simplicity of it. I enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed the everyday setting that I could relate to. I enjoyed the things that made it unique. I read it fast and came to a conclusion: this is a really great book.

This book was very well written. I loved how it went back and forth between the different parts of her life. It would show how she was with her dad, how she was with her mom, how she was at the restaurant, how she was alone, how she was with Dave, and how she was with her friends. I think that this was one of the reasons I read it so fast. All of the different sides of her make up McClean. Nothing seemed out of place. All of the different sides of this story compiled into one beautiful story.

I really have grown to love simple writing. There was nothing distracting about it. It was the type of writing that allows one to be completely pulled into the story. Dessen created a story world that was easy to become a part of.

The characters were by far my favorite part of the book. McLean was a likable and relatable main character. Dave was charming in his own dorky way. I wished that I knew Opal and Riley. Both were such lovable, vibrant characters. Even her parents were great. Her dad was probably my favorite YA fiction dad.

Even though this book was very well written, and I enjoyed it, I don’t think it is for everyone. It definitely is for an audience that enjoys coming of age stories. There isn’t much action and there aren’t many twists. The story is quaint and comforting, and if the back cover blurb sounds interesting to you, you will most likely enjoy it.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.