Friday, August 30, 2013

Review of What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 Take:

I'd never read a Sarah Dessen book, but a friend from a creative writing class recommended her highly. When I asked what book to read she said "any!"and so I downloaded the ebook sampler, which included the first three chapters of four different Dessen books and I was hooked. I really enjoyed What Happened to Goodbye because it was something familiar and yet different. This was a coming of age story where for once the romance didn't seem to be an integral part to the story, instead it was subtly weaved in. Granted, I love a good romance, but sometimes it's nice to read a contemporary story that has the main character going through a bit more than just the usual boy crisis. The dynamic between McLean and her dad is great. They have their methods. Only use one cupboard in the kitchen--why bother with more since their leaving? Always wait for the new name and persona to come to you. Considering they include Dave more in the synopsis I thought he'd be much more prominent in the story earlier on. It seems to take Dave forever to really become ingrained in McLean's life. Again, I liked that the romance was subtle but sometimes it may have been too subtle. Still we get great insight into McLean's thoughts and feelings and she comes to life on the page. It was a fun summer read.


4/5 Stars



  1. This was the first Sarah Dessen book I ever read, too. I liked it and thought it was very well written.

  2. I absolutely ADORE Dessen's books! I've read several. I love her writing style, her characters, her real life situations...all of it.

  3. I just picked up Lock & Key from the library :) Already like 50 pages in. She has a very real and distinct style. I definitely like it :)