I Hated Saying Goodbye to What Happened to Goodbye

BlogHer Review

My teenage daughter loves Sarah Dessen's books and after reading What Happened to Goodbye, I can see why. Dessen is a talented writer who portrays a realistic view of teenage life, and at the same time, weaves well written prose through a compelling story line that even someone like me, who has been out of high school for many years, can relate to and enjoy.

The main character, Mclean is a high school senior experiencing an identity crisis. She blames her mom for her parent’s bitter divorce and chooses to live with her father. The problem is because of his job as a restaurant consultant he moves every few months. Mclean seems fine with this and for fun, adopts a different persona and name in each new town.

In this latest town of Lakeview, she gets caught off guard when asked her name and she ends up using her real one, Mclean. This forces her to come out from behind her made-up masks and be her authentic self. She tries to keep a wall up but struggles when her new friends try to get too close. Plus, her anger at her mom escalates and Mclean pushes her further away.

What I really enjoyed about this book is Dessen’s gift with words and storytelling. The audience for this book is clearly young women, but Dessen creates a story and characters with enough depth that I believe it will resonate with women of all ages. What Happened To Goodbye reminds us why being true to who we are and living an authentic life is something we should all strive to attain.

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