Hello Sarah Dessen! I Think I Like You.

BlogHer Review

What Happened to Goodbye has introduced me to a new go-to author when I need a enjoyable, effortless read. Because I don’t peruse the young adult fiction (except for that obsession with Harry Potter that I had, well, when everyone else was reading it, too), I’m not familiar with SSarah Dessen's prolific writing career. I certainly hope today’s teenagers have found her faster than I did!

From the first sentence, I was hooked. The concept is something I’ve thought about (we move a lot); how a person, when knowing no one else in a new place, can completely reinvent her persona. Mclean Sweet has done just that as she follows her father’s job from town to town. It makes sense that, following her parents’ divorce, she might wish to be in someone else’s skin for a while. Since that’s not really doable, she settles for the next best thing by morphing her personality to suit her new school. Dessen swiftly gets us into Mclean’s way of thinking and shows how she handles this compartmentalizing of her life.

Of course the cobwebs of my sixteen-year old self also empathized with Mclean’s budding relationship with her cute, quirky next-door neighbor while the adult me enjoyed reading about Mclean finding herself at precisely the moment she wasn’t looking. Dessen filled the book with interesting, realistic relationships -- describing the strain and burden of Mclean’s relationship with her mom, the protectiveness she feels for her dad, her unwillingness to open herself up for more disappointment -- and kept the entire story moving at a nice pace.

I wish this were the book I’d had with me at the beach a couple weeks ago. It’s smart, but not the least bit heavy (though I found myself remarkably attached to Mclean and emotionally invested in her life) and the story was interesting without requiring any deep thinking. I can guarantee I’ll turn to Sarah Dessen again.

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