Hip, Modern & Fun: What Happened to Goodbye

BlogHer Review

Sarah Dessen's young adult novel What Happened to Goodbye had me simultaneously wishing I could go back and do my teen years all over and thanking the heavens above that I don’t have to, especially in this day and age of Facebook and Skype (or, Ume.com and HiThere! as they are cleverly alluded to in the book). Not yet in my mid-30s (though pushing that envelope), I don’t think of myself as quite an older-timer, but I have to say Dessen did have me wondering where I have been in my reading life lately. I admit that I have not spent a ton of time in between the covers of the newest young adult fiction, but this book was so modern and cool without beating you over the head that it made me feel like one of the hip kids just reading it.

Had I been between about 14 and 18 years old when I read this, I am sure I would have related to the main character, Mclean, so much that I would start changing my OWN name and identity every six months as she does in the book. That is not to say I didn’t relate to her now, it’s just that I think I am more of an Opal. Reading the book made me want to mentor some young gal like Mclean though -- take her under my wing and tell her everything is going to be alright. This is the first of Dessen’s novels that I have read and I truly liked her characters. They seemed real and honest and hip, though flawed, which only made them seem more likeable. Even in my thirties I found myself swooning over that sweetheart, David! And Deb? She is a a total pip! What IS her story? Please tell me there is going to be a book with her as the main character next!

What Happened to Goodbye read rather cinematically. I could totally see it as a movie starring the newest young starlet, or perhaps even the first season of whatever is today’s Beverly Hills 90210. (Am I dating myself? What’s that you say, there IS a 90210 today??) But really, I could practically see the direction of the characters on the screen in my mind and the places in which they moved about their lives. I’ll admit to being an OC lover, (and Friday Night Lights, and before all that Gilmore Girls and Felicity). If this book were a tv series, it would be in that vain.

There’s nothing incredibly deep here, but it’s a fun little jaunt through the lives of several characters. Not bad! It might not change your life, but then who’s asking it to? I liked it!

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