Saying Goodbye to Sarah Dessen's What Happened To Goodbye Was Not Easy
Ever have one of those reads where you felt like you were a silent traveler taking a journey alongside the characters?
Literally, I felt about 25 years younger reading this book. Often I felt burdened with Mclean (aka Liz, aka Lizbet, aka Eliza, aka Beth)'s troubles and I kept them in a backpack inside my reader's brain. This story was familiar, well-told and comfortable.
Almost immediately Sarah has the reader sitting at the table contemplating food as she introduces us to Mclean Sweet and her father, Gus.
We are quickly drawn into the small town and the problems facing the characters. While I did not fall in love with the characters, I was so attached that I felt their escapades intently. I even became a BIG fan of Defriese U!
The smells coming from the kitchens, wanting to taste "fried pickles" and hearing the bustle of the atmosphere were so apparent in Dessen's detail.
I even developed a STRONG distaste for Mclean's mother Katherine. Whenever Mclean felt irritated by her mother's insensitivity, I was right there wanting to punch her. Flaunting her new family without consideration to her child's feelings brought a protectiveness to the character that I did not foresee happening. Dessen did such a great job intertwining emotions and history.
Mclean is cool, quiet, purposeful and very fun to be around. Hers was an easy character to get into. In the rare instances when she fell apart, I was moved and cared for her and was very happy to follow her lead until we got to the end.
Once the story ended, I will admit that I was sad to see it go.
The testing waters of teenville are so far behind me now, but What Happened to Goodbye gently tugged on my memories of uneasiness, uncertainty, new love and adolescence without being juvenile or typical.