What Happened to Goodbye Is A Good, Wholesome Read
By Judy Laquidara on June 23, 2011
Mclean Sweet is the main character in What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. Mclean is a high school student, who has found herself in a predicament too many young folks today are facing. Her family seemed, in her view, like the nearly perfect family until she learned her parents were divorcing and everything in her world changed. Mclean lost track of who she was and where she was headed.
Mclean blamed her mom completely for the divorce and resented her mom’s new marriage, the twins born to her mom and the new husband, and the total new lifestyle her mom lived. She chose her dad and completely shut her mom out of her life.
Through a bitter custody battle, Mclean was allowed to live with her dad, who transferred often with his job. Without even realizing it, Mclean totally lost her own identity, changing and re-inventing herself with each move, never allowing friendships or real relationships to develop. With the last move, which was her senior year of high school, that all changed. Despite Mclean’s plan to create a new character for herself, she ended up being just Mclean. Before realizing what was happening, or being able to stop it, she developed relationships and friendships and through a series of events, got back on a good standing with her mom.
As I began reading this book, it was obvious it was written with a much younger target audience in mind. My first thought was that it was going to require effort on my part to get through it but once I was about halfway through the first chapter, I couldn’t put the book down.
As a parent who has moved often, it’s a book I wish I had read when my son was in school as it gives insight as to what the child faces with a move. I would also recommend this book for parents going through a divorce as it shows how children can create blame or assume responsibility for situations in which they are truly not to blame.
What Happened to Goodbye is a good, wholesome read. It leaves the reader feeling happy and knowing that positive results can come from the difficult situations.
I would recommend What Happened to Goodbye to friends and I plan to read Sarah Dessen’s other books.
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