Reflecting on Changes in What Happened to Goodbye

BlogHer Review

Initially What Happened to Goodbye reads as a light teen romance, but as the tale unfolds it is obvious there is more involved. The story covers a couple of topics including friendship, family, changes, growing up and divorce. The main character, Mclean, is a teenager suffering the effects of her parents’ divorce. What’s different about her story is that she chooses to live with her dad who is always on the road. This unconventional lifestyle opens itself to an interesting cluster of occurrences that the author illustrates brilliantly.

Like any book, the reader will be affected by that which they can relate to. In my case it was the “changes” theme that grasped a hold from the beginning to the end. Unfortunately I have gone through some unexpected changes lately that have left me trying to hold on to what I know. This passage from the book hit close to home for me: “Yet it was this image, this moment, that I kept going back to hours later. How it felt to have the world moving beneath me, a hand gripping mine, knowing if I fell, at least I wouldn’t do it alone” pg 238. Isn’t that what we all want? Someone gripping our hand as the world quickly swirls around us and we try to find our place? I know that’s what I’m looking for at this point in time.

Sarah Dessen is able to knit together some common topics in an original manner in her tale of What Happened to Goodbye. She introduces us to a young girl who by the end of the book is like our friend, our neighbor. I have no doubt that as you turn the pages you will find you like Mclean, “warts and all”.

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