What Happened to Goodbye: Perfect Summer Reading

BlogHer Review

I live in a basketball town. I have grown up watching our entire city turn blue on game day. There was nothing strange about watching NCAA tournament games during the regular school days, or making homemade jerseys, or going downtown to celebrate with the entire city when a National Championship is won. So the fact that Sarah Dessen's newest novel, What Happened to Goodbye is centered around the world of a college basketball loving family made it nearly impossible for me not to enjoy this story.

Mclean (yes, that’s the main character’s name… but it is based on basketball and I LOVE me some college basketball dedication) has grown up loving basketball from the moment she was born. Her life was pretty perfect for the first fifteen years of her life. Beach trips with her mom, basketball games with her dad, they loved each other and they loved their life. Right up until the moment when her mother cheats on her dad with the new head coach of his beloved team. She leaves their perfect little family of three to start a new life as the coach’s wife. And with her she takes everything Mclean loved. Mclean decides to leave home with her father, who has taken a traveling job revamping struggling restaurants, rather than stay home and start a new life as the coach’s step-daughter in a town obsessed with the game.

So the story begins with Mclean in her fourth school in two years. She and her dad are once again starting over, and McLean has truly lost herself. At each of her last schools she has changed her name and who she is. She has been acting like anybody but herself, because herself was just too hard to be at the time. When she arrives in her latest town, another basketball loving community, she accidentally slips into being herself. She reveals her real name, makes true friends, and slowly finds out who she actually is inside.

What Happened to Goodbye is a young adult novel, and it reminds me of why I commonly enjoy them. It is well written and reads easily. The story is pretty basic, but some of the characters I just completely loved. Deb, Dave and Opal were all highlights for me as this little story braids into something truly enjoyable. If you are looking for something quick and light that you will like from start to finish, but doesn’t require a lot of deep thinking “What Happened to Goodbye” is the perfect summer book for you!

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