A Young Adult Book That's Fun For Adults Too
What Happened to Goodbye follows the standard Sarah Dessen plot but I happen to really enjoy this plot. Here's where I confess to a total fangirl love of Dessen that I've had for a good decade. I started reading her books back when I was in high school -- young enough to relate to her spunky-yet-troubled teenage heroines. And I still love them as a card-carrying grown-up even though now I have more in common with the parents than the girls.
Which is probably why the most interesting person to me in the book was not Mclean, the main character, but her philandering mother. Not that I philander (is that a word?), but I am a mom. While it's standard for Dessen to show the growth of the main character -- in this one Mclean both figuratively and literally finds herself (in miniature in a model town) it was interesting to watch Mclean's mom grow and develop as well.
The other fun part of this book for me is that every single character is likeable. There isn't a "bad guy" in the bunch and yet the plot moves quickly and there's plenty of drama. It's easy to hate someone outright, it's much harder to realize we're all nuanced and have our good and bad qualities and Dessen handles these human quirks with care.
Overall this book won't blow your mind -- I can already guarantee you that in 6 months I won't be able to remember which one of her books this one is -- it is a fun read.