Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Happened To Goodbye?

What Happened To Goodbye

Author: Sara Dessen

Publisher: Viking

Pages: 402

Read Time: 4 Days

Tag Words: Moving, High school, identity crisis, North Carolina, divorce, family dysfunction, starting over, starting clean, restaurants

My Summary:

This is Mclean’s fourth move, and her next shot at becoming someone new.

She’s been Eliza, Lizbeth and Beth Sweet so far, leaving Mclean far in the distance.

In a town with a restaurant in identity crises, a boy genius, and an odd collection of friends, Mclean’s not sure who Liz Sweet is suppose to be, or if she’s suppose to be Liz, or who she is anymore, at all.

My Review:

I love Sarah Dessen, but what did happen to goodbye?

I thought this book would be the one to perfectly understand my soul, and yet it’s the first Dessen to let me down so thoroughly.

I’m not going to spend forever talking about what I didn’t like in this book, because, hello, it is Sarah Dessen, and no matter what I say, loyal fans will still read book ten, and new followers of the cult will be created. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way, though I wish I was writing a rave review right now.

Basically the amazing X-factor to Dessen’s books that she keeps things fresh, interesting and unique, though her plots progress the same way, with her consistent work on her latest thesis. Usually this thesis comes in the form of the title, to give you a hint. What Happened To Goodbye is the first book that felt scattered, misunderstood, and titled incorrectly.

This book is more about Mclean’s broken relationship with her cheating mother, less about the moving, or the different girls Mclean has been. Mclean, and Dave, her love interest, were bland, and defined by single characteristics for the first time in Dessen Land. I didn’t fall for Dave and I was cheering for the book to end, rather than cheering for Mclean to come to terms with her missing thesis.

One thing made the entire read worth it to me, and that was this line, “Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.”

Now, I’m cheering for book eleven.

Notes on the Names:


Mclean. I didn’t like the name, even from the start.

I do, however, love Mclean’s middle name, Elizabeth, and all it’s incarnations, especially Eliza!

Thoughts on the Cover:

This cover screams commercial to me, and though I like the concept, I couldn’t help but feel I was being surreptitiously marked as “the girl with the chick-lit book,” while in public with it.

Parental Book Review *spoilers*

Sexual Content:


I think all of two kisses.

Mother cheated on her family with another man, and got pregnant with twins before leaving them.


Note: Mclean’s cars name is ‘Super Sh*tty,’ which accounts for more than half of the tallies for the S word.


D- 6
B- 1
A- 3
S- 11
Jesus- 4
H- 4



Other Notables:

Dave is busted at one party for drinking underage, and his parents fear he is “out of control.” The parents are portrayed as extreme, and I would have to (personal opinion here) agree.

Underage drinking.

Mentions of being high.

1 comment:

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