Published by Viking Juvenile
May 10, 2011
ALA Teens' Top Ten Nominee (2012)
4 out of 5 Stars
Grades 7th and Up.
Nominated For YALSA’s 2012 Teen Top Ten
Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.
Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading
My Review:What Happened to Goodbye is only my second Sarah Dessen book. The first, This Lullaby, didn't really wow me....I like this one much better. The students in my library love Sarah Dessen books!! I can see why!What Happened to Goodbye is a story about family, friends, and finding yourself in the midst of a world that changes constantly. McLean's life has been turned upside down by her parent's divorce. Because of the circumstances that lead to the divorce, McLean chooses to live with her father. The one downside of that....he moves about every 6 months, trying to save restaurants that are down and out. Every time McLean and her dad, Gus, move, McLean changes who she is, until they end up in a new town with another restaurant to rescue. McLean has played the part of Lizbeth, Beth, and Eliza. She's played the cheerleader and she's played the dark quiet student. But now, while Gus tries to save Luna Blu, McLean plays the most important role of all, herself.
McLean must figure out how to balance a faltering relationship with her mother, while being the real McLean to a new set of friends that she’ll eventually have to say goodbye to. One of those friends is the nextdoor neighbor genius named Dave. McLean must decide if she’s going to let Dave into her heart, and new friends Riley, Ellis, Heather, and Deb into her life.
While not a terrible realistic work of fiction as a whole, McLean is facing many issues that teens face today, such as divorce, moving, friendship, love, and identity. Dessen has written a wonderful tale that keeps the reader intrigued and rooting for McLean to find a place that she can call home.