What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
After a scandal involving her mother and a famous college basketball coach rocked her family and her old hometown, McClean decided to live with her dad. His job as a restaurant consultant requires they pick up often, and at each new place she carefully selects who she’ll be—Eliza, Beth, or someone else with a new name and different interests. It’s easier this way for McClean, who is reluctant to form any true attachments. Then at their latest stop, McClean does something she’s not done in a long while—reveal her real name. But who is this McClean and is she ready to forgive her mother, fall for the boy next door, and finally stick around? (from Amazon.com)
This is my fourth Sarah Dessen and I have to say that she did not disappoint. I have loved every story she has written and What Happened to Goodbye was not the exception. I enjoyed McClean’s story and was able to relate easily to her. She was just an average teenager, but able to weave an interesting story. The characters she introduces along her story are well-done and easily loved. I also enjoy the world Dessen has created and flows through each book. It's fun to see old characters visit and know the backstories to many locations.
By now, everyone that reads my reviews knows that I love a good romance. I actually pick out my books based on that fact. Although Goodbye promised a love story, it was quite a bit lacking in that department. That’s the one complaint I have about the book. I realized though that this story was more about a girl discovering who she really is on her own. Not who she is within her family or alone with her mom/dad or who she is with her friends or even who all these people see her as. But who she is to herself, without all the attachments. A love story is always nice, however, I think it was important for McClean to discover herself, and accept it on her own terms. She didn’t need a boyfriend to do that, so I get it (although I still think more romance would have been nice).
If you’re a fan of Dessen, then you’ll enjoy this one. It wasn’t my favorite Dessen, but it doesn’t fall far behind.