Thursday 14 June 2012

Book Review - What Happened To Goodbye

Title: What Happened To Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 2 Jun 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0141337791

 Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean's become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean's ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

My Review
I'm still on my Sarah Dessen run and can't get enough. I just realised I have read all but 2 of them now, one is on my shelf ready (Along For The Ride), the other I can't get (This Lullaby) - the library doesn't have it and I can't afford to buy it. But anyway!
I liked the sound of this one, different from the others, more complex and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. I still love these covers too and I enjoy looking at them again as the story goes on and seeing how all the small pictures relate to the story.
McLean used to be happy - her parents were married and owned a restaurant together, they adored basketball and had fun, until her mum leaves and gets married to the coach of the lead Basketball team. The divorce and new marriage is splashed across the media and McLean starts to lose focus of who she is.
She decides to leave with her dad, he is employed to go round restaurants that are struggling and save them, changing menus, staffing etc. It means moving a lot. McLean finds it's easier to have a fresh start at each place, discarding her first name she settles for variations of her middle name. At a posh school in a high standing neighborhood she introduces herself as Lizbet, in the next place she is Beth, at another Liza, each one different in name and personality. Then she moves to Lakeview and before she knows it she becomes McLean again, for the first time in ages she starts to question who she really is and what she wants from life, what it's like to make friends and maybe even find love.
I really liked McLean and i was fascinated by how she reinvents herself each time, how much it must take to become a whole new person. to lose the real you. But she takes each experience with her and throughout the book you definitely see her growing as a person. She starts off quite guarded and closed off, almost like she is trying to protect herself- expecting to get hurt so not getting involved, she does a lot to look after her dad in his busy schedule and throws herself into his world more than her own.
She has serious issues with her mother, she blames her for the divorce and family split and doesn't want to see her but her mum doesn't understand - whilst I did feel a bit sorry for her mum being rejected and shouted at a lot, but you really empathize with McLean and I started to feel a bit cross with her too. I've been lucky in life my parents are still together and I can't imagine how hard it would be to deal with a situation like that but I think Dessen paints a pretty good picture.
There is a great host of characters in this book and I loved them all, they are all so different yet they fit perfectly, the nerdy geeky outcast Deb who turns out to be pretty cool (she reminded me of me in places! scary thought. :D), Riley who is feisty and full of life yet sensitive, Dave who is a closet geek and hottie but totally sensitive and a great friend ( I can see why she falls for him) and loads more. I literally felt like I was part of the Lakeview community reading this and I could picture the streets and buildings and people walking around, it was like i was there.
I loved the ending too, how it all comes together, it's beautifully done. This is one of my favourites by Dessen I think, I really loved it.

Someone said to me that each Dessen books has a short reference to one of her other books, I haven't spotted most of them, but in this book I did! McLean goes away with her Mum and Dad and end up going to a little cafe called 'Last Chance' which of course is the main place in the book of that name, clear link. I was so excited when I spotted it - I know I'm a geek! 

Anyway, in summary, well written, perfect pacing, awesome characters and a fab storyline. i loved this book. :D

My Rating


Mandy said...

Sarah Dessen is a fantastic author. I really need to go through her reading list and catch up with all of her books. You really should get on to read ALONG FOR THE RIDE. It is my top favorite book by her. =)

Great review! I really need to read this one ASAP.

barmybex said...

Along For The Ride is the next on my list. Have it ready and waiting, I've heard a lot of good things about it. Maybe I saved the best til last. :D
Hope you enjoy What Happened To Goodbye.
Thanks for stopping by. :)