Cara's Reviews > What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
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's review
May 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, realistic-fiction, to-re-read
Read in June, 2011

Does Sarah Dessen still have the awesome stuff? Oh yeah. No doubt or question about it.

This time around we're gonna get to follow the story of a girl named Mclean. She comes from parents that go through a tabloid worthy divorce. Going against the norm Mclean decides to stay with her dad, and up to this point has been through four moves with him. Four different girls for each move. But this fourth move is going to be distinctly different because for the first time in long while she is going to be herself, if she can even figure out who that is exactly.

The premise intrigued me a lot. I grew up as a military kid that moved around and I always did contemplate starting with a new slate. Be a different person; maybe present myself differently because the impression of who I am isn't set. I never did because it's hard to be someone you're not, just as Mclean figures out.

I felt the chaos and love that goes into restaurants. I caught the excitement of watching a basketball game (I live in place where college basketball is followed like a religion, and she got the feel of it just right). I got mad at Mclean’s mom but then understood her. I got to see how to start something big even if it seems impossible. I learned even a small change, one moment can make the difference. But most importantly I know why it’s important to find a place to call home. To find the people who will be home for you.

I wasn't sure why some people were expressing that they didn't fall in love with Dave. Dave is so... unique and sweet in his own way. I think because the relationship arc is different for Mclean and Dave that people couldn't connect with him the same way they did with the other leading guys. But he is a great guy, no disputing that. My top character choice for this book is Deb. Deb is fantastic. She is more than meets the eye and she isn't ashamed to be herself. Gotta love a character like that.

Dessen fans will read the book but I urge people who haven't to try one of her books. She really is (in my opinion) the best young adult realistic author out today. She captures the female teenage voice and presents it in a way that is relatable to people. Though not my favorite book I still stayed up late at night to finish and rooted for Mclean to find her normal and fully embrace the people who get who the real her is.

Side note:While I was reading this, this song popped into my head. I was learning how to play it on the guitar and it feels like it fits the story. It's kind of the flip of what could have happen if Mclean had decided to keep running away from herself.
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Quotes Cara Liked

Sarah Dessen
“When you can't save yourself or your heart, it helps to be able to save face.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

Sarah Dessen
“Two a.m.' He swallowed, then said, "You know. The person you can call at two a.m. and, no matter what, you can count on them. Even if they're asleep or it's cold or you need to be bailed out of jail...they'll come for you. It's like, the highest level of friendship.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

Sarah Dessen
“I mean, it's not surprising, really. Once you love something, you always love it in some way. You have to. It's, like, part of you for good.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
tags: love

Sarah Dessen
“I mean, it's impossible to fake anything if you've already seen the other person in a way they'd never choose for you to. You can't go back from that.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
tags: real

Sarah Dessen
“Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
tags: past

Sarah Dessen
“It was amazing how you could get so far from where you'd planned, and yet find it was exactly were you needed to be.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

Sarah Dessen
“There's something nice about the silence of a car ride in the dark, going home. When you were tired of the radio and conversation, and it was okay to just be alone with your thoughts and the road ahead. If you're that comfortable with someone, you don't have to talk.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

Sarah Dessen
“Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

Reading Progress

06/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Elaine I totally agree with you especially about Dave. I've only read one other Saran Dessen book, and that was Along for the Ride, which I completely LOVED and I thought it was a cute summer read and it had romance in it. Sarah Dessen usually writes kind of chick flick types with cutesy romance if I'm not mistaken, but this book kind of lacked in the whole romance department. Dave was just there, and aside from the basketball game and the times they hung out WITH OTHER FRIENDS, there wasn't much romance between them

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