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Goodbye for Now

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,981 Ratings  ·  621 Reviews
In the spirit of ONE DAY, comes a fresh and warmhearted love story for the 21st century. Sometimes the end is just the beginning . . .

Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the c
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
There is a difference between a book that is sad because it thoughtfully explores a sad topic and a book that feels emotionally manipulative because it just throws a lot sad events in your face and tells you how sad they are. Whether a book comes down to one of or the other is, I think, a matter of personal experience. It comes down to how much the book resonates with you and reflects the ways you've lived those sorts of sad things.

This one, to me, felt like it fell into the second camp. And I
Larry H
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There are no words to describe how I'm feeling now that I've finished Laurie Frankel's hopeful and heartbreaking Goodbye for Now. I absolutely loved the book although it really affected me emotionally, and I'm also sad I'm done with it.

Sam Elling is an extremely intelligent computer programmer who works for an internet dating company. He creates an algorithm to find your perfect soul mate, and testing it out on himself, meets the love of his life, Meredith, who works for the same company. The ba
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Eh. Fascinating concept. Mediocre execution.

What would grieving for a deceased loved one be like if a computer could generate a sort of alter ego for the loved one, using all of the loved one's e-mails, video-chats, etc. to generate a facsimile of the loved one to communicate with you? Would that be a very good thing or a very bad thing?

This question lies at the heart of Goodbye for Now. Our protagonist, a computer geek named Sam, has shown himself to be brilliant at using computer programming t
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mithilfe eines Computers hat Sam seine Traumfrau Meredith gefunden. Als deren Oma Livvie stirbt, versucht er sie zu trösten: Er lässt seinen Rechner aus alten E-Mails von Livvie eine neue Nachricht generieren, wie die Oma sie geschrieben haben könnte. Meredith ist begeistert! Sie will weiter mit ihrer virtuellen Livvie kommunizieren. Und sie will anderen ebenfalls die Möglichkeit bieten, auf diese Weise mit ihren geliebten Verstorbenen in Kontakt zu bleiben. Doch damit beginnen die Probleme. Und ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

What happens to us after we die is the province of religion and philosophy. The ones we leave behind go through an entirely different process, we grieve the loss. We mourn the hole that person has left in our lives; we heal the broken places, we eventually move past it.

But what happens when, out of a different kind of love, someone uses technology to short-circuit that grieving process? If you can stay in denial indefinitely, are you healed, or are you just
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5, to be totally honest, and more like a three. But I feel that a book like this needs to be viewed in two different ways - the what, and the how. The what here is awesome, the how not so much. I will therefore start with the what.

Many authors will tell you that their stories are often born about by a simple game of what if. What if a star pitcher broke his arm, what if the world began to freeze over, what if everyone died and one person remained? And now we have the big what if - what if afte
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed, I cried, I honestly loved this book. Goodbye for Now is a truly unique novel that focuses on how we love, how we grieve and how we let go. Sam, a computer programmer, works for an online dating company and develops a program that can match people with their one true soul mate by looking at their true interests and honest online communication. Sam tests the program on himself and is matched up with Meredith, a woman who works just down the hall from him; their relationship quickly prov ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
All the reviews were good so I decided to dive into this intriguing concept. I began this book curious to learn if technology really can ease the mourning process when a loved one or friend passes on. I came away with mixed feelings on the subject. It's certainly not for everyone. The choice to use a service such as Sam creates is as individual as we are. Mourning is a process, steps to being OK in the world without your beloved. Talking to a computer version of a treasured human being would app ...more
Katie Kenig
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
I loved this book, even if it did break my heart just a little.

Sam is a great computer programmer. So great, in fact, that he creates an algorithm for his workplace - a computer dating service - that actually lets people find their soulmates. And fast. He tests it, and finds his own soulmate, Meredith, who he falls hard for (and vice versa) from the first date. The only problem is, when everyone finds their soulmate right off the bat, the company collects no monthly membership fees. You see wher
Tamary Anderson
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I loved this book... so glad that I got a chance to read it!

Sam is a computer programming nerd. He works for a online dating company and creates an algorithm to match people up with their one true soul mate. He uses it on himself first and finds Meredith. Turns out, the algorithm works TOO good: the company is losing money.

Sam is fired and when Meredith's beloved grandma died, he begins a new "job" = creating an algorithm to allow Mer
Oct 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was a NY Times editor's choice book and I have no clue why. Cliche, boring characters, a predictable storyline, plus a needless hot yoga sex scene I almost threw up while skimming through. OK idea, but poorly executed. And SPOILER ALERT, I cry at EVERYTHING so when you try to tug at my heartstrings with the death of a main character and I feel nothing, that is some really bad writing.
Allizabeth Collins
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Sam Elling gets fired from an internet dating company after designing a ground-breaking algorithm that actually calculates a person's soul-mate. The problem? The software works too well, and after one date, prospective customers find the “one” and cancel their membership. Fortunately, that is how Sam meets Meredith – the girl of his dreams. But the couple hit a rough patch when Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies.

Meredith is inconsolable, her grandmother being one of the most inf
Anna Janelle
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Gorgeous. Amusing. Extremely relevant. Heart-breaking and thought-provoking. Goodbye for Now is a book that will live on in readers' memories long after finishing the book.


I'm going to try and make the review of this book intentionally vague because it's a book that everyone should own, and hug, and cherish. Discover on their own. I really can't say HOW MUCH this book affected me given the current circumstances of my life. People die. That a given. But the people that are left behind, grieving t
Kelly Roll
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Goodbye for now is well written and it certainly brings up a variety of questions regarding death. I appreciated the questions raised in the novel such as
How long should we try and hang onto our loved ones and how healthy really is it to keep revisiting a computer projection that can never change while we do?
Can technology used in this way really help with the grieving process and/or help people come to grips with unresolved issues?
Is social networking harmful in that it isolates – instead of ge
Kim McGee
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Saying goodbye is hard. So what if you didn't really have to. Sam is a computer programmer with a heart of gold. He develops a great program that helps you find your soul mate and it really works because Sam finds his in Meredith. After Meredith's beloved grandmother passes away Sam sees that Meredith isn't ready to let go so he develops another wonderful program that lets her share emails with her grandmother. This leads to another level and viola - they are in the business of talking with the ...more
Book Review & Giveaway: Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel had a book cover I couldn’t resist. It’s funny the things that draw you to a book cover, isn’t it. When I read the publisher’s description, I couldn’t figure out what link the story had to the cover but I was intrigued enough that I wanted to find out. I’m so glad I did! This is a story about love and loss, of relationships we hold dear, but with a unique twist that only social media and the internet could provide. It’s definitely goi ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
I'm so annoyed by this book. A great idea: deals with AI where you get to talk with people you lost.

But the characters are soooo boring (even when they were trying to be funny), the dialog is unrealistic (who talks like that?), relationships between them are unbelievable. I just couldn't care less about them. 95% of the book is about them, about their feelings and boring conversations.

Too bad, because I really like the idea, but very meh execution.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review at: http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog....

Goodbye For Now is a novel set in Seattle. When it opens, Sam and Meredith are coworkers at an online dating company, Sam a programmer and Meredith in marketing. Sam develops an algorithm that identifies soul mates, which identifies Meredith as his perfect match. They start dating and fall in love, and all goes well until Sam is laid off and Meredith’s grandmother dies. Meredith is devastated, and desperate to make her feel better, Sam crea
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Author: Laurie Frankel
Title: Goodbye for Now
Description: Sam is a computer genius. He works for an online dating company and comes up with the perfect algorithm to allow people to find their soulmates. He uses it to find his—Meredith, who works in the same company. When he gets fired for costing his company business, he uses his skills to help Meredith get over the grief of losing her grandmother by writing an algorithm that will duplicate her online presence. When they decide to offer this serv
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-winner
This is my first free book!!! Was excited to have won it and anxious to read it. As it turns out, was not disappointed.
As a self-proclaimed computer geek, Sam works for an internet dating company and still cannot get a date. Deciding to tweak the program, he develops one that matches people with their soul mates. He finds his perfect mate, Meredith. In the meantime, it works so well, the company loses the repeat customers that keeps them in business and he is fired.
When his girlfriend's grandm
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. I already know that this is one that will stay with me for a very long time.
Sam is a computer programmer who is fired from a dating service when the algorithm he's written to match people with their perfect mate works too well and starts losing the company business, but not before it's found him his own perfect match, Meredith. However, soon after, Meredith's grandmother dies and Sam invents an algorithm to bring her back, analyzing her electronic correspondence. The rami
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This novel was very moving, but has such an unusual premise that I think many people will pass it by. It takes on issues of the role of technology in grieving. The fact that this is such an odd juxtaposition made it fascinating to me. In the story, emails and face chats the deceased left behind are used to help heal those who are grieving the loss. While reading this book, I found myself thinking a lot about my father, deceased since 1998. It wasn't that I wanted to communicate with him in the w ...more
Nicky Robinson
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting concept here. A story around the idea that a software program could be designed, based on all of our online interactions with our loved ones, so that an algorithm could predict our responses to emails, sms, or even by video chat after we die. So we could effectively still be "communicated with" by our loved ones. The book explores the implications of this concept on the people left behind, and whether it helped or hindered the grieving process... the question of which was not real ...more
Lisa Stein
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Very interesting premise. Heartbreaking in one way. Soothing in another. A wee bit creepy, as well. Enjoyed reading it. Something different.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Death and dying. When people become experts, they know what to do. Sam was not an expert on death and dying, until he wanted to help someone. This is what happens when someone so smart wants to help. They can't think like common people, so what is born is more than what was ever expected. This book will stay with me for a long time. I am so happy I read it. Thank you Laurie Frankel, for understanding grief and our feeble ways of dealing with it.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
~dnf at around 50%. I just couldn't get into it.
Jill Elizabeth
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My review copy of Goodbye for Now was provided courtesy of, which also hosted the original (shorter) post of this book review on August 2, 2012.


The title and back-cover blurb are pithy, the cover is whimsical (airplanes flying in a perfect cerulean sky, dotted with just the right amount of wispy white clouds). The story is pretty much as far afield from those two adjectives as possible though – in the best of all possible ways.

Goodbye for Now is ostensibly the story of Sam E
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'It wasn't a miracle. It was computer science.'

Sam Elling is a genius but lonely software engineer working, ironically, at an online dating company creating wondrous algorithms that will find you your soulmate. 'He cracked the code to your heart.' He runs the programme on himself and finds his match within the same company, Meredith Maxwell. His invention is so successful he is fired because it works too well! His next invention will change his life. Meredith suffers a loss and Sam has a compute
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Wow - what a thought-provoking novel! I sure can't do it justice in this brief review. I have recently been reading a number of books that have computer geeks as main characters (Reamde, Ready Player One, and this one) - and this is probably the trend of the foreseeable future. Computers impact so much of our lives, and, in some cases, overtake them.... anyway, this story is about Sam, a computer genius, who works for an online dating company. After figuring out with an algorithm for how to find ...more
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Weird overall concept, but somehow beautiful and sweet. While so much of the story focuses on death and lost loved ones, it ultimately was a story of life and the connections that bind us.

There was a sort of manipulative twist about two-thirds of the way through, but then again, the inner flap synopsis more than hinted that something like this was about to happen. I feared that the rest of the novel would fall flat, but instead, was life-affirming.

Some laughter, some tears, some swelling of the
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Laurie Frankel is the author of three novels, THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS, GOODBYE FOR NOW, and THE ATLAS OF LOVE. She lives with her family on a very steep hill in Seattle, but she's an east coaster at heart. She is also a baseball fan, a soup maker, a theater lover, a yoga practicer, a comma expert, and a huge reader. Welcome!!
More about Laurie Frankel

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“...ultimately, eventually, we let go. We do this not because we're ready. We do this not because we've mended. We do this not because we've mourned and come to terms and gotten over it and moved on. We never move on. We don't let go so much as lose our grip and fall because remembering is not enough..memory is imperfect. It is full of holes. It is more space than matter, like lace. It is at once sodden with sorrow and desiccated from lack of blood flow, the obvious result of a broken heart. It makes things up in hopeless attempts to comfort itself. It fills fissure with fantasy. It screws shut its eyes and balls up its fists and flings itself to the ground in a kicking, screaming, blind-rage temper tantrum against reality. But mostly,..memory keeps taking on more.” 11 likes
“Who people think they are and what people think they want is not really who they are or what they want.” 11 likes
More quotes…