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Goodbye Stranger

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  12,833 ratings  ·  2,222 reviews
Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  12,833 ratings  ·  2,222 reviews

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After much consideration, I think I’m going to begin this review with what has to be the hoity toity-est opening I have ever come up with. Gird thy loins, mes amies. In her 2006 book Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (don’t say you weren’t warned), philosopher Rebecca Goldstein wrote the following passage about the concept of personal identity: “What is it that makes a person the very person that she is, herself alone and not another, an integrity of identity that persist ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, own
“Who’s the real you? The person who did something awful, or the one who’s horrified by the awful thing you did? Is one part of you allowed to forgive the other?”

Rebecca Stead is an author I’ve been meaning to read for the longest time. Her Newbery Medal winning book, When You Reach Me, was the book that put her on my radar, but it’s her latest book, Goodbye Stranger, that I’ve actually read. After such a positive reading experience, I’ve purchased all of her remaining books, and I’m pretty s
Ms. Yingling
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
E ARC from

Bridge, Tabitha, and Emily have been friends for a long time, but 7th grade is testing their friendship, as it does for many people. Em has developed more quickly, and has captured the attention of an 8th grade boy, who wants her to send him pictures. Tab is interested in their teacher's feminist views. Bridge, for some reason, has started to wear cat ears on her head. She's struggling with her French class and still trying to make sense of why she wasn't killed in an acc
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Man, the Banana Split Book Club! A book club in a school for kids with divorced parents.

Just WOW. I hope it’s real because it would make me feel a lot better about humanity, seriously. Warms my heart to bits.

My second book from Rebecca Stead and I have to say that she definitely has the ability to create these naturally curious characters so organically. Both When You Reach Me and Goodbye Stranger are not laugh-out-loud funny but they have this air of childhood simplicity about them that’s quit
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Stead writes about youth so well that she reminds me of another wonderful author I loved when I was a girl: Judy Blume.

Goodbye Stranger is the third Stead novel I've read, and it's very strong. It's the story of a group of friends growing up together, and how their friendship is tested by different challenges. I realize that is the basic synopsis of almost every children's book out there, but Stead makes it her own.

The first character we meet is Bridget (Bridge for short), who survived
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Rebecca Stead has done it again. Pure magic! I have a hard time reviewing her books though, so hold on to your hats and cat ears! :D

Goodbye Stranger weaves together love and friendship; betrayal and trust; boys and girls. A story filled with young individuals trying to find their way through junior high and high school with their hearts intact. Trying to learn how to trust, who to trust, how to talk and connect with people, and how to stay connected to the people we love in this world. I have NE
Stacey (prettybooks)
“Love is when you like someone so much that you can’t just call it “like,” so you have to call it “love.”

Rebecca Stead is one of my favourite middle grade authors, so I was incredibly excited to read her latest book, Goodbye Stranger. Liar & Spy and When You Reach Me feel a little younger, but I was pleased to be thrown back into Rebecca Stead's writing style. It's not an obvious style; it doesn't jump out at you. It's a bit like coming home.

Many novels, short stories and poems are about
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars

I will always have Rebecca Stead on my radar after reading her perfect Newberry Award-winning When You Reach Me (an homage to Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time). Ms. Stead is one of the best 'middle grade' authors I've encountered. I don't want to dissuade anyone from reading Goodbye Stranger, but this is probably her most 'conventional' book thus and I had a little bit of trouble enjoying it. The idea of 7th graders sexting each other (a trend which Aziz Ansari alerted me to in his
Jeff Raymond
I had a lot of issues with this book. A lot of issues.

First, seeing after the fact that this is probably meant to be more for the pre-YA crowd makes this book all the more puzzling as the subject matter is pretty mature on a whole, with a key plot point being middle schoolers sending racier and racier pictures to each other. Are we really ready to tackle the pre-teen texting issue like this?

There are other stories in the book, to be sure, and none of them are especially engaging - one involves
Margaret H. Willison
I often say that there's YA for Everyone (i.e. it's published under that designation, but presents no barriers of enjoyment to older readers) and YA for Teens (totally acceptable books that nonetheless trade in archetypes or tropes that will have lost their freshness and, thereby, their emotional impact for older/more experienced readers). This book is neither. This book is just literature that happens to be about 13 and 14-year-olds, but that approaches them with all the complexity, intelligenc ...more
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Stead's writing is just so EFFORTLESS. Her characters are real kids (and adults) having real conversations, and she just GETS it. This is what middle school feels like. This is what trying to figure out what kind of person you are, what kind of friend you are, is like. This is a beautiful, powerful book, and I think it should be required reading the summer before students start 7th grade. ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Adri by: Ivan
4.5/5 Stars
"I think that when you don't know, you should just wait until you do."
An incredible and important novel about growing pains, bumping up against the boundaries between friendship and love (which may, in fact, be nonexistant), learning to like yourself when the world says you shouldn't, and knowing when to call it quits with people who make you more sad than happy. If you're contemplating reading this book, I think that says it all.

The best part about Rebecca Stead's work is that s
Monica Edinger
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excerpts from my spoiler-free blog post.

It is apt that I am writing this just before Valentine’s Day as it is love in its numerous manifestations that is central to this novel. There is the love of friendship, the main one here between three 7th grade girls who have been close and committed friends since very young, vowing never to fight. There is sibling love as shown between the main character Bridge and her older brother. There is the love between parent and child that comes wafting through i
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve been in middle school, and Goodbye Stranger captures the confusing time just before you enter high school. You’re not quite a teenager, so there remains the naivety and optimism that comes with finding yourself and understanding new situations and other people. There’s also the insecurity as well, with saying what you need to say, doing what you need to do but still remaining close to
Jenni Frencham
Stead, Rebecca. Goodbye Stranger. Wendy Lamb Books, 2015.

This book tells the story of several very different characters: three best friends who have known each other forever and have promised on a Twinkie not to fight, one of whom is a survivor of a horrible car accident, and also a random doctor's son who might want to be friends with one of the girls.

I had such high hopes for this book. It's Rebecca Stead, and I loved When You Reach Me, so I was excited to be able to preview this novel. And i
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Puck by: Adri
Friendship in books is like Cinderella: she can grow out to become the belle of the ball, but only if you give her the proper care and attention.
In most (YA) books she sadly remains an overlooked servant girl, but that’s not the case with Goodbye Stranger In this fantastic middle-grade novel friendship gets room to shine in all its good and bad ways.

We follow three different storylines: we get to know 13-year old Bridget the best, as she and her best friends navigate the world of middle school
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Well, I was prepared to love this. And I think there's a good story buried somewhere beneath the separate points of view. But the POVs alternated so often that I never felt like I was able to sink into the novel or really get to know anyone.

Also, I don't like second person point-of-view at all, and I figured out that narrator early on, and - like Celeste said - if this is what seventh grade is like for them, what's high school going to be like? It was dispiriting, but in flashes, because the po
Elyse  Walters
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is a terrific contemporary snapshot of middle school social community life exploring relationships between friends, teachers, and parents. Relevant universal themes such as 'first crushes', school dress codes, body piercing, injustice, differences, mixed messages, double standards, self expression, awkwardness, and love are passionately heartfelt.

Here are a few quotes I especially love:

1) "They were holding hands. She didn't know what to do. She didn't want to squeeze or let her hand go l
This is a seriously highly rated 4 stars, like it's 4.75 and I should just round up. I've loved everything I've read by Rebecca Stead and she's quickly become a "must read" author. She really captures this age well; she writes about kids but doesn't come off like she's patronizing or pandering. Her stories are just that right amount of authentic to feel like realistic fiction. I almost kind of hate her because she makes me remember being that age.

Maybe a longer review to come ...
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5... Cute read about middle schoolers trying to figure out how to be good friends and people. The plot was a little bland but for the genre it makes sense. Emily and Patrick start texting and a sexy picture of her gets out to the whole school. Her two friends are there for her but they struggle to do the right thing while learning things about themselves in the process. I like how Rebecca Stead makes these strong characters that solve their problems with common sense instead of killing themsel ...more
Mary Lee
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, coming-of-age, ya
My two favorite quotes:

"I'll tell you a secret, " he said. "Pretty much nothing is in the budget."

"Life isn't something that happens to you. It's something you make yourself, all the time."

Okay, three:

"Bridge knew why she was here. It's why we're all here, she thought."

Colby Sharp
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read in a long long time. ...more
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Visit Stay Bookish for more book reviews!

I’ve heard nothing but great things about Rebecca Stead’s writing and this sparked my interest in reading Goodbye Stranger. Finally having read one of her works, I see the appeal and wonder why I didn’t take to reading her books sooner. With Goodbye Stranger, Stead expertly intertwines multiple stories and multiple viewpoints, layered with depth and complexity.

“You’re going to think I’m weird.”
“I already think you’re weird.”

I don’t read a lot of younger Y
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, stand-alones
This story was so real. The three different plot line weave together to create such an interesting collective of first love, friendship and fear of what's to come. Bridge was so quirky, Sherm was so emotionally in touch, and the Mystery Girl, who's story is told in second person, was what really made me want to keep turning the pages. Somehow, each character is relatable in their own way, and everyone has something going on in their lives. I loved it, and if you're looking for a character driven ...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I've made no secret that I'm a huge fan of Rebecca Stead, and I firmly believe that her books get better and better with each release. Goodbye Stranger has only confirmed that belief.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive.

Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture.

Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls
R.F. Gammon
In hindsight, I gave this 3 stars. Now that I've actually read it recently, I'll be a bit more generous and give it 4 :) It could have been perfect, except for one little quibble I had with it. And that was this:

This was definitely, in part, a cautionary tale, but it had way more to do with the idea that GIRLS are out to get each other than the idea that GUYS are out to hurt girls.

And this is definitely a topic that needs to be addressed. Girls are mean! I've had lots of experience with it, sadl
Liz B
This goes way beyond being an issue book (fyi, the issue is middle school sexting) to being a story about people. This is beautifully crafted, each character is believable, and Stead keeps what is really a simple plot utterly compelling.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-read
This is a story of three best friends, fiercely loyal to each other, but at the same time each finding their own interests and growing up without growing apart. The story was told from various viewpoints. The characters were strong and I liked how the friendship of the three girls was consistently being showcased. The adults were realistic and the outcomes of the problems could happen anywhere. My one problem with Goodbye Stranger is that the Valentine's Day parts were confusing, and although th ...more
As with all Rebecca Stead novels, Goodbye Stranger warrants a second (or third, or fourth) reading to really pick up on missed details. I didn't entirely get this one. It bounced back and forth between points-of-view and it was difficult to completely connect with characters.

Even with the holes in my comprehension, these are the things I was able to pick up on:
1) This book straddles the line between middle grade and YA. To the point where I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or so we start seei
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I love books but don't feel like stars capture what I want to say about them. Many of the books on my list are, in my opinion, amazing. Some I didn't like. But I give them all five stars, because stars make people - including me -- happy. Confused? Me too.

If you want to talk about any book I've read, I'm here.

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“Who's the real you? The person who did something awful, or the one who's horrified by the awful thing you did? Is one part of you allowed to forgive the other?” 51 likes
“Life is where you sleep and what you see when you wake up in the morning, and who you tell about your weird dream, and what you eat for breakfast and who you eat it with. Life isn’t something that happens to you. It’s something you make yourself, all the time.” 26 likes
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