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The Goodbye Year

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  543 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for colle ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Sparkpress (first published April 12th 2016)
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  543 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Cindy Burnett
A child's last year of high school is so hard for the child and the parent, and it is interesting reading about how all of these people handle it. Many of them are dwelling with additional issues, and it makes for a busy year for them all!
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
My oldest child is going into fifth grade, so I still have a while before he goes to college. However, I could still find some ways to relate to the parents in The Goodbye Year. I could appreciate them wanting their kids to do well in school so they could get into a good college and also wondering what was in store now that their kids didn’t need them as much. I wouldn’t say my kids don’t need me, but they’re definitely on that road to independence as they continue to grow and learn new life ski ...more
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are so many ways to say goodbye. Are you ever ready for any of them? Follow the families of Crystal Beach, CA as they deal with heartache, Empty Nest Syndrome (it's real), graduation, adultery, and more. Kaira does a fantastic job of not only showing the mind of women approaching middle age and all the thoughts that go along with it, but also the troubled mind of a teenager, the unbelievably selfish mind of a narcissistic man (who you actually feel bad for for a split second at the end) an ...more
A S H L E Y ⚡️
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting domestic drama, but it’s downfall is that there are too many characters for the length of the book. A few of them were compelling and it’s a shame there wasn’t much room to explore them further.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! I Read this book so fast because the author makes it so easy for you to understand the characters and their thinking. It alternates between the children and the parents view. You will not believe how each of these families lives take shape after this senior year. You can relate to one or more of these families and their children. This second act for these families has a lot of twists and turns. Not a dull moment!!!
Jun 10, 2016 added it
Horrible. F. Why did I even finish it??? My first zero star review.
Monica Murphy
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Fast paced read that threw a few curveballs at me.
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always found the word goodbye to be an oxymoron. Seldom is a goodbye an actual good thing. In The Goodbye Year, Kaira Rouda chronicles the lives of five families. She explores the relationship between husband and wife, parent and child and between friends. The struggles we face when our children are about to leave home, when someone we love has been unfaithful and when substance abuse takes over one’s life. The situations in this book are so relatable and things that happen to people on a d ...more
Sheree Kun
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just WOW! This is an amazing book that is told through many perspectives. Had I not won this book, I would not have bought it as I'm going through my "goodbye year" with my son and thought it would make me cry. As I won the book, through Tall Poppies, i felt obligated to read it. I'm so very glad that I did.! This is an incredible story as witnessed from different perspectives. It made me lighten up a little bit on my son. With that said, you don't need to have a senior in high school to en ...more
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Many of my friends (myself included) have hit the crossroads of life called "empty nest". Our children have grown up and gone away to college to leave us all wondering how we deal with the fact that we are no longer needed in the same way.

Kaira Rouda addresses this situation through her novel The Goodbye Year. In it we meet a group of families who live in a well-to-do beach town in Southern California. There are several couples who are on the cusp of empty nest, including power couple plastic su
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kaira Rouda never disappoints me. I've read some of her previous books and she continues to get better and better each time I open one of her books! Kudos, Kaira!

The Goodbye Year is filled with many characters, the parents and children of a beach community. Once you understand who belongs with who and what is happening, is just about the time everything begins to fall apart for certain characters.

I was able to laugh out loud at the humorous parts of The Goodbye Year. I also was commiserating w
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
It took awhile to get into this story with its big cast of characters - most of which were unlikable. But the secrets revealed from both parents and their teens were a draw.

There are plenty of characters in this story who provide different aspects of the craziness that occurs during the period of college preparation and application in the upper middle class world.

Having gone through some of that craziness last year, I could relate to some parts. Whew! It is a workout and the tension and stress
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read my full review and others at Eyes and Books!

A gripping, phenomenal story about parents having to face reality as their children enter their senior year that is masterfully paced and beautifully portrayed.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rouda at the height of her literary powers! A marvel!
Fiona R
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a disappointing read after Best Day Ever. The Goodbye Year's cast was an eclectic one with a lot of potential, but the plot just didn't stand up. Sure, there was action, but I found myself rolling my eyes at its far fetched nature. Kaira Rouda definitely knows how to create characters, which is why I stuck it out to the end.
I'm not deterred from trying more of her novels, but this one is best forgotten.
Cindy Roesel
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Crystal Beach, California is the fictional location for author, Kaira Rouda's, novel THE GOODBYE YEAR (SparkPress). Crystal Beach, much like Laguna Beach where Kaira resides is a glamorous, upper-middle class, gated-community located near the beach in southern California. If you happen to watch BRAVO'S, The Real Housewives of Orange County, it's very similar to where Vicki Gunvalson and the cast of characters have lived for the past ten seasons. I've watched TRHOC since the beginning and I'm loo ...more
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm sure enough has been said of the storyline and reviews typically show no end of summaries. So in leu of that, I'm just offering my raw opinions:
One of my favorite things about this novel is how Kaira managed to weave no less than 6-10 points of view into one storyline. I was a bit intimidated going in to this, especially when the first page has a sort of "family/friend tree/outline" to start; however that was invaluable in those first chapters as I got my bearings and each character began to
Lori Palmer (Palmer's Page Turners)
What excited me about this book was that it focused on a population I work with every day in my day job--students going through the college search process. I loved the premise of the book and that it was told from different perspectives. That being said, I had a hard time keeping everyone straight in the beginning. There is a "cast list" at the beginning that listed all the characters and their families, but reading it on a kindle made it difficult to go back and forth. I definitely recommend r ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The last year of high school is very stressful for not only the seniors but also for their families. In this novel, Kaira Rouda takes us into the conflicts of several families with a high school senior hoping to go to college - there is perfect Ashley with her plastic surgeon father and her mother who he has helped make into a walking advertisement for his plastic surgery practice.... But he is hiding a secret and their marriage isn't all that it seems to be. There is Dane who appears to be a re ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have long been a fan of Kaira Rouda's books. The Goodbye Year is her best yet. I read it in less than 24 hours. It is set in suburbia and chronicles a senior year in high school from both the student and the parents' perspectives. The characters are so well drawn that they come to life in this book.

This is a book about relationships- between parent and child, between spouses, between friends. Each relationship is so well written that you "feel" all of the emotions.

This book will appeal to all
Meg Munson
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was such an interesting read. I love how the author wrote about the five families and included both the parents and children's perspectives. This book covered everything from empty nest syndrome, infidelity, alcoholism, drug abuse and even some other surprises along the the way (don't want to give any spoilers!). It was amazing to see how the events in this story brought certain characters together. I felt like there was so much I could relate to in this story. This was beautifully written ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rouda has captured the high school senior angst and the "empty nest" anxiety that plagues many parents. Telling the story from many points of view is engaging and allows for the various reactions to the impending changes. Parents will be able to identify with the conflicting feelings of pride and frustration. An excellent novel for discussion and will be a favorite for Book Clubs. Read my review at http://pennyformythoughts-nona.blogsp...
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed this book. This book is full of secrets and surprises. Inside a wealthy world, families still have struggles. Money does not solve every problem. Family relationships unfold as families prepare for an empty nest.

I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story about that last year of high school, when the kids leave for college and parents end up as empty nesters. Very well written and with some shocking surprises towards the end. Fast-paced read! I recommend it!!

I was provided with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Lauren R.
Mehhhh I don't know. All of the characters were so flat for me and everyone's voice sounded the same. There was a crazy twist at one point but I did predict another one. The story was fairly interesting and kept me reading for the most part, but there was so much telling instead of showing.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Proofreader missed a lot mistakes!
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tour
Full review on my blog:
Kris Mehigan
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
NOTE - I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway contest.

Gotta admit, there's something alluring about the too-good-to-be-true upper-crust social set and their offspring. You'd think living beach-front in a tony, gated neighborhoods chock full of McMansions and every kid accepted to Harvard and Stanford would be enough. Throw in a Tesla and unlimited plastic surgery. Lucky them, right?

Nope. Not in this book, anyway. That's all smoke in mirrors.

Rouda adds a healthy dose of bull
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
WOW. I started The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda and only put it down when I absolutely had to. When I was not reading it, I was thinking about it. I haven't been as engrossed in a book in a while and I loved every second of it.

Check out an excerpt from the beginning of the book here on my blog, Into the Hall of Books.

The Goodbye Year features five different families that are dealing with their childrens' Senior Year/graduation/going off to college, which means that they are facing Empty Nests, an
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Author, Kaira Rouda is definitely not afraid to create characters the reader will hate! The plot was at times just crazy, the characters themselves were all spoiled, rich brats but I couldn’t stop reading it. I did like her other novel, The Best Day Ever quite a bit better, but this one is still worth reading.
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Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction exploring what goes on behind closed doors of seemingly perfect lives. Her next novel, THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, is out May 21.

She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest: @KairaRouda; and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda B