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It Started With Goodbye

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Winner of the 2018 Young Adult Virginia Book of the Year

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

269 pages, Paperback

First published May 9, 2017

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About the author

Christina June

5 books397 followers
Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

She is the author of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, and NO PLACE LIKE HERE.

***I am no longer accepting friend requests due to Amazon's review policy, but please feel free to follow me <3 ***

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 518 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,388 reviews77.2k followers
May 21, 2017
This one's going to be a mini-review as I can't seem to conjure up enough to write a fully fleshed wording of how I felt. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the story is fairly straight forward and I really don't want to take anything away from the future reader who may want to go in blind. I think most readers are aware this is a form of a Cinderella/Fairy Tale retelling that simultaneously felt new and familiar. While I wasn't blown away with the story, I highly respect how the author has created an age appropriate book in the YA realm amidst a sea of mature and graphic material that is being touted to a younger audience. This is the type of book I'd feel comfortable handing to the most conservative of teens and even a mature middle grade reader.

The story did feel a bit predictable, but I applaud the author for covering some tough topics while still keeping the overall feel of the story light and uplifting. Those readers who love extra cheese with their romantic tales will be head over heels for this one; I think my experience was more a case of being too old for the appropriate demographic that will enjoy this story. I was immediately drawn in by the cover though, and I feel like it was a read that was worthy of my time, just nothing memorable. I would, again, still highly recommend this to that younger audience that are in the intended reading range and I think this novel will resonate in a deeper way with those in a similar walk of life as our characters in ISWG.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley
Profile Image for Lisa Maxwell.
Author 12 books1,968 followers
May 24, 2016
I had a chance to read this one early, and what a terrific debut! Tatum is such a three-dimensional and *real* character. It's a great contemporary take on the Cinderella tale that explores the complexities of family and friendships, love and change.
Profile Image for Laurie Flynn.
Author 8 books1,059 followers
May 30, 2016
SUCH a fantastic debut. There is so much to love about this book: an authentic, realistic plot, conflicts you'll relate to, and a main character you'll wish you were friends with in real life. Plus, there's lots of humor and heart, and I adore a book that can make me laugh and make me think. Tatum's voice is fantastic and so spot-on. Teen me wouldn't have been able to put this one down, and adult me couldn't either!
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
419 reviews1,622 followers
June 23, 2017
DNF @ 25%

Look, don’t judge me. I just can’t stand the main character and I’m not compelled to read any further.

Tatum is whiny. She continually bemoans her circumstances, her stepmother (who didn’t seem that bad to me?) and consistently reassures the readers that ’it wasn’t her fault!’

Yeah, it sucks. But damn girl. Calm down. You keep glossing over all the good things that happen in order to whine about the same three things.

I know a lot of reviews praise this for appealing to ‘all-ages’ but I found the writing very juvenile, with Tatum constantly referring to her “stepmonster” and how her best-friend “stupidly trusted her loser boyfriend.”

Other than that, the narrative is riddled with clichés such as:

- “She fell for it hook, line, and sinker.”
- “I hoped he was just something she needed to get out of her system.”
- “Chase wasn’t exactly the kind of guy you bring home to meet the parents.”
- “If you believe that, there’s a beach in Antarctica I’d like to sell you.”
- “I’m trying very hard to put myself in your shoes.”

I’m not opposed to common sayings, especially when it makes the dialogue more believable. But I was drowning in them before the end of the first chapter. It was just too much and bored me.

Maybe I’m just cynical, as others really seem to enjoy this cutsie take on Cinderella-- but it wasn’t for me.

(I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Blink for the opportunity!)
Profile Image for Katy Upperman.
Author 4 books307 followers
October 15, 2016
Another Swanky book! I had so much fun reading It Started with Goodbye. It’s a modern spin on Cinderella, a story with weighty themes that’s told in this spirited, heartfelt way that made diving into its world an absolute joy. Main character Tatum is awesome; she’s constantly railing against her too-strict stepmother, but she never reads as bratty. Her voice is spot-on, full of humor and insight, and I’m pretty sure Teen Katy would’ve wanted her as a BFF. It Started With Goodbye has some steep arcs, but author Christina June handles them with finesse, letting her characters grow in meaningful ways while preserving the heart of their well-developed personalities. And, as a romance lover, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention “SK”, the mysterious and witty boy Tatum trades emails with after he contacts her regarding her graphic design work. So cute and so sweet, and the payoff is perfection. It Started with Goodbye debuts May, 2017, but mark it To-Read now, because you’ll want to snatch it up as soon as it hits shelves.
Profile Image for Marci Curtis.
Author 2 books266 followers
May 27, 2016
You guys...SO MANY HEARTS TO THIS STORY. Absolutely loved this fresh, charming debut, brimming with friendship, family, and love.

And--hello--SK.
SK.
AHHHHHHH....

*dies*
*swoons*
*falls over dead*
Profile Image for Rosalyn Eves.
Author 9 books643 followers
February 6, 2017
IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE is a charming contemporary reimagining of Cinderella--if Cinderella had more gumption and a vision for her own life. Tatum Elsea is essentially under house arrest after a misunderstanding leaves her with a summer of community service and a fine to pay off. To earn money, she starts taking on a few design clients, including the enigmatic SK, who is on vacation with his family in Ireland but needs her help with a website for college applications. While I enjoyed the funny, warm romance, what I loved most about this retelling is that it wasn't just about the romance--it was also about Tatum's friendships and her family relationships.
Profile Image for Amanda.
401 reviews43 followers
February 26, 2016
I can't wait for everyone to read Tatum's story! I love her attitude and her sweet romance.
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,626 reviews1,605 followers
May 10, 2017
16 year old Tatum Elsea has been falsely accused of a crime. She has been grounded by her father. She has to fill her days doing her community service and working on her covert graphic design business at night, where she trades emails with a cute cello-playing client.

Then Tatum discovers she is not the only one in the house keeping secrets. She now has the chance to make amends with her family and friends.

A story of a teenagers relationship between her family and friends. The characters are well developed. The book is nicely written. A modern take on Cinderella. I found this book refreshing, charming and I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Blink and the author Christina June for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,005 reviews297 followers
March 30, 2018
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel, received in exchange for an honest review.
“It Started with Goodbye” is the newest YA contemporary fiction novel from author, Christina June. In “Goodbye”, Tatum Elsea is sixteen years old and confined to her house, under the supervision of her stepmother, after being charged for a crime she didn’t commit. While she is adapting to what is sure to be her “summer of solitude”, Tatum unexpectedly finds new friends through her community service project, strengthens bonds that previously were broken- or at least chipped- and discovers surprising new talents in herself.
This novel was described as having a “Cinderella arc” and that is evident right from the beginning, with the “evil stepmother” and “stepsister” roles of Belen and Tilly. However, that is about as far as the comparisons go to the classic fairy tale.
This novel was YA in every sense of the genre- it was overly cheesy and extremely predictable, with young “misunderstood” characters who clumsily discover themselves while struggling with angst-y teenage dramas.
I kept waiting for this novel to start. Tatum was a great character at first, however I found it hard to pick a focus for the plot. First, she’s arrested and has a falling out with her best friend. Then, she is on house arrest and the plot changes to her developing her home business. Then she meets a boy, and some new friends, and the plot changes again to Tatum’s social life. Than a step grandmother is introduced and the plot switches to Tatum building relationships with her step family. All very confusing, none of it very interesting.
To a modern-day teenager, I am sure this novel would speak to them, as it details the day-by-day doldrums of teenaged Tatum. However as an adult (who perhaps is biased because I work with teenagers and am surrounded by their drama all day long), this novel did not really keep my interest. It was a quick read so I wanted to finish it, as I expected a dramatic ending (which didn’t happen). The plot line was cheesy and predictable and the characters were overly ordinary and I did not really form a bond with any of them. The writing was well done, however, and the novel was an easy read with quick chapters and a simplistic, non-pretentious style.
This novel is definitely worth investigating if you are a pre-teen or teenager. Hard-core YA fans that are NOT adolescents (like myself) will find the novel a bit dull and again, cheesy. I have not read any of June’s other books, so I have nothing to compare this novel to, but this one did not quite have the impact I thought it would.
The cover was pretty though.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
525 reviews648 followers
August 4, 2017
*2.6/5 stars*

It Started With Goodbye is pretty great debut novel all things considered, I had some problems with it - the fact that I didn't like Tatum all that much for the most part and couldn't really connect to any of the relationships - but it was still really enjoyable and light book to read.

I liked the little Cinderella references and one of the characters who stood out for me the most was Tatum's step grandmother, Blanche who was also represented as the contemporary verson of fairy godmother. Unfortunatly, no other character really stood out for me.

The friendships - both old and new ones - were pretty bland. I expected a bit more from the family relationships - I didn't like Tatum's attitude toward her stepmother at all. Sure, she was way too strict, but it was apparent for me from the start that she cared for both of her daughters.

I was especially annoyed with Tatum's behavior sometimes and how whiny she got about everything, repeatedly so. Even when in reality, her life wasn't bad, at all. It seemed to me that she had pretty privileged life and didn't truly appreciate it. I didn't hate her character, exactly, but it was hard for me to connect with her.

And then there's our Prince Charming whom I don't have any concrete opinion about. It's clear from the start that this book is mostly centered on family and friendships, not the romance. So I kind of neither liked him, nor hated him. He felt quite one dimensional. A few of the emails they sent each other were fun and they were cute together and all, but.. I just have no concrete opinion about him, sadly. Although, he does play on two of my favourite instruments!

Overall: This book makes for an ok, though average debut contemporary novel. I will definitely be on the lookout for Christina June's next work - Which is supposed to be a contemporary retelling of Little Red Riding Hood! How cool is that!
This is light and fun book worth reading, I especially think people who haven't read many contemporaries and younger readers will enjoy this book even more so than me.

P.S. Look at the cover. It's just plain adorable!


*******************************************

Pre-review:

Once again, I'm in a contemporary mood and this seems like an entertaining read. This book received such a great reviews this year so far, also: it's Cinderella re-telling. Hopefully I will enjoy it just as much as I loved Cinder & Ella
Profile Image for Amanda Searcy.
Author 2 books80 followers
May 9, 2017
I found this book absolutely delightful. It is full of fun, well-developed characters, friendships, and a little romance. It is a perfect beach read (or a snowed-in-but-wish-it-was-summer read). By the end, you will be wishing for step-grandmother Blanche to come stay at your house!
Profile Image for Jen.
1,070 reviews92 followers
December 12, 2016
Fun, Refreshing and Swoony!

I loved the characters, the story and seeing how Christina June put her own modern spin on the classic tale of Cinderella. Tatum is a relateable character and watching her navigate her way through family, friendships and first love left me with a big, goofy smile on my face. Fairy-tale retellings can be hit or miss with me, but this one was a hit! I can't wait to see what Christina comes up with next.

Fans of Kasie West, Jennifer E. Smith, and Stephanie Perkins will enjoy this. Read it.

Profile Image for Carlie Sorosiak.
Author 9 books260 followers
September 24, 2016
It Started With Goodbye is so darn charming! This book is the absolute perfect summer romance with sweet characters and an abundance of cuteness. I read it in one sitting. I loved Tatum's spunky personality. Her voice is pitch-perfect, and she just felt so real. I was getting major Sarah Dessen vibes throughout the novel, so I would highly recommend for her fans, and also fans of contemporary romance with plenty of swoon-worthy moments!
Profile Image for Jazzy.
202 reviews62 followers
May 28, 2018
Meh. Fluffy, kind of boring, and predictable. Also, all the deception was killing me inside. Not a fan, unfortunately. :(
Profile Image for Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku.
753 reviews49 followers
February 8, 2017
16-year-old Tatum Elsea is not having the best start to her summer. Her bestie's skeezy boyfriend shoplifted $300+ worth of merchandise with the two ladies around, meaning all three of them were arrested. After offering her testimony in exchange for a less-harsh sentence, her BFF isn't talking to her and Tatum is under house arrest. When her traditional summer babysitting gig falls through, Tatum is prepared to do nothing but suffer community service and the company of her terrible stepmother. Things cannot get worse.

The way this book started out was a bit of a dud for me. I struggled to believe that Tatum would be charged with grand larceny in this situation. I also couldn't understand why her stepmother, Belén, and her father were so unbelievably hard on her. No one was having real conversations with her, they were only looking down on her and holding a hard line. From the perspective of a Cinderella re-telling that made sense, I guess. But from a realism perspective it didn't.

But Tatum's character was incredibly realistic. I can relate to the terrible feelings and poor self-esteem that Tatum is going through in It Started with Goodbye. 16-year-old me would have been bestie's with this girl. She is vocal, strong, knows what she wants-- and yet she is constantly questioning herself, her personal worth, and her future. This is a perfect 16-year-old.

I adored watching the relationships between Tatum and the people in her life mature throughout this book. Tilly and Abby's relationships were my personal favorites. It was fun watching Tatum come into who she wants to be with friendships, family, and her future career aspiration. In retrospect, Blanche, Tatum's step-grandmother didn't really develop much as a character, but with her fairy-godmother status, I didn't mind.

A cute, quirky, and modern take on Cinderella, I strongly recommend this to any fan of contemporary YA and romance.

I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley and Blink/Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. It Started with Goodbye is expected to be published in May 2017.
Profile Image for Kris Mauna.
503 reviews49 followers
May 4, 2017
I completely fell in l-o-v-e with this book.

"I wished more than anything that I could teleport myself somewhere peaceful and quiet, where people smiled and laughed instead of keeping themselves buttoned so tight they choked themselves."

If you're a fan of Cinderella then this book is for you! There is an adorable romance in this story, but the heart of this book revolves around family and friendships. I loved it. It felt so refreshing to read because Tatum is such a relatable character. We have all been in a situation where we've felt completely isolated or misunderstood, and her story is all about finding her people and finding confidence in herself.

Please add this book to your TBR list if you're a fan of contemporaries!! It's such a good one, I promise.

>>> Read my FULL spoiler-free review here!!


* Quotes listed above are subject to change.
Profile Image for Lara (Bookish_turtle).
227 reviews196 followers
May 17, 2018
Cringe. Cringe, cringe, cringe. That was basically this book, with about twelve cliches thrown in there as well.

Things that I like
- Really pretty cover. SERIOUSLY THOUGH, LOOK AT IT!!!
- It required no brainpower. Actually, probably in the negative numbers...

Thing that I did not like
- Tatum 'It's really truly not my fault' Elsea. If you blame her for anything, rest assured, there will be several paragraphs of her whining assuring you that SHE IS THE VICTIM. Don't be fooled, nothing is her fault. EVER!!!
- The 'plot' 'twist' that everybody saw coming... I basically NEVER see plot twists coming, even when they are staring me in the face. But this one... I could smell it chapters away.
- Also, the 'plot'. There wasn't one. At all. For the whole book.
- Tatum is whiny. She complains a LOT.
- Was there a single cliche that wasn't put in this book? METHINKS NOT! Heaven forbid that one single cliche be left out of this book.
- I'm 93% sure that she is actually 12, because she is one of the most twelvie characters I have ever read.
- Legit though, she reads like a tween.
- I could not stop cringing.
- Seriously, there was one cringe on EVERY page. Usually more.
- Everything gets resolved in like two seconds.
- 'Follow your heart and all your dreams will come true'... The world does not work like that. But Everything worked out Perfectly for Every character. In. The. Whole. Book!
- Everybody being friends for their happily ever afters!!! LET'S ALL BE FRIENDS AGAIN, YAY!!! (That is the book in a nutshell.)

I love cheesy contemporaries, but this one was so cringey. I can't even... It was kinda entertaining I guess... But I was constantly annoyed by it, so I guess I didn't really like it that much.
50 reviews
October 2, 2016
IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE is an adorable retelling of Cinderella, yet it manages to feel new. I loved how June added plenty of cute references to the fairytale while modernizing so many elements. Tatum and SK are darling and funny, but Tatum's friendships and relationship with her (step) abuela make the story. There are a handful of flat-out swoon worthy moments, and another handful where I teared up. If you want lots of feels in a sweet, clean, and delightful package, this is the book for you.
Profile Image for TJ.
972 reviews116 followers
May 2, 2017
Received from: Blink
Received Via: NetGalley.com


THE REVIEW

Why this book?
it seemed cute

What I thought

Tatum is having a bad summer . She doesn't get along with her step Mother or sister. Her dad is always away for work and things aren't going well with her friend Ashlyn . This book had its moments sure, but it's not something i'll read again. The characters also didn't really stick out to me. I could read characters just like them in a hundreds of books.With that said It did has a few surprising twist and turns. I also found myself enjoying it for what it was a nice simple book.
Profile Image for Paula M.
546 reviews643 followers
May 25, 2020
for more reviews and an excerpt from this book, please visit Her Book Thoughts!

"I cried for the girl constantly trying to force a connection, to find someone who took her at face value and didn't ask her to be something she wasn't. cried out for the doors that had closed and cried for the ones that might never open.."

I didn't even know this was a retelling! Come to think of it, while I was reading the book I had this bubble of thought 'Gosh she's so much like Cinderella with what's happening to her' I love how Christina June got a lot of the book's scenarios and character attitudes from the original Cinderella and modernized it but not in a way that it lost the FEELS of the original story.

What I love about ISWG is that it's not a love story. But it's full of love. It's romantic. It's swoony. And most importantly, it's full of heart. It Started With Goodbye starts with our main character having the baddest day of her life and I wouldn't like the intro to be any other way. Because it just says that everything happens for a reason and bad things happening are actually a sign that GREAT things are ahead. Which is what happened with Tatums story. Christina June made a readable story with a set of relatable characters. Tatum is quirky, sweet, funny and authentic. She's not perfect. You'll scratch your head by some of her actions sometimes but that is the most wonderful part of reading a story, right? Getting so affected by the characters actions and the feeling that you're connected with them. Now, I'm not sure if I'm the only one who felt this way while reading this, but Tate's parents are the only characters who I didn't like much (her father is present here unlike from the original) but I guess the author really wrote them that way. The important thing though was that they helped a lot with Tatums character development.

The book has a love story that will also make you think of the original Cinderella. I don't want to tell how they met (hella cute), how did their love story progressed (swooooony) and what happened to their love story  You need to read the story for that of course, but one thing I can tell you is that even though the romance is not the highlight of the book, you won't stop talking and thinking about it (like what I'm doing right now) just because it was done beautifully. There are a lot of winning relationships that is also part of the book such as friendships and family relations. I specifically love the bond of Tatum and her abuela which is so delightfully sweet.

My rating is missing one star because ISWG started slow for me but despite of that, I would still recommend this book for contemporary lovers like me. It Started With Goodbye is well written and full of charm that will just touch your heartstrings. The characters are authentic and the story will make you believe that you could be a Tatum as well who is still lovable and fearless despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding her.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
510 reviews297 followers
Read
May 8, 2017
DNF

Mini review:

I received this E-ARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was looking forward to reading this. But when I started it I couldn't stand the MC's parents. It was so stupid how they were being hard on her for no reason and yet Ashlynn didn't get held accountable. I felt that it was just used as a plot device.

Do not recommend.
Profile Image for Casey.
388 reviews96 followers
April 25, 2017
Tatum is 16 and arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Going to a store with her Best friend and her friends dropkick boyfriend ended up with her being arrested and charged.

Sentenced to community service, her friends been shipped off to boarding school, and the bf is in jail her summers not looking to fun. Community services isn't her biggest punishment she has also lost the little trust she had with her step mum and all the trust of her Dad.

Her step mum is in charge now and Tate is only allowed to go to community service and her babysitting job, she also has to pay off a fine so there goes her savings for a tablet.

Tate is a graphic designer and after doing some free design work her then customer and now friend convinces her to start-up a freelance business. She designs and prints out some business cards puts them at her sisters prestigious art school and it all goes from there.



This book was really good, the friendships were lovely, the family relationship were done really well and Tate herself is a likable character. Her frustration, her wants, her happiness, her sadness it was all really well done and I was feeling all the same things for her.

The thing that bothered me was it wasn't all that impressive, it was cute, had a great story arc, and the cutest romance (email love stories always get me) but it's incredibly forgettable.

I read this what a week ago? and I had to think about what the plot actually was and the side characters? I loved them but I can't remember their names for the life of me.

If you're looking for a cute contemporary with lots of teenage feelings this is a quick fun read, but don't expect it to change your life.
Profile Image for McCall Hoyle.
Author 6 books311 followers
December 17, 2016
This was the sweetest fairy tale retelling I've ever read. I loved it from start to finish.

Tatum, the main character, is realistic. I thoroughly enjoyed her character arc, her interest in graphic design, and her interest in the adorable SK, who she develops a relationship with online.

I'm a satisfied teacher/reader who will recommend this read to her students.
Profile Image for lucie.
490 reviews618 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 12, 2017
DNF @57%

because I am bored to death. This book had no plot so far and literally nothing happend in the 170 pages I've read.
Profile Image for Robyn.
1,649 reviews115 followers
Read
January 26, 2023
IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE
Christina June


OK. I have to think about what to write here because I have to say that it is

Well it was

Just a bit biased toward the whiney and spoiled side. The main character is soooooo woe is me. She whines about everything all the while saying she doesn't want to be whiny. I have never read someone that is so certain that she is perfect and bears no responsibility for any actions taken. That girl Tatum glosses over EVERYTHING so that she can later say it wasn't her fault, not her responsibility, and whine about it.

I realize this is a YA book and the intent is to show how to take responsibility for her actions, but they might have left her with some small amount of dignity. It was one cliché after another and the constant repetition of step as an identification really bothered me.

It just seemed to be sort of childish to me and I found very few, if any character that I could relate to or like.

2.6 stars rounded to 3

Happy Reading!


Profile Image for Amanda.
121 reviews546 followers
March 23, 2017
"I cried for the girl whose voice remained unheard, who did her best to be good but didn't always get it right. I cried for the girl constantly trying to forge a connection, to find someone who took her at face value and didn't ask her to be something she wasn't. I cried for the doors that had closed and cried for the ones that might never open. I cried out of want, out of thirst for something nameless, my heart beating itself into a frenzy..."

***ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

This was such a cute Summer read. This story is a modern contemporary Cinderella retelling. It's about Tatum who was arrested for being an accessory to a crime and she must now spend her summer doing community service hours, but she is also working on a secret project by night; her own graphic design company. With her father away on a business trip and her bff shipped off to boarding school, Tatum must spend the summer locked up in the house with her frigid Stepmother and Stepsister. Feeling lonely and inadequate she must try to have a fresh start and mend some of the relationships that have been broken by lack of trust and anger.

I really enjoyed this book and thought it was pretty relatable. I connected well with the main character and thought that the development of her character was done extremely well from the beginning of the book through to the end. I enjoyed the love interest for most of the book but did find it a bit too insta-lovey In the end. The Cinderella retelling has been done a time or two but I still thought it was executed well.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,125 reviews34.9k followers
April 1, 2017
I'm teetering between a 3 and 3.5 stars

It started with goodbye started really, really slow for me. So slow, that I almost did not keep reading. Which is rare for me. I looked at all the 4 star reviews and scratched my head - what was I missing? So I kept at it. Then this book began to grow on me. It found it's stride or perhaps I found mine while reading this book. It started with Goodbye - this modern take on Cinderella - slowly grabbed my attention. Although it did start slow for me, it did build and became a cute, enjoyable read. This book is most likely going to appeal more to the YA crowd.

Sixteen year old Tatum Elsea is out with her best friend and her boyfriend when things go wrong. Tatum is falsely accused of a crime and her father and step - mother do not believe her. She is placed under their imposed house arrest and assigned community service. This all occurs before her father goes out of town on business leaving her under the extremely strict eye of her Step-Mother. I did find it strange that her father and step Mother really didn't listen to Tatum and her version of events. They were quick to be her judge and jury. How sad to be falsely accused and not have anyone believe you or even give you a chance to tell your side of the story.

Tatum is a typical teenager but with mad design skills. She is quirky, sullen, secretive, funny, and believable. To earn money she has started her own web design business and takes on clients. She is also pet sitting at night while doing her community service during the day. Along the way, she is given some insight from Blanche, her step-Mother's Mother. Blanche is wise, fun and likable while her daughter comes off as severe, harsh, stiff, and unlikable.

Tatum also meets a young man and he unknowingly becomes one of her clients and after some cute correspondence they realize that they have met before. He is, in essence, her prince.

As I mention, this is a re-telling of the Cinderella story but with modern issues. While Cinderella was more about finding your prince, It started with Goodbye was about growth, family relationships, friendship and young love. I liked how Tatum grew over the summer and accepted responsibility for some of her actions.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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