Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Happened to Goodbye” as Want to Read:
What Happened to Goodbye
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Happened to Goodbye

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  85,618 ratings  ·  4,484 reviews
Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Viking Juvenile
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Happened to Goodbye, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Anu I've been thinking the same thing!! Jason's literally in so many books, and has like a pretty significant role in all of them. I would love to know mo…moreI've been thinking the same thing!! Jason's literally in so many books, and has like a pretty significant role in all of them. I would love to know more about his backstory. (less)
Carliee In my opinion, some of Sarah Dessen's books needs more of a mature, older audience than a 12 year old. I would say about 15/16 years old and up is whe…moreIn my opinion, some of Sarah Dessen's books needs more of a mature, older audience than a 12 year old. I would say about 15/16 years old and up is where I'd start the age group. The book Dreamland was just so hard to read as I am in school reading it and the things that are happening shouldn't have even happened; but those are real events which coul happen to anyone. I love Sarah Dessen's books so much!(less)
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareForever by Maggie StiefvaterSilence by Becca FitzpatrickPassion by Lauren Kate
YA Novels of 2011
1,156 books — 7,120 voters
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareForever by Maggie StiefvaterClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareDead Reckoning by Charlaine HarrisSilence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Can't Wait Books For 2011
1,217 books — 6,803 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  85,618 ratings  ·  4,484 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of What Happened to Goodbye
May 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
I miss the Sarah Dessen who wrote This Lullaby and The Truth About Forever. What happened?
What Happened to Goodbye has no huge inciting incident or great source of tension. Instead the book quietly unfolds in layers: each time Dessen revisits a scene/sub-plot, she goes just a little bit further than the previous time ~ giving more depth and insight into her characters lives, relationships and what makes them the way they are. Ad infintum and you reach the resolution: where Dessen has begun with isolated characters she ends with a motley group of friends who have bonded and each come ...more
I ♥ Sarah Dessen. That is all.

Okay, I lie. That is NOT all. How could I use only six words when the possibility of six hundred exists? My lawyer genes would go into revolt!

I really, really liked What Happened to Goodbye. In fact, it just might rank up there with my other Dessen favourites, Just Listen and The Truth about Forever.

Generally, I tend to like Dessen heroes better than Dessen heroines. It was Owen and Wes who really lit up Just Listen and The Truth About Forever for me. Surprisingly,
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it

Sometimes, I forget that. Even as I’ve been rereading her books this year. Sometimes, you get That Summer or Dreamland or The Truth about Forever. A disappointment.

But then! Then! Sometimes you get Just Listen. Actually...up until this point that was the only definitively fun one out of this reread so far.

UNTIL THIS POINT. Because What Happened to Goodbye is another Sarah-Dessen-at-her-best type of deal.

Summery vibe. Cute love interest. Family drama that comes to a Dis
Melannie :)
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
OHMYGOSH, *squeals*

seriously can't wait anymore,
I have been waiting for a new book by her since, what was it? 2009? I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER

I want to read this book NOW *cries*


I finished this book yesterday afternoon when I was sitting in the waitingroom at my doctor's office and really had nothing else to do ... which probably says enough.

Seriously, I consider myself a Sarah Dessen fan. I have read almost all of her books and enjoyed the majority of them – to various degrees. What Happened To Goodbye, however, was a huge disappointment for me. The beginning was great, the whole set-up, the restaurant setting, but then ... the whole thing just fizzled out around page
♛ may
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it

Look whose back with another basic-3-stared-contemporary read !!

You know what kinda funny not really?? if I read this book 12 months ago, I probably would have died over how cute it was. But now as I am *cough* a veteran reader *cough* I have gone through too many contemporaries to know that this ranks as – meh.


So what do we got here?
McLean’s parents divorced a few years back and ever since, she’s been living with her father (although her mother would gladly have her). With her father, come
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“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.” ,

After Mclean's parents divorced, Mclean was on the move with her father from house to house. Needing a change, Mclean decided to change her name and personality for every school she moved to. O
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 b
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Sarah Dessen's books never get old. There's good reason she's one of the queens of YA contemporaries because she sure does know how to write about young adult lives with genuineness. I have read almost all of her books and even though there are a few I honestly didn't like, I always give the author a chance to redeem herself and she's often successful the next time I pick another of her books.

What Happened to Goodbye is a good read for me, right up there with This Lullaby and Lock and Key althou
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Must read for Sarah Dessen fans.

My deep like for What Happened to Goodbye comes down to one thing... the protag McLean Sweet. I liked her for lots of reasons and not just because I can relate to her determination to not look down until she identifies a constellation or two when looking up at a starry sky, or because like McLean I’ve never been one to just put myself out there on day one. Also it’s not just because we both have a name you’ve got to live up it, yeah some days it’s not all sweet an
Deacon Tom F
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Teenager's Journey

“What Happened to Goodbye” by Sarah Dessen is a very well written exploration of a teen’s life.

The characters are well developed and come across as strong, and charming.

The plot was not hollow or perfectly predictable. The issues were complex and interesting. Most compelling was how the author was using a main character, “Mclean” who "changed" her identity 3 times in coming to terms with who she really was.

What results is a brilliantly layered book with strong storytelling
I. CAN'T. FREAKING. WAIT!!! Sarah Dessen rocks my socks! :D AHHHHHHH!!! XD




Another awesome love story from the wonderful Sarah Dessen. She never ceases to amaze me.:) This wasn't my favorite, but I loved it anyhow. I was reading it all of first through third period. Tsk tsk, I know. Shame on me. But it was totally worth it.:)
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great, now I have to wait another billions years (okay, probably more like 2) for another Sarah Dessen book. Get cracking Dessen! Really though, the reason why so many people love her books are because she just gets it. She deals with problems that not only teenagers but anyone can relate to in some way.

Quick Overview: Another move for Mclean just means another persona. After her parents’ divorce Mclean and her father move around as he works as a restaurant consultant. Two years and four schools
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
What Happened to Goodbye is another hit from the queen of young-adult realistic fiction, Sarah Dessen. As with all of her books, readers can expect a moving story filled with cleverly drawn characters and the perfect touch of romance.

In her tenth novel, Dessen details the story of Mclean Sweet - also known as Liz Sweet, Beth Sweet, etc. After her parents' divorce she travels from town to town with her dad, assuming a new identity each time. Things are different at Lakeview, though. Mclean may ju
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Stohl
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I automatically read every Sarah Dessen, who is super good at being Sarah Dessen. The guy will be quirky and loveable. A family will somehow be destroyed and put back together. The food service industry will likely appear, as will the beach. Knowing that these things will happen is like knowing that macaroni and cheese will not let me down in a time of need. At least, it never has yet...
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a quick easy contemporary that was very sweet, the problem is I don't find Sarah Dessen books memorable like next week I won't even renember the protagonist or her love interests name. ...more
Jay G
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
After her parents divorce, Maclean Sweet has found herself moving constantly. She has been in 4 different towns in the past 2 years. Using a different name at every new school she attends, Maclean reinvents herself after each move. So, when she arrives in Lakeview, and goes to pick a new identity, she is surprised when she chooses Maclean. Now, making new friends and falling for a boy, Maclean is learning to accept herself and learn to not run away when things get real.

Dave is such a sweetheart
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
“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.”

Another wonderful Sarah Dessen book. I love that she is a wonderful author, a go-to author that I know there will be a character I love, a story that's easy to slide right into and a plot with depth and interesting twists.

I'm a mover. We don't move every 6 months, but I don't like to stay in one house longer than 4 or 5 I completely understand McLean's u
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Not my favorite Sarah Dessen book, but I enjoyed it! I didn't feel satisfied by the ending and I wanted a little more romance between Dave and Mclean, but there was good character development throughout. ...more
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Sarah Dessen more and more with every book.
This might be my new second favorite book by her.
I loved the story.
I love that the family is always the top spot on her books. The love part only comes second.
Sarah Dessen, you are my queen!
Mary Ann
Aug 01, 2010 marked it as to-read
Finally! I've been waiting for her to write a new book since along for the ride came out!! ...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Another cute, quick Sarah Dessen read. Her books always make me feel so nostalgic in the best way. Awh
Jun 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who suffer too much real-life excitement and need something to sleep on.
Disappointment. In the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of 2004, the verb “disappoint” is defined as such: to fail to fulfill the expectation or hope of –

I don’t know what exactly went wrong with this book. Maybe Dessen’s becoming lazy – her last three books have left me mourning after her better novels – or maybe she’s just running out of “ever-powerful” things to talk about. Whatever it is that made this book lackluster in the eyes of a dear fan, it’s got to be put to bed here and now. I can’t wat
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing book by Sarah Dessen. I have no idea how she does it, but I loved and related to the main character so much.
The story follows McLean. After her parents’ divorce she starts living with her father. They travel a lot and doesn’t have time to saddle dawn and have serious friends or relationship. Every time they travel to a different city, McLean changes. Different personalities, different names, never wants something long term.
This was a really sweet and heartwarming about discoverin
C.P. Cabaniss
This is my twelfth Dessen novel. In the last two years I have read all of her published works and am now waiting for book thirteen.

But back to this one. I really enjoyed this overall. It was understandable why Mclean reacted the way she did to her parents' divorce. I had a hard time liking the mother at all, but she did grow on me a little.

All of the friends that Mclean and her dad make in Lakeview are great. Deb is my favorite. She does some odd things that really remind me of myself. I like
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Dessen books are some of my all time favorites. I have been in love with her writing, her characters, her world, ever since I picked up one of her books for the first time in middle school. It is so strange reading her books now, at 20 years old, still loving them, when I can still remember talking to my friends in my classes back in the 8th grade about the book by Dessen that I was reading and was obsessed with at the time. I have found that she is one of those authors I can always come b ...more
May 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 21c, american, teen, realistic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jasmine Heredia
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.”
What I love about Sarah Dessens books is that they are the type of book that you can stay up till midnight crying your eyes out over. Even with how sad they are there is always so much hope and promise in them that makes you keep reading. Her books bring together imperfect families and friendships and force us to see the beauty in them.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • My Life Next Door
  • The Summer I Found You
  • Maybe This Time
  • The Distance Between Us
  • On the Fence
  • Moment of Truth (Love, Life, and the List, #3)
  • Coming Up for Air
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
  • Catching Jordan
  • The Fill-In Boyfriend
  • What I Thought Was True
  • Second Chance Summer
  • 99 Days
  • We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)
  • The Upside of Falling
  • Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
  • Prom Theory
  • August and Everything After
See similar books…

Related Articles

The queen of contemporary YA is back with her 12th book, Saint Anything. Read on for her answers to your questions about writing relatable...
55 likes · 14 comments
“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.” 841 likes
“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.” 826 likes
More quotes…