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What Happened to Goodbye Hardcover – May 10, 2011
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2016 Book Awards
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"Dessen’s fans will be happy to devour this latest offering." — SLJ
"Readers can count on Dessen; she's a pro at creating characters caught at a nexus of change, who have broken relationships and who need to make decisions." — Kirkus Reviews
"Dessen once again offers a substantive, well-crafted exploration of a teen’s life that will deeply satisfy her legions of fans." — Booklist
"Dessen’s prose is clean and focused, the characters are developed and real, and the plot is believable. Mclean’s journey through the healing process after her parents’ divorce provides bibliotherapy for any teen dealing with family issues, and the secondary plot of tentative steps toward trust and friendship is beautiful. This is a must-have for any young adult collection." — VOYA
Read an excerpt from What Happened to Goodbye [PDF].
Top Customer Reviews
What Happened to Goodbye is a smart, magnetic book about identity, relationships, and love that will make you wish you could crawl between the page and live with the characters in their messy world. Mclean hasn't really bonded with anyone since her parents' divorce, and while she gets along with her dad just fine, her relationship with her mom is tepid at best. Lakeview is full of surprises and unexpected friends, and Mclean is forced to connect with people. She finds a friend in her next-door-neighbor Dave, who is academically brilliant, but not always so social, and becomes friends with Deb, a loner with surprising talents. As she opens her real self up to these friends, she's forced to deal with her mother, who is pushy and seemingly ignorant of her daughter's resentment for her part in the divorce. Between college basketball games, working at her father's new restaurant and building a model replica of Lakeview, Mclean re-learns what it means to get to know someone and works at re-building a relationship she once thought was over and done, all the while fighting the temptation to cut and run when things get hard. A little romantic and very funny, What Happened to Goodbye is an excellent novel about relationships and friendship. Dessen has outdone herself yet again in this complicated, funny, and touching book.
There are so many things to be enjoyed about this book, but overall, it's too weighed down by the ponderously heavy metaphors that Mclean seems to find EVERYWHERE. Leave a hospital=another place she's leaving behind; come out of a cellar=tunneling out of the darkness, someone passing her the potatoes, links on a chain. I know teenage girls are self absorbed, but come on. Not even the most introspective teenage girl can turn the end of every section into a metaphor about her life. It's impossible to be that self absorbed and still function in polite society. Also, she told us so much more than she showed us with this one, there were long weighty paragraphs dedicating to explaining characters' inner motivation. She didn't seem to trust us to make any of the leaps on our own.
All that said, Sarah Dessen could write a grocery list with more charm, depth, and realism than most of the YA writers out there.Read more ›
Dessen here follows Mclean Sweet, the daughter of a former restauranteur and the wife who left him for the basketball coach of the family's favorite university team. Doing her all to avoid her mother and her new family (which includes two new half-siblings), Mclean moves across the country with her father,Gus, spending a few months in town after town as he attempts to resuscitate failing restaurants bought by his friend Charles's company. In each town Mclean renames and remakes herself, becoming "Liz" or "Eliza" or whatever iterations her middle name offers; but in her latest move, she is stymied in her efforts at self-recreation and becomes, again, simply "Mclean.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was never drawn into this one. When the main character's big flaw is that she basically doesn't have a personality, it is hard to connect. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Abby
About a girl finding her own way...in a world, and life that she doesn't understand. About something we all go through, self discovery. Give this book a chance! Read morePublished 3 months ago
McClean’s parents are divorced and McClean lives with her father, Gus Sweet. Gus has a restaurant consulting job which requires moving from restaurant to restaurant every few... Read morePublished 5 months ago by The Belgian Reviewer
I'm a new fan of Sarah Dessen, so my experience with Sarah's writing only spans back one book (Saint Anything). Read morePublished 9 months ago by No
After her mother’s public affair and her parents’ subsequent divorce, McLean and her dad have moved – a lot. Read morePublished 10 months ago by ItsJaneLindsey
Good book. Sarah Dessen is a very good author. Nice stories. I have read all of her books and enjoyed them all.Published 10 months ago by Garfield Lover
Definitely used! Lost pages and looks like food spilt in it and smells all moldy! Ewww!Published 12 months ago by Callieann
Good book. Received in a timely manner from seller. Was as described.Published 12 months ago by Jaime H