Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Released: May 2011
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary 
Pages: 416
Source: Traded
Buy the Book: Amazon

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean's become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean's ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

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Out of all the books coming out in 2011, this one right here was my most anticipated. If you're a long-time reader, you know why. If you've just stumbled upon this blog then know this: I am a total and utter fan-girl of Sarah Dessen.

There's always a certain formula that Dessen seems to stick with: a girl with a unique name, family dynamics, realistic issues, and of course a boy. So why do the same formula always seem to work? I have no idea, but I know if I pick up one of her books, I will be glued.

What Happened to Goodbye deals with Mclean. Her family situation is divorced parents and she travels with her father whose line of business is to put restaurants back into shape. The big catch is that when they move, Mclean always finds a way to reinvent herself. She can be anyone she wants to be. That idea is very intriguing because I think everyone can relate to wanting a fresh start sometimes or wanting to be someone completely different.

There was a lot of back story shoved in right at the beginning, and some chapters were a bit harder to truck through because of it. What I found funny about this book compared to her other ones: I was more interested in secondary characters rather than Mclean. I'm not saying Mclean is boring. She has a certain spunk about her, and I envy her way of being able to blend herself into any group without having this shy new-girl syndrome you read in a lot of books. 

Take Dave for instance who is "the boy" in the story. He is probably one of my more favorite guy characters Dessen has created. I absolutely loved his character and his relationship with Mclean. Right from the start they had this spark, and not just "romantic" spark but a real connection just as friends. And their second run-in with one another was just flat out hilarious. I knew I was going to love his character right after that meeting. 

Then there was the restaurant owner, Deb, that Mclean's dad is trying to help. She was very colorful and I always got a kick out of reading things that were happening with her. Even Mclean's dad was a trip to read because his attitude changed so easily depending on who he was around for the most part. There's also a lot more dialouge in this book compared to past Dessen books, and because of that I felt like I heard more of the secondary characters which is also another reason why I think I was so intrigued by them. It wasn't just Mclean's voice anymore, it was a whole well-rounded fleshed out group.

Obviously you can tell I really enjoyed this book BUT (and it pains me to say a "but" when it comes to Dessen), the 'final conflict' lacked a certain punch to it, and I felt like the overall ending was just wrapped up too nicely. If you are a first-time Dessen reader I recommend giving This Lullaby or Truth About Forever a try before you get into her newer ones. If you have read her other books, don't be surprised when you see a few characters from Truth About Forever, Lock and Key, and Along for the Ride pop up. Sadly, no Dexter, but a girl can still hope for the next one!

♥amber

17 comments:

LinWash said...

This is the book I've been waiting for!!! I cannot wait to read it!

Michelle said...

Dave sounds fantastic! I'm always super eager to meet "the boy" in Dessen's novels.

Cynthia said...

Well since I am a new SD fan I'll be leaving this one for last, I'm really enjoying Just Listen right now and will be reading The Truth about Forever next. Thanks for the great review! :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

I've loved all of Sarah Dessen's novels -- except for Lock and Key for some inexplicable reason. But great review! It's incredibly hard to trump any of her other male characters, so I'm definitely looking forward to meeting Dave. :D

winnie said...

I am looking forward to reading this myself as I am also a Sarah Dessen fan! :) I love how she connects her books by bringing in some characters from her previous books - it's always a nice surprise for those who recognize them!

pepsivanilla said...

I'm so excited for a new Sarah Dessen book! I agree she does have a perfect formula down to a science. When it comes to contemporary YA, she's the best in my opinion.

Jackie said...

I love the plot to this one! Can't wait to read it! I'm excited to read about this Dave. Very excited! :)

Vivien said...

I always enjoy a good Sarah Dessen novel. They're so nostalgic for me. I'm glad this is along the same lines, but refreshing.

Kate said...

I am a huge Sarah Dessen fangirl and am so exited to read this book!!!

Allison said...

I have been waiting for this book to come out! I met Sarah Dessen when she was promoting Along for the ride and she is jut the nicest person. Love her books, I'm a sucker for romance stories.

earlynerdspecial said...

I feel like I've been waiting for this book to come out for forever.

So excited.

The Story Queen said...

Ooh, I still haven't read this one. I like that you mentioned the boy! All of the other reviews I've read have just said that it's more focused on McLean than boy drama (but who doesn't love boy drama?!) but I'm glad that he's likeable :) I like my cute boys! Thanks for the great review.

Tea said...

I've had the same experience where secondary characters can talk louder to me than the main characters. I always feel a little guilty because they mean more to me than the primary person or persons.

I've never read Dessen. This, if I win, is my kickoff.

Marie said...

I haven't read any Sarah Dessen book :/. Yeah I know I suck.
I've heard so much great things about her !
I really need to start reading her books !
Which one is your favorite? :)

ThatGirl-xox said...

I'm a huge Sarah Dessen fan! This sounds like another great book from her :)

Alice said...

I love all Sarah Dessen novels and I can't wait to read this one. I love how you told us about Dave's character and their connection. I can relate to the idea of wanting a fresh start since I just move to a new place. And I always like a book where there're a lot of dialogue.

Nancye said...

I LOVE Sarah Dessen! She is SO talented! This book sounds just as great as her other books!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net