Monday, October 10, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye
Sarah Dessen
May 2011
Age Level: YA

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, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combing Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
As a long-time fan of Sarah Dessen's, I am always more than willing to buy her latest masterpiece. However, lately I've been finding myself more disappointed than not.

Going back in time, I can still remember being a young teenager reading Sarah Dessen for the first time. I devoured her books like crazy, reading and re-reading and going completely nuts for her work. Then, when her next book came out (at this time, it was Just Listen), I fell completely in love. I felt like there was always something new or different to be found with each novel.

Next came Lock and Key. And when I read this, I was sadly disappointed. While all of Sarah Dessen's previous books were memorable, with interesting and wonderful characters and unique and realistic plot lines, Lock and Key had none of that. It was cute, sure, but not anything I'd want to read again and again.

Following Lock and Key was Along for the Ride. After speed-reading this one, I felt like Sarah Dessen came back. Lock and Key was just a bump in the road, so to speak.

However, after reading What Happened to Goodbye, I'm not so sure what to think. While reading it, I thought that it was a very nice and refreshing book. Very cute and sweet; AKA, very Sarah Dessen. I enjoyed reading about MacLean's life, simply because she lives a life so different from my own. I also found myself hoping that everything would work out in her impossible situation.

While I enjoyed the book, I still had one problem: it was entirely too predictable. It's all girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl has a problem, boy gets sad, girl finds herself, boy and girl get together, girl overcomes impossible situation, whatever. In previous books, I've always marveled at how Sarah Dessen could write about real situations that girls go through, and how the girls cope with their problems and find their own way. But this book just didn't seem real to me. It seemed like just any old love story. While it was sweet and fun to read in the moment, there is nothing about it that draws me back for seconds or thirds.

I'm sure if you enjoy Sarah Dessen's previous books, you will not be completely disappointed. However, if you're hoping for some of her earlier magic, you might have to wait for the next one, or revisit some of the classics.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I still haven't read any Sarah Dessen books, but I'm sure this is not going to be my first. :)