May 10, 2011
Penguin Young Readers Group
Received from RT Teen Day
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?
I absolutely love each and every one of Sarah Dessen's novels and What Happened to Goodbye is no exception. It is riveting and has everything that I look for in a novel. The romance between McLean is slow and sweet, yet it wasn't the focal point of the story. That is what I love about Sarah Dessen. It isn't just about romance, but about family and friends. It is about healing and learning to move on with the help of those around McLean who make her into a better person. Don't hesitate to pick up this novel!
McLean is a tortured heroine who has gone through so much and has never really gotten the time to heal.Her mother cheated on her father with the basketball coach of Defriese, the team that McLean and her father have always loved. McLean feels betrayed and when left with the decision of choosing the parent to live with, she chooses her dad. Because of her dad's job, they move to different cities every couple of months and every time they move, McLean reinvents herself. When they show up in Lakeview, McLean by mistake has to become herself again and not pretend to be anyone else. It is here that she starts to mend the rocky relationship between her and her mother and where she meets Dave, the charming and sweet guy who she can be herself around.
Dave is the super smart and good looking guy who McLean has an unconventional first meeting with. They always seem to get into awkward situations for each other and it is so funny to see how they deal with them together! Dave also has some issues that he has to deal with. He and McLean develop a special bodn and help to mend each others wounds. Even though Dave wasn't the bad boy that I usually prefer, he was absolutely erfect for McLean. McLean couldn't have been with anyone other than Dave.
McLean's dad was a very important character in the story. I love how Dessen took the time to characterize her dad and make him multi-dimensional. He and McLean have a special relationship and I enjoyed seeing how they interacted with one another. I could tell the love they felt for each other. I felt for all that they had gone through together. McLean's mother really bothered me because of what she hhad done. I would have been like McLean and had a hard time forgiving her. Over the course of the novel, I began to understand her better and while it doesn't make what she did any better, I could see that she truly loved McLean.
What Happened to Goodbye is a captivating novel that took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. It was so hard to put the novel down and I found time passing by in a blur while I was reading. This is yet another wonderful Sarah Dessen novel that you do not want to miss out on!