Friday, October 28, 2011
CR Review #34: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
So, so, so far behind on my reviews. I'm having trouble even remembering what some of the books were about...but when I looked at the cover of this one, my memory was jostled and it all came back to me.
What Happened to Goodbye is the story of McLean (hey, that's the town I live in!), a senior in high school who lives with her father after her mother's affair and her parents' messy and very public divorce. Her dad has a weird job as a restaurant consultant, and he moves from town to town constantly, leaving McLean to constantly have to start over socially. As she goes from school to school and town to town, she reinvents herself, creating new personalities that fit with each situation (and new names, too, usually variations of her middle name, Elizabeth).
Until she gets to her new town, and by accident she is just known as McLean, and she begins to discover her true self -- A basketball loving girl who takes care of her dad and ostracizes her mom. She meets new friends and a potential boyfriend (the boy next door, of course), and gets involved with the community while working on a big project at her dad's new restaurant.
I've never read any of Dessen's other YA novels, but might give them a chance (if anyone can recommend a good follow-up, please let me know). Her writing is honest and fun, with likable, real characters and dialogue.