Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Published: 2011
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Amazon • Goodreads

What is What Happened to Goodbye about?

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.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

My Thoughts:

Like pretty much all of Sarah Dessen’s books, I found myself sucked right into the story.  Mclean is very easy to relate to and a likeable character.  You feel really bad for her – having to move around all of the time and never really having steady friends.  The sad part is, Mclean partially brings this on herself.  She purposefully doesn’t get too close to anyone so that when she has to leave, it won’t be that big of a deal.  One day, she just moves and never tells anyone.  Which is just sad. 

I really loved how much Mclean develops in this area.  Over the course of the book, she makes some really great friends and builds strong relationships.  She forms a bond with Riley, Heather, Dave and Deb and it’s so nice for Mclean to have real friends that she can be herself around.  Mclean learns that she doesn’t have to push everyone away.  She beings working on a community service project for Opal (her Father’s co-worker), and it really helps her to have something to focus on and it brings her and her friends closer.  I also really loved everyone at the restaurant where her dad works. 

I’ve talked about friendships in YA on this blog before, and I LOVED the friendships in this book.  Seeing Mclean develop this strong support system was great.  I love watching how, over time, it began to feel like home for Mclean.  Mclean and Dave were so cute together and I was rooting for them the whole time. 

Another aspect of this book that I really liked was the relationship between Mclean and her mom.  Basically, her mom cheated on her dad and left for someone else.  So, since her parent’s divorce, Mclean barely talks to her mother and is very resentful and bitter towards her.  Which is understandable.  In Mclean’s situation, I would be the exact same way.  Despite her mother’s constant attempts to reach out to her, Mclean just wants nothing to do with her.  This is another big area of character development for Mclean.  I loved seeing how, even though it was hard, she was willing to try to make amends with her mother.  It was hard for both of them, and both of them discover that maybe they need to be a bit more understanding.

I just love how amazingly Sarah Dessen develops her characters.  In the beginning of the novel, there are definite problems and obstacles that the character needs to overcome.  By the end of the novel, you can see 100% how much the character has changed and developed in those areas.  It gives you such a nice feeling of contentment and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  


Final Thoughts:
Sarah Dessen’s books always make you feel good and have strong messages that leave you thinking.   What Happened to Goodbye was no exception.  I loved this book so much and I will definitely by picking up another Sarah Dessen book very soon.  If you like YA contemporary and you haven’t read Sarah Dessen, what are you waiting for? 


Have you read What Happened to Goodbye?  What were your thoughts?  Have you ever read any Sarah Dessen books?  If so, what is your favorite?


  1. I have yet to read a Sarah Dessen book but I'm thinking of starting with Saint Anything, something about the synopsis catches me. Great review, btw! :)

    I'm also a new follower. I look forward to your reviews!

    1. I'm very excited to read Saint Anything too! Since I've enjoyed the other books of hers that I've read, I'm sure i'll love Saint Anything.
      Thank you!!

  2. I've only read like 2 Sarah Dessen books but I plan to change that this year and this is actually one of the books that I wanted to start off with (or even Saint Anything when it comes out)! It sounds really good, and yay for friendships in YA! We need more of them.

    Lovely review, Olivia <33

    1. Yeah, I would definitely recommend this one! I'm really excited about Saint Anything, too! YES. I made a discussion posts about Friendships in YA last month, so I was super excited when I discovered the friendships in this book. Yes, we definitely do!
      Thank you! <3

  3. Looks like a lovely book! Sarah Dessen is a fantastic author!