Monday, December 12, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Title: What Happened to Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 93% or A-
Buy It: Amazon

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 her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out.

My Thoughts::
For those who frequently visit my blog, you'll notice that the blogs that get the highest praise in their reviews are innovative dystopians or end of the world type business. But believe it or not, I'm an old fan of Dessen and her delightful romances. She is probably the only author whose books I always love.

Now, if you haven't heard of Sarah Dessen, I suggest you search her name on Amazon and order any book that pops up because you are bound to fall in love with any one that you choose. More specifically, you'll fall in love with the lead male. In this novel it's Dave. Dessen has a 90% success rate with her men, and she definitely hit the mark this time. Ooooh how I swoon! He was sweet and nice, and I actually felt like he wasn't trying to "fix" Mclean, which sometimes happens in a Dessen book. Mclean stuck with Dessen's trend of creative female names, and of course the fact that girls everywhere can relate to her. I always love reading a Dessen novel because I know that our heroine will have problems that may seem small, but still matter.

Can we talk about the easter eggs for a minute? One of my favorite things about Dessen books are the recurring places, people, and ideas in her books. Pick up a Dessen book, and you'll find references to OTHER characters and events from another Dessen book. It's so nice to catch a glimpse of a character that we loved, or didn't love so much. We actually get to see a lot of Jason, the first boyfriend of the main character in The Truth About Forever. It's a really fun treat.

The plot was a bit of a let down for me though. It was great, it really was, until the end. There is always something big that hits the fan, and that happened, but there is also usually a reaction from the other characters that our heroine must muddle through, explain herself, realize her mistakes, and be forgiven. Mclean's secrets hit the fan, but none of the other character really cared, making the height of the novel anti-climatic.

Overall I think that Dessen did a great job on characters as always, but had a weak point in the book's conflict. I'd recommend this book to Dessen fans everywhere or someone who is tired of girls falling for the wrong guy, and wants to see a girl do it right.

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