What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I just finished reading What Happened to Goodbye, and I must say it's typical Sarah Dessen. Only this time it's a little boring. Nothing exciting happened at all. It just sort of rolls along.
The protagonist, Mclean, while likable, wasn't very deep. Since her parent's divorce, she has lived with her father, which means moving to a new town every 6 months due to his work. Mclean manages to reinvent herself in every new town. She can be whatever and whoever she chooses - she even has a different name with every move. It seems like it would take a lot of work to pull off a new persona with every new town. Her dad doesn't even notice that Mclean is a different person in each new place. And she doesn't get along with her mother, and feels that she doesn't fit in with her mother's life since the divorce (she remarried and has a set of twins). Mclean seems to have no problem packing up and leaving everything behind - she doesn't even make a point of telling her current set of friends goodbye.
In the latest move, Mclean becomes known as Mclean before she has a chance to become a new persona. So she finally decides to just be herself. Dave, the boy next door (literally) was flat and uninteresting. Even though everyone told us how different he was, he didn't display any qualities that would make him likable as boyfriend material. Sadly, Dave and Mclean didn't have chemistry, and there were no 'wow' moments between them.
I liked the new friends that Mclean made. They were an interesting lot, even if they weren't fleshed out at all.
Towards the end of the book, Mclean's lifestyle catches up with her and she is forced to realize why she has been hiding behind the varied versions of herself. It's all resolved quite quickly and with only the very slightest amount of teenage angst.
Another reviewer, Joy Kim, summed this up perfectly: "The good thing about Sarah Dessen is that you always know exactly what you're getting when you pick up one of her books. The bad thing is that you always know exactly what you're getting when you pick up one of her books."
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