Jun 20, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Mclean Sweet isn't who she thinks she is. Or rather, she doesn't know who to believe she is. While growing up in the back of a restaurant with a die-hard basketball-loving dad & a beach-tripping manager mother, she knew that she was Mclean Sweet, daughter of college sweethearts & an all-around fun-loving girl. After a bitter and very public divorce, Mclean hits the road with her dad chasing jobs rehabbing restaurants. In the 2 years since the meltdown, Mclean & her dad have moved 4 times allowing 4 alter-egos to crop up.

In each of the 4 towns they lived in, Mclean was always responsible for setting up home & managing a fine balance of cut-and-run technique. Each town gave birth to a new girl & a persona to go with it. She's been a cheerleader, a drama queen & a joiner, but the last thing she expected to become in this new town was herself. With the help of a stellar cast of friends, Mclean Sweet might just rediscover the part of her that never really left.

This was different...and I'm not sure how I really feel about it. I am definitely sure that I've liked her other stuff better, but this wasn't a bad book. Mclean really pulls at that part of everyone who (at least once in their life) wants to pack up & become someone new. Unfortunately I couldn't really relate to that part of her or the fact that she hid it from her family. Her secrecy felt very deceitful & selfish in a way that my brain just couldn't keep up with. Each girl was so radically different.

The new friends she makes & what she discovers about herself as a result are what make the book a really great read. Dave is such a mysterious & quirky guy that you can't help but love. The other teens are all over the place allowing for a real breadth as well as depth to the group dynamics. The most entertaining part though was the kitchen staff at the new restaurant. They were by far the life & light of the story. I could almost see each teen becoming one of the staff members in a way that allowed for fascinating dynamics.

If you're in the mood for a relatively light read, go ahead & pick this one up. I will have to warn you though, if you have issues with improper grammar & errors in a finished book, then this is dangerous territory. I think the editing step was rushed because there are far too many noticeable errors. Other than that it was peachy!

Are you planning on reading it? If you've already read it, how do you react to it? Let's hear your thoughts!

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