Published by Viking Juvenile; May 10, 2011
Hardcover, 402 pages
Borrowed from library
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. Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
- Description from Goodreads.com
Remember that time when I said that there was a magic formula to all of Sarah Dessen's books? Yeah, well, I'm not finding it so magic anymore.
Somewhere between Along for the Ride and this book, my thoughts on Sarah Dessen shifted from "I acknowledge all her books are similar but they're great regardless" to "I acknowledge all her books are similar and they're boring me".
I mean, there's no doubt Dessen is a great writer. Words flow so easily out her mouth but frankly, all her characters are the same and all her storylines progress in the same way and really, after a handful of her novels, I have to say that her books aren't special any more. Take this book for example. Dave is as homogeneous as they come. I had no sense of who he was at all and you know, I had the same problem with Eli from Along for the Ride.
And then of course, Mclean. No different from ALL the other Dessen protagonists I've read about. I mean, I honestly can't tell the difference between Mclean's character and say, Emaline's character.
Like I said, the novels aren't special any more because I can't set them apart. Which sucks because I still remember the hold Sarah Dessen had on me after This Lullaby and The Truth About Forever. She was kind of like a comfy throw I crawled under whenever I was feeling down but now? Now I can't find that darn throw!
And I won't give up yet because I still have faith that I will rediscover that Dessen magic but at this point, I can't help but think that it might be gone.