What Happened to Goodbye

Title: What Happened to Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen

Summary From Goodreads: 

In the past two years, Mclean Sweet has moved four times. At each stop, she assumes a new persona, but it never quite works. Whether she’s an effervescent cheerleader or an intense drama queen, nothing can permanently dispel the turmoil and rage at her mother since her parents’ divorce.

Sarah Dessen’s novel about a teenager and her restaurant manager father captures the vulnerability that young people often experience after the dissolution of their family. A compelling story; strong characterization; and with a touch of romance.

Personal Review:

Well, since I tend to start every review with a preface, I figure I might as well start this one with a little preface as well. I listened to this on audio. I have now decided that some books I can handle in Audio format and some I cannot. In the future, I will not be listening to Sarah Dessen books in audio form because I don’t tend to like female narrators… their voice grate on my nerves, and this one most especially.

This book is all about McLean Sweet finding her way back to who she really is. After her parents divorce, she decided to stay with her Dad. This lead to a huge, ugly custody battle between her parents. For McLean, it was bad enough that her mother cheated on her father… but she had to go and cheat on him with the coach of their favorite basketball team. To McLean and her father, this was the ultimate betrayal. And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, it seemed so easy for her mother to move on and create a replacement family. New husband, new childroom… it seemed as though there was no real room for her.

So she choose the nomadic lifestyle with her dad. He is hired by various restraunts to come in and fix their places. They moved four times in two years, and with each new move, McLean chooses a new person to become. She has been Lizbet, Beth, Eliza, and with each name is a different person… Cheerleader, Goth, All-around joiner. When she arrived at the latest move, she decided to be Liz… But as much as she tries, she couldn’t shake the name McLean.

And with that begins the journey back to finding out who she really is. She makes friends with an eclectic bunch of kids. Through a series of events, they are all roped into putting together a to scale model of the town in honor of their town’s 100th birthday.

Throughout this book, I found McLean’s treatment to her mother to be very obnoxious and childish. I get that cheating hurts and the divorce hurts, but the way she treats her mother is entirely unacceptable. I would never dream of treating my mother that way, even if she cheated on my mother, remarried, and had new kids. Anyway, end of random rant.

Rating: 4.5

Did any of you experience the same problem with McLean? Have you read this book? What did you think? What is your favorite Sarah Dessen book?


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