Title: What Happened to Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Pages: 402 (hardcover)
Published: May 2011
Who is the real McLean?
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 Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.
Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
As I've mentioned I felt vaguely disappointed with parts of this novel and the climax was one of those. There was never a true feel of urgency in any part of the story, certainly not found at the end either. My interest was not kept in several of the subplots because there was no driving force or antagonist to keep the pace and story moving as it might have. Additionally, Dave, the love interest never really seemed to shoot sparks or fireworks with Mclean. They certainly had chemistry, but it was more platonic in my opinion. I did like that the love-triangle and most of the romantic angst was hung on Mclean's dad Gus instead of her - I sometimes authors forget that a love triangle doesn't have to a young girl with two hot teen dudes; Gus and his women twist a familiar YA trope into a fresh and awkwardly humorous setting.