I've never read Sarah Dessen before, but I've always wanted to read a book of hers to see what her writing style was like, and if it would appeal to me. After reading What Happened to Goodbye?, I'm a little conflicted. Sure, it's a good story, in that it is a very realistic contemporary book for young girls, as it depicts a high school girl trying to find out who she is in the wake of her parents' messy divorce. Added to this, she chooses to go with her father, rather than her mother, who took up with another man while still married.
There are some good themes (disconnected families; coping with divorce; starting all over again; father and teenage daughter dynamics; the betrayal of a parent) running throughout the story. But I think that it addresses so many of these that it gets bogged down by details and slow pacing winds up being a result. On top of that, I felt like there needed to be more of a connection between Maclean, the protagonist, and the love interest, Dave.The romance is sweet and very mild, even almost tepid, shall I say. Towards the end, it was a little anticlimactic, as well, as the reader is told rather than shown that she has made up with her mother.
All in all, I would recommend this book to a teenage girl, but for an older individual, who likes to read young adult romance, I would say pass.
What Happened to Goodbye? - 3 out of 5 stars!
Sorry, I didn't do a playlist with this one.
Reviewed by Susannah;)