What Happened to Goodbye

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What Happened to Goodbye

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Overview

A New York Times bestseller
 
A new day. A new place. A new life.
 
In the past few years, Mclean has pretended to be so many different people that she hardly remembers who she really is anymore.
 
The adorable guy next door might be able to help her figure it out.
 
But is she ready for it?
 
“A cut above” —People
 
Also by Sarah Dessen:
Along for the Ride
Dreamland
Just Listen
Keeping the Moon
Lock and Key
The Moon and More
Someone Like You
That Summer
This Lullaby
The Truth About Forever

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

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. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

The Horn Book
"Dessen’s talent is creating just that comfortable space for young adults struggling with identity, relationships, and all that messy family stuff. Her quirky characters reach out to one another to forge genuine friendships and gentle first loves."
Booklist
"Dessen once again offers a substantive, well-crafted exploration of a teen’s life that will deeply satisfy her legions of fans."
SLJ
"Dessen’s fans will be happy to devour this latest offering."
SLJ
"Dessen’s fans will be happy to devour this latest offering."
Publishers Weekly
Dessen's 10th novel is another smoothly written journey of self-discovery. Mclean Sweet, named for "the all-time winningest basketball coach of Defriese University," has moved four times in two years, following her father's job as a restaurant consultant. Each time she moves she reinvents herself, not so much to try on a new identity but to rid herself of the original one—only daughter of a couple whose divorce was an awful, public scandal. It becomes clear that although Defriese basketball was her father's obsession, Mclean's idol was her mother, and Mclean's lasting anger adds an emotional punch to a long narrative that doesn't otherwise have much of an arc. It will delight Dessen's passionate fans that Mclean and her father have landed in Lakeview (capital of Dessenland) and that the action ricochets between there and familiar (fictional) beach towns. As Mclean figures out how to make peace with her mother, she relies on friends made at both school and at the restaurant her father is trying to save. Dessen delivers another cast of authentic, likable characters, struggling to make sense of the world. Ages 12–up. (May)
Children's Literature - Haley Maness
Fans of this popular romance author will probably feel as in they have heard this story before. In a storyline that is becoming cliche, a girl with an unhealthy maternal relationship finds herself in new surroundings for the umpteenth time and knows that she will not be staying long. Despite this predictable setback she still manages to find love. In this novel, McLean has suffered through her parents' messy divorce and her mother's subsequent marriage to the coach of the Defriese college basketball team. Despite pleading, she decides not to live with her mother but chooses instead to travel with her father as he jumps from job to job. For the first time since the divorce, McLean feels comfortable in her new town, and meets her broody next-door neighbor, Dave. Most can guess what happens next: her father finishes up with his job and begins to move on when he, too, falls in love and decides to buy the restaurant he had been working at. Basketball a prominent motif throughout the book and a possible redeeming quality of the novel, is clearly something the author knows nothing about, which makes the story lose some of its credibility. Readers just discovering this author might enjoy this story, but should not expect groundbreaking and original ideas. Reviewer: Haley Maness
Kirkus Reviews

Readers can count on Dessen; she's a pro at creating characters caught at a nexus of change, who have broken relationships and who need to make decisions.

Here readers meet Mclean, who has been living a nomadic existence with her divorced father for the past two years, reinventing herself every time they move for his job (a restaurant fixer). For some reason, this town is different. She finds herself moving through the world again as Mclean—not Eliza, Lisbeth or Beth—and making friends, almost reluctantly. She's been avoiding her mother diligently, as it was her affair with the coach of the college-basketball program Mclean and her dad lived for that broke the family up. As she becomes closer with friends and the cute boy next door, she also finds herself involved in a project—assembling an intricate three-dimensional model of the town—sited in an unused room above the restaurant her father is trying to turn around. It doesn't take a keen literary eye to see that Mclean is literally building a community, both in the physical model and the emotional network she finds in her new friends. She's an entirely likable narrator, guiding readers through her story expertly, always consciously a beat behind them.

Even though Mclean's path is clear from the get-go, readers will enjoy every minute they spend with her. (Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142423837
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 37,502
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at www.sarahdessen.com.

Biography

Although she was born in Illinois, YA novelist Sarah Dessen has spent most of her life in Chapel Hill, NC. Both of her parents were professors at the University of North Carolina, where Sarah studied creative writing and graduated with a degree in English.

As far back as she can remember, Dessen has always wanted to write. She remembers churning out wildly imaginative stories on an old manual typewriter her parents gave her when she was eight or nine years old. So it was only natural that after college she would forego a "real job," choosing instead to support herself by waiting tables at a local eatery while trying to publish a novel. In 1996, just three years after graduation, she sold her first book, the witty, wry coming-of-age story That Summer. A second novel, Someone Like You, followed two years later. (In 2003, these two books were loosely adapted into the movie How to Deal, starring teen sensation Mandy Moore.)

Dessen claims she never set out to be a YA writer, but somehow her memories always bring her back to high school, a time and place that resonates strongly for her. Living in her hometown where she is still in contact with many childhood friends, she finds it pretty easy to get in touch with her "inner teenager." In addition, the books she read from that time have a special, magical staying power. She explains it this way on her website:

"[W]hile I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them."
If one can judge from her growing fan base and continued presence on the bestseller lists, Dessen can safely say "mission accomplished."

Good To Know

Here are some fun facts about Sarah Dessen:

  • Most of Dessen's books are set in the fictional town of Lakeview and feature recurring locales and characters.

  • Dessen also teaches creative writing at her alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Among her confessed addictions, Dessen counts the Gap clearance rack, Starbucks mochas, multiple magazine subscriptions, and a penchant for black pants.

  • Dessen sometimes waxes nostalgic about her days as a waitress. "It was a great job for a writer, " she says. "Endless conversations to eavesdrop, tons of material, and fast money without ever taking work home."

  • In Just Listen, the character of Owen Armstrong was named for the young protagonist in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, as well as for Lance Armstrong, one of Dessen's proclaimed crushes.

  • Concerning her "tendency to embellish," Dessen says: "I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Hometown:
        Chapel Hill, NC
      1. Date of Birth:
        June 6, 1970
      2. Place of Birth:
        Evanston, Illinois
      1. Education:
        University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 807 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (481)

    4 Star

    (170)

    3 Star

    (87)

    2 Star

    (34)

    1 Star

    (35)

    Your Rating:

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 819 Customer Reviews
    • Posted June 23, 2011

      I Also Recommend:

      Excellent read

      I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

      46 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 21, 2011

      more from this reviewer

      Don't say goodbye to this book!

      The book that I am reviewing is called 'What Happened To Goodbye'. This story takes place in present time, in a little town. Mclean is the main character, but she personaly doesn't understand her own character. She moves around a lot, ever since her parents' divorce. About every six months, she moves both her house and her personality. This most recent location, though, she is herself. Why? A guy named Dave. Dave helps Mclean see who she realy is, and teaches her what a real friend is. I would highly recommend this book to a friend. Any of Sarah Dessen's books are great. She is an amazing author, especially with this story. It has a great message that is sent out, and it is fun to read also.

      40 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted January 29, 2011

      AWESOME

      This book is awesome! Sarah Dessen presents new characters with amazing personalities. Super awesome.

      31 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 9, 2011

      She's done it again

      Sarah Dessen is an amazing author, and once again she's written a great book for anyone's collection. A must read!

      22 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 8, 2012

      Fantastic!

      Best Sarah Dessen book in my opinion. I loved the chemistry between Mclean and Dave. This book is a must read for sappy, mushy, happy-ending loving, hopeless romantics (like me) (:

      17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 29, 2011

      more from this reviewer

      Very disappointing.

      I don't usually write reviews but I felt compelled to write one for this book. First I must say that I love all of Sarah Dessen books. This one was very disappointing. The character Mclean was boring and I felt like she had no personality. The book dragged on too long. The ending felt rushed and was predictable. There wasn't much interaction between Mclean and her love interest. This is the worst book Sarah Dessen has written so far.

      11 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted February 19, 2012

      Loved It

      Mclean is constantly moving with her father, and constantly starting over as someone new— she's been been Eliza, Lizbet, Beth. But on her fifth move, she's just Mclean. And she begins to begins to rediscover who SHE really is, as Mclean, as herself.

      Mclean doesn't have a very good relationship with her mom, Katherine Hamilton. When Mclean was younger, Katie Sweet, her mom then, cheated on Mclean's father, Gus Sweet, with Peter Hamilton, a man that Gus had a lot of respect for. She had an affair with him, then divorced Gus, getting married to Peter. Mclean doesn't want to live with her mother anymore, because she's hurt by what she did to her father.

      It's hard for Mclean to move so much, so she wants to start a new life in every new town. But on her latest move with her dad, Mclean is just...Mclean. And her rediscovers herself, putting down roots, and making friends. She's playing the most popular girl in school, or the president of the student council. She's finally just being herself.

      This book was a little slow at first, but once you get farther into it, it's amazing. I couldn't put it down after I got just far enough. So don't read the first 100 pages and go, "Oh, this is so boring, whatever," because soon it'll get really good. It was fantastic. Five stars. I highly reccomend it.

      10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 11, 2011

      Boring.

      I am a fan of sarah dessens books, but this one sucks. Its boring and doesnt grab your attention. In my opinion, she definetly couldve developed the characters and the story line way more. As another commentator had stated, a complete yawnfest. Do not waste your money on this. Its not worth it.

      10 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 15, 2012

      I absolutely love Sarah Dessen, so when I read this book I was w

      I absolutely love Sarah Dessen, so when I read this book I was waiting
      for it to get better. It never did. It wasn't that the storyline was
      bad, per se, but it definitely wasn't enough for the length of the book.
      Too many pages filled with needless details and events that distracted
      the reader from what was actually going on (i.e. nothing). Another thing
      that bothered me a little was the ending. Yeah, it was okay but I could
      see a different and better ending to be better-fitting. All in all, I'd
      try for a different Sarah Dessen novel to occupy your time.

      6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 20, 2011

      not recommended

      I was excited when Sarah Dessen came out with a new book because she was one of my favorite authors but this book was VERY dissappointing! The book just didn't capture my attention and the plot was confusing, like is the plot about accepting her mother for cheating, figuring out who she really is, or opening to Dave?!?!

      6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted April 22, 2011

      Can't Wait!

      All of Sarah Dessen's previous books have been breathtaking! I just hope this one is just as good, if not better, which I bet it will be. So excited...

      6 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted April 18, 2011

      more from this reviewer

      Oh god.

      What an unfortunate name. "Mclean".....really Sarah? That's the best you've got?

      6 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 5, 2011

      I Love It.

      So, this is a first try at a Dessen book. I usually go to my local Barnes and Noble, and look in the New Teen Fiction Section. This was in there, and I read the small introduction in the back of the book. I was immediatley interested. One of the reviews on this book complained it was a 'snooze fest' I disagree completley. It made me want to read more, and I finished this book in about four days. I am not a very fast reader so to say. I really loved this book. It gave me a lot of umph to read more of her books. Oh, and the characters, are not 'underdeveloped', I understood their persomality, and home lifes, quite well actually. Maybe that is just me, but I doubt it, considering Im only 11, and the person who said this had to be much older than me. Must read! The negitive comments are wrong, this book is absolutley amazing! One night, I turned in at 11PM and I couldnt sleep. So I picked up my Nook, and read until 4 in the morning on this book.

      5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 24, 2011

      Ok

      I love Sarah Dessen books, but this one was a little disapointing because it wasn't as good as her other books.

      5 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 18, 2011

      Not Dessen's best

      As a Sarah Dessen fan, I figured her most recent novel would stand up to those written previously, I was sadly mistaken, however. It's not that "What Happened to Goodbye" is bad, it's just not great either. I found myself bored about half way through and completely shocked at how predictably the events unfolded. I knew how it was going to end at half way. I wouldn't recommend to anyone who is looking for something other than a cheesy love/coming of age/identity crisis story of a young girl in modern day America; it's not worth the $11.

      4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 19, 2011

      Not what I was expecting- not Dessen's best work.

      This book is a very slow read. If you are looking for any kind of romance, this is not the book for you. This book would appeal to maybe 12-13 year olds. It is about a teenage girl dealing very poorly with her parents divorce. There is a lot of internal dialogue with the main character, which for me, was very boring. The ending was also very uneventful and predictable. This is very different from Dessen's other work.

      4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 18, 2011

      Disappointed in Dessen

      I must say that when I picked up this book, I expected to be giving it 5 stars. The cover looks amazing and Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors but for me, this book just wasn't the same as her others. I really liked the originality of the story and the unique characters, but it sort of dragged on. This book is 400 pages, and Mclean (the main character) doesn't actually ended up being with the guy until the last 5 pages. And any time she spent with said guy, there were no sparks or chemistry, just little hints that they may or may not like each other. So as a romance, it kinda sucked. The major themes here were about family and knowing who you are as a person, so I was kind of let down since I was hoping for the same romances I've read of Sarah Dessen's before. And for being 400 pages long, not that many things really happened. Moments were sometimes dragged on and there was a lot of talk about emotion and feelings, but not as much action. I don't know, maybe it's been a while since I've last read some of Sarah Dessen's books and they were all actually like this, but I was sometimes bored and didn't find myself wanting to figure out what happens next like so many good books I've been reading lately. So overall, the plot and characters were really good, cute ideas, but the actual book fell short for Dessen's usual standards.

      4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 4, 2011

      Why?!

      Sarah Dessen your books are amazing but this one was boring. All of your previous books hooked me,and this one i struggled to the 3rd chapter. I'm soooo disappointed. :(

      4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 16, 2012

      Another Amazing Book!

      Loved this newest Sarah Dessen book! Just as I loved every other book of hers I've ever read :)

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 11, 2011

      I loved it!

      Sarah Dessen's new book kept me reading throughout the whole book. It's a great story about figuring out who you are, and staying true to yourself.

      3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 819 Customer Reviews

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