Friday, April 29, 2011

What Happened To Goodbye-Sarah Dessen

What Happened To Goodbye
Sarah Dessen
Viking, May 10 2011, $19.99
ISBN: 9780670012947

Over two years ago in Tyler, Mclean Sweet’s parents divorced in an angry public war. She stayed with her restaurant consultant dad though she worshipped her mother before the split while her mom began a new family. Mclean no longer speaks to her mom. Instead since the schism, she and her father have moved four times as part of his job as an EAT INC consultant saving dying restaurants while his only true love is Defriese University basketball.

Four towns have allowed Mclean to try on a new personality in each one so she can conceal the shame of who she truly is. As dad tries to save Luna Blue, she wants to end their rolling stone existence and stay in Lakeview as she observes her neighbor Dave Wade the genius trying to pretend to be an average IQ geek.

Although mindful of the author’s Along for the Ride, Mclean makes the tale work as she brings angst with her anger towards her parents, her shame over the public humiliation of their split that makes her the divorce kid and her need to no longer be a rolling stone as she wants to gather the moss of belonging in high school. The support cast at Jackson High School, the Luna Blue and Lakeview enhance the story line targeting middle school of a teenager trying to finally move on passed the end of her previously perfect life.

Harriet Klausner

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