Monday, August 27, 2012

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

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.

~Published May 10th 2011 by Viking Juvenile

Food to Eat While Reading: Homey Homemade Mac and Cheese

What Happened to Goodbye is the first book I've read by Sarah Dessen.  I've heard so much about her natural writing style and her ability to make realistic teen characters that I was excited to pick this one up.  I was not disappointed.

Mclean is a character who deals with something many teens understand:  trying to figure out where she fits in.  She's a strong person and she knows what she wants, but she is also vulnerable and dynamic.

What I really loved about this book are the lessons I learned about writing.  I love how Dessen ends a scene with a characters revelation about herself, then recaps what happened afterward in a following scene.  It works so nicely and I am going to have to try that in my own writing. Also, I want to learn how to use imagery to further express the emotions that the character is going through, as Dessen does throughout her book. Here's an example:

"I cleared my throat, looking into that fire in front of me. The logs were perfectly shaped, the fake flames flickering. Pretty yes, but no real warmth there. Just an illusion, but you didn't realize that until you were up close and still felt cold.

Readers will love What Happened to Goodbye for it's realistic situations and authentic emotions.


  1. Greetings!

    I'm hopping over from GUTGAA and trying to visit some blogs before the fun begins! Nice to meet have a lovely blog...good luck with GUTGAA!

    Donna L Martin


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