Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to GoodbyeWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Goodreads synopsis: 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.

Rate(1-10): 6

First of all, hi, hello! Sorry I've been MIA lately. God knows when I posted my last review. Well, considering the fact that I've only read about 12 books this entire year of 2014, three of which were assigned for school, you can probably guess that I've either been 1) really busy or 2) really lazy. Probably the combination of both. But hey, here's a review for y'all!

I've heard a lot of good things about Sarah Dessen, so when I opened this book, I had the highest of expectations. After reading this book, I am utterly and completely disappointed. I spent quite some time reading this book, only a couple pages each weekend during lunch breaks at SAT class, and I'm honestly surprised that I managed to get through it. Let's start out with the things I didn't like about this book.

1. The plot was flat. A normal story would have an exposition, a climax, and then falling action. This entire book was probably just exposition. There was no clear climax. Even if there was, it wasn't strong enough for me to notice it.

2. Characters don't have enough depth. Some characters are almost there, like McLean and Dave, since they were the two main characters, but it didn't get any further from those two. Characters are what makes a story interesting.

3. Writing was simple and non-captivating. I mean, this book was way too easy to understand and there was nothing in this book that showed Dessen has an eloquent way with words. Isn't that crucial for a YA author? (Maybe I'm being a bit harsh... at the same time, I was struggling with reading Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter)

4. Dave. Um, is Dave even necessary? Like okay this book isn't even romance-themed???? Come on. I feel like Dessen kind of felt obligated to add in some romance, especially since one of her book slogans are "Read her once and fall in love" Um, come on. Dave was so not necessary. The romantic relationship between McLean and Dave can be best summed up with the word "whatever". Their relationship was so "whatever" and unimportant that whether or not Dave played a part in this book wouldn't have mattered. Sure, it made the book a little more interesting, but it was kind of unnecessary...

However, there was one thing that I really liked.

1. McLean's relationship with her mother was the most important development in the story. It all started with McLean ignoring her mother and hating her for cheating on her dad for someone else, and then eventually learning to forgive her and love her like she used to. It was really powerful and interesting to read. Not much character development, but the relationship between these characters went through development.

Although I didn't like this book as much as I'd wanted to, I am not giving up on Sarah Dessen's books yet!

I think that wraps it up.

By the way, be sure to check out my Drabble Challenge (thedrabblechallenge.blogspot.com). I've been updating that! Thanks for reading. Leave a comment!

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