Dessin, S. (2011). What Happened to Goodbye. NY: Viking Press
YA Realistic Fiction / minor Romance sub-plot
3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads
This was my first Sarah Dessin novel, and it was nice. Yes, nice. (My Nana hated that word because it is so very vague.) The story moves slowly along and unravels bit by bit at an easy pace. There is a great deal of predictability, but that was okay. There just didn’t seem to be any urgency or intensity anywhere in the book. The romance element was definitely just background, quietly there and something that you knew would eventually get around to being something. Just in time for the book to end. There were many “big moments” that would have added immense appeal to the book, but they didn’t happen.
Fortunately, there are a lot of secondary characters in this book, and you get little glimpses into who they are to make it interesting and to make you care about hearing more about them.
The book does touch on some issues to which many can relate: divorce, relocating, figuring out who you really are, figuring out your future, friendship, and commitment. The main character’s responses to some of those issues are interesting, and there is closure in some places where the story came full circle, but not in others.
CLEAN-O-METER: no profanity (possibly a S**T or two. . .), no sexual situations, reference to underage drinking.