Review: Whatever Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 402 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile; 1 edition (May 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0670012947
Source: Publisher
Rating: YY 1/2

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 hance 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 her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out

My Thoughts:

I have not read many Sarah Dessen books, but will say that I have enjoyed the few that I have read and wanted WHATEVER HAPPENED TO GOODBYE long before It reached my greedy hands, but I was left a tad bit underwhelmed.

I enjoyed the premise of this book but could not seem to connect with it's main character Mclean; a teen that has not properly dealt with her parents' divorce (unbeknownst to her and her parents). She blames her mom for the divorce and decides to live with her dad whom travels a lot for his job. With each move she takes on different reinventions of her name and in turn her persona's. Now Mclean and her father are in a new town and due to an unusual encounter with the the boy next door she finds that she cannot lie anymore. Now she is making friends and is wanting to stay, but is this the real Mclean? and what will she do to find her? As in true Dessen style a heartfelt story plays out before you and will have your attention until the very end.

As I finished this book I found myself a bit underwhelmed and I realized that I did not feel invested it's main characters, which I found unusual because I have enjoyed Sarah Dessen's previous efforts. Yet, tried to rehash the story in my mind I came up with the same conclusion. I could not sympathise with Mclean and her "many" persona's never seemed to take root and stick in my mind. It all seemed to be glossed over but not given much weight so I could not conceive it properly. I could not even seem to perceive Mclean and Dave as a couple. I know he was a good guy (too good to be true) and that he was insanely smart but you would think that intelligence would have come into better use at times. While I did not care for the protagonist I did enjoy the ease and familiarity Dessen's writing style offered. It was quick and of perfect depth for the beach.

While not one of Dessen's best efforts, fans will undoubtedly devour it, yet will it leave them satiated? The truth is in the perception of the reader.

5 comments on "Review: Whatever Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen"

So Many Books, So Little Time wrote: July 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

I loved this, as I do all of Sarah's books, so it's a shame that you didn't. Hopefully her next offering will hit the spot for you.

Mary wrote: July 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Oh, sad! I hate when I can't get on the characters' sides. I haven't read this one yet but usually enjoy Sarah's books. Thanks for the review!
Happy reading,
Mary @ Book Swarm

Alexa wrote: July 14, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I have read every Dessen book except this one, of course I'll read this one because I'm interested in seeing what I think of it. I'm sorry that you couldn't connect with the main character. Thanks for the honest review.

Pages of Forbidden Love

cherie wrote: July 15, 2011 at 6:42 AM

I haven't read any of Dessen's books and I need to catch up. Interesting review. Thanks!

Kyla wrote: July 17, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I haven't read any of Dessen's books, either, and I know I won't be interested in this book based on this review. Thanks so much for sharing, it makes my book shopping so much easier! Have a great day, and happy reading.

Post a Comment

I would love to see what you have to say :)

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Tales of a Ravenous Reader

My Photo
Hello, and thank you for stopping by. This is my little haven for talking about the books that I adore.

Grab My Button

Email Twitter RSS Feed

Contact Me

I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
nancy has read 1 book toward her goal of 150 books.

@ravenousreader on INSTAGRAM

Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.


Books Inc. Opera Plaza
Sunday, November 15 @ 5pm
Get your tickets HERE


Hello, fellow readers! Look at the upcoming events in our marvelous SF Bay Area for next year. There are some events that are coming out that I cannot post about yet, but believe me when I tell you they are made of awesome.

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, January 15 @ 7pm

Hicklebee's in San Jose
Saturday, January 16 time TBD

Books INC. in San Francisco
Monday, January 18



Boderlands in San Francisco
Saturday, February 28 TBD



Kepler's in Menlo Park
Sunday, March 6 @ 2pm

...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

What I am Reading Now

and this too.....

Book Tour Host

Book Tour Host

Book Tour Host

Follow by Email


Rating System

♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

Would not recommend

DNF=Did Not Finish

Blog Archive

Blog Stats

Blog Designer