5 stars · fiction · romance · young adult

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen [also wrote Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, and The Truth About Forever]

Pages [hardcover]: 416

Favorite Characters: Deb & Dave

Memorable Quote: When you can’t save yourself or your heart, it helps to be able to save face.


In the past two years, Mclean Sweet has moved four times. At each stop, she assumes a new persona, but it never quite works. Whether she’s an effervescent cheerleader or an intense drama queen, nothing can permanently dispel the turmoil and rage at her mother since her parents’ divorce. Sarah Dessen’s novel about a teenager and her restaurant manager father captures the vulnerability that young people often experience after the dissolution of their family. A compelling story; strong characterization; and with a touch of romance.


I love Sarah Dessen’s books. Every single one I’ve read has been addicting from beginning to end, with the most creative characters, wonderful plot twists, and moving revelations-no pun intended. What Happened to Goodbye is about a girl, Mclean, who has moved around so often that she’d not even sure who she is any longer.

As in other Dessen books, the characters are fantastic. While in some the main character may seem lacking as a result of the incredibly defined minor roles, Mclean is wonderfully portrayed, and I quickly grew to love her. Jason from The Truth About Forever, who also makes an appearance in Along for the Ride, is also in this book. I love how every novel connects to the others in some small way. It feels like a game, looking for all the little details that hint at past characters.

I loved this book because I never knew what was going to happen next. Mclean was slowly losing her own identity while her relationship with each parent frayed. The plot could have spun off in several different ways, and I liked the direction it took.

While Dave might not be as mysterious or intriguing as other boys from Dessen books, he’s still awesome in his own way. I love how he’s geeky, knows it, and doesn’t care. He lets people know the real side of him, without being embarrassed about his true self. I think that he’s a really strong character because of this, and I really liked him.

I give What Happened to Goodbye 5/5 stars. I loved it! This is definitely one I will remember for a while and will pick up to read again!

4 thoughts on “What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

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