So, last weekend I had epic reading plans. I had downloaded six books on my Kobo, because I was flying home for the weekend. I figured that between the airport time and the flights, I would get a lot of reading done. Being a bit scatter-brained before I left, I carefully packed everything – or so I thought. Upon arriving at the airport, I discovered that, although I’d packed my kobo charging cord, I’d forgotten my kobo itself! So frustrating! I ended up buying two books at the airport bookstore and watching movies instead. One of those books was what happened to goodbye by Sarah Dessen.
I’ve come to expect rather heavy topics from Sarah Dessen, and I felt this book had a lighter theme than most: Divorce. Maybe I treat divorce too casually (my parents split when I was 14) since I experienced it myself. I didn’t quite get to the point where I thought “Mclean, just get over it” but I came close.
Mclean Sweet is a high school senior who is onto her fourth town in two years. After her parents divorced, she opted to stay with her dad, who works as a restaurant consultant. This is a mobile job – he swoops in to revamp struggling restaurants and swoops out again when done. Mclean has used this as an opportunity to reinvent herself in each new town – using her middle name (Elizabeth) to provide different personas (Eliza, Lizbet, Beth) to mach her ‘new self’ each time. This latest town, she figures, is just another temporary stop, but somehow Mclean ends up as herself – not the ‘Liz’ she’d planned to be here. She makes friends, sets down some tentative roots, and gets to know the cute guy next door. All while negotiating the emotional minefield that is her relationship with her mother.
What resonated the most with me, for this book, was the mother-daughter drama. I would definitely classify my relationship with my mother as ‘rocky’ and there were a lot of parallels between my experiences dealing with mom drama and Mclean’s.
If you’re looking for a relatively light, pleasant read, I would recommend this book. Nothing earth-shattering, but thoughtful, fun to read, and enjoyable. 4 / 5.