In Dessen’s most recent novel, What Happened to Goodbye, we follow Mclean Sweet as she follows her dad, Gus, from state to state. To Mclean, her old life was perfect. Her parents were happily married and successful restaurant owners, she had a lot of friends, and she loved her simple yet chaotic life. Then, when Gus’s favorite team switches coaches everything goes downhill. Mclean’s mom, Katie, leaves Gus for the new coach and finds herself pregnant with twins. The restaurant closes and Gus gets a new job as a restaurant consultant, where he travels to different restaurants. Mclean finds herself extremely unhappy with the circumstances and realizes how bitter she is with her mother, now called Katherine. Mclean decides to take action and live with her dad, but not without a fight.
As the story progresses, we see Mclean slowly forget who she is. With each move she becomes a different girl, from a preppy cheerleader to a drama queen. But, when she lands in Lakeview she finds becoming someone else is nearly impossible. But who is Mclean Sweet? When she meets Dave she seems to figure it out…or so it seems. Will Dave help Mclean find herself or will she be stuck as someone else?
I thought Dessen did a great job. I could relate to every character and the unique struggles they go through. As a young teen, I find it hard to know who I am and who I want to be. Everything changes so quickly and I often lose my feet in the mix. This story was a little slow at the beginning, but then soon picked up as Mclean yearns to be herself. The ending was also predictable but it didn’t make reading it less exciting. I would recommend this book to teens and moms because of the different perspectives help everyone understand each other better. Kudos to Dessen!
To learn more about Sarah Dessen you can visit her at her website: http://sarahdessen.com/
Make sure you order your copy of What Happened to Goodbye today!