I spent a large chunk of last weekend reading Sarah Dessen’s latest creation What Happened to Goodbye. Naturally, I loved it. More than any specific thing in this story, what I loved the most about it is that it was written by Sarah Dessen. She is definitely my favorite author for a reason. Everything she writes is gold.
Here is the real thing that makes all of Sarah Dessen’s books so amazing. ALL the characters are interesting. Some of her books, like Just Listen deal with serious issues. But a lot of her books have relatively low states. In What Happened to Goodbye, Mclean’s parents went through an ugly divorce so she now lives with her dad and fights a lot with her mom. That has happened to a lot of kids, and isn’t anything earth shattering. Except that Mclean is a really amazing character and Sarah Dessen makes her come so totally alive that you can’t help but care.
Mclean isn’t the only interesting character in this book though. ALL of the characters are interesting. All of the supporting characters who befriend Mclean and help impact her story have interesting stories of their own. And it’s through getting to know these other interesting people that Mclean is able to get to know herself. And this is the thing that makes me love Sarah Dessen’s writing so much. Even the supper minor characters that only show up in the background of one scene are interesting characters with interesting stories.
What Happened to Goodbye is Sarah Dessen’s tenth book. And all ten of her books are set in the same two towns. Yes, this book has scenes in both Lakeview and Colby. And these two town are filled with people and every single one of these people is interesting, with their own story to tell. Some of the characters that only made minor appetences in Dessen’s earlier books played major roles in Mclean’s tale. And some characters that were major characters in past stories made minor appearances here. So even though Sarah Dessen’s books are not a series and can be read in absolutely any order, they all weave together to tell an even larger truth. And that truth is that EVERYONE has a story to tell. Everyone is interesting and important.
If you’re curious what What Happened to Goodbye is about, here is the goodreads description.
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.
And if you’re looking for other exciting tales about the interesting lives of the residence of Lakeview and Colby, check out Sarah Dessen’s other nine books: Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, Lock and Key, Along for the Ride, Someone Like You, Dreamland, Keeping the Moon, and That Summer.