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What Happened to Goodbye


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About the Author

Sarah Dessen grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You and Just Listen . A motion picture based on her first two books, entitled How to Deal, was released in 2003. She lives in North Carolina.





Dessen's 10th novel is another smoothly written journey of self-discovery. Mclean Sweet, named for "the all-time winningest basketball coach of Defriese University," has moved four times in two years, following her father's job as a restaurant consultant. Each time she moves she reinvents herself, not so much to try on a new identity but to rid herself of the original one-only daughter of a couple whose divorce was an awful, public scandal. It becomes clear that although Defriese basketball was her father's obsession, Mclean's idol was her mother, and Mclean's lasting anger adds an emotional punch to a long narrative that doesn't otherwise have much of an arc. It will delight Dessen's passionate fans that Mclean and her father have landed in Lakeview (capital of Dessenland) and that the action ricochets between there and familiar (fictional) beach towns. As Mclean figures out how to make peace with her mother, she relies on friends made at both school and at the restaurant her father is trying to save. Dessen delivers another cast of authentic, likable characters, struggling to make sense of the world. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 8 Up-After her parents' very public and celebrity tinged divorce in a town where everyone knew her family, Mclean chose to live with her dad, who travels frequently to evaluate struggling restaurants. Wanting to leave the nasty memories behind her, the high school senior creates a new identity for herself with every move and new town, never having to fully reveal herself or her history, and never really having to say goodbye. But the latest town is different, and the Mclean begins to feel connected to places and friends. The rawness of what this means and the memories it brings back to the surface are difficult to deal with. Besides having to confront her true self, she also has to face spending time with her mother and her new family. Juggling all of those conflicting emotions and finally beginning to feel like she belongs brings with it changes she never expected. Narrator Meredith Hagner quickly draws listeners into McLean's ever-changing life, and gives all the characters distinct personalities. She audibly transforms the teenager from a girl who uses order and simplicity to control her feelings into one who begins to allow herself to feel connected to others. Sarah Dessen's story (Viking, 2011) will leave listeners reflecting on their own connections to and with others.-Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Such is the magic of Sarah Dessen's books; [that] they stay with you long after you've finished them, because it is so easy to fall in love with her characters. * *
(Acclaim for Lock and Key) 'A compelling story and beautifully written' * Time Out *

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