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What Happened to Goodbye
Cover of What Happened to Goodbye
What Happened to Goodbye
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Since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, Mclean has...
Since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, Mclean has...
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  • Since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself - whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out. Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.



  • From the cover


    Someone to count on


    I swallowed over the lump, then blinked hard. It had been such a long day, and I was so, so tired. I wished I could just leave, disappear inside, but there was always something else required, a way to get from here to there.

    Thinking this, I looked up at the sky, cold and clear overhead, and took a breath. One, I thought, finding the Big Dipper as tears pricked my eyes. Two, and I swallowed again, trying to calm myself as I spotted Cassiopeia. I was searching for a third when I felt myself starting to shake, desperate to find something familiar up there, somewhere. It was so cold, looking through my blurry gaze, but then, suddenly, I felt Dave slide his arm over my shoulders. He was warm and close, and at the same moment I realized this, I spotted the outline of Orion. Three, I thought, and then rested my head against him, closing my eyes.


    Novels by SARAH DESSEN

    That Summer

    Someone Like You

    Keeping The Moon


    This Lullaby

    The Truth About Forever

    Just Listen

    Lock and Key

    Along for the Ride

    The Moon and More

    Saint Anything


    Published by Penguin Group

    Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
    Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3
    (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
    Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
    Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
    Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
    (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
    Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India
    Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand
    (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
    Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,
    Johannesburg 2196, South Africa


    Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England


    First published in 2011 by Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.



    Copyright © Sarah Dessen, 2011

    All rights reserved
    Excerpt from “Families Cheating at Board Games”




    Dessen, Sarah.

    p. cm.

    Summary: Following her parents’ bitter divorce as she and her father move from town to town, seventeen-year-old Mclean reinvents herself at each school she attends until she is no longer sure she knows who she is or where she belongs.

    ISBN: 9781101528648

    [1. Divorce—Fiction. 2. Identity—Fiction. 3. High schools—Fiction.

    4. Schools—Fiction.] I. Title.

    PZ7.D455Wha 2011 [Fic]—dc22 2010041041


    Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage...

About the Author-

  • Sarah Dessen is the author of thirteen novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers The Moon and MoreWhat Happened to GoodbyeAlong for the RideLock and KeyJust ListenThe Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal
    Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association.
    Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
    Visit Sarah at sarahdessen.com.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 21, 2011
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine After her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean Sweet has moved a lot with her father, a restaurant consultant. Each time she tried on a new identity and learned not to get too emotionally involved at the temporary locales. Meredith Hagner sounds like a teen balanced between looking back at the way her family used to be and seeing how shaky things stand now. While Hagner succeeds as Mclean, she does not use an array of distinctive voices for the rest of the characters, so long stretches of dialogue can be confusing. Yet the focus here is on a young woman finding her place in this world--both literally and figuratively--and it's hard to say goodbye to Hagler when the narration is over. M.M.O. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2011

    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

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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