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Summary: Whom will she be this time? Eliza? Liz? Beth? Or is it time for the real Mclean Sweet to stand up? Living in Lakeview has given Mclean a real feeling of "home." At least as much as she can being in high school and living with a dad who runs a restaurant, and a mom who has reinvented herself as the wife of the Defries basketball coach. Just when she thought things were settling down, her dad announces he (meaning they) might be moving to Hawaii for a new job, and Mom turns up the heat on moving back "home" with the new family. There has to be a goodbye, right? This is a coming-of-age story for teens. It is a high interest / low readability book.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; read yourself: 13 and Up
Interest Level: 12 and Up
Reading Level: 4.8
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: There is a lot of depth and nuance to this story. Yes, it is about relationships, but is also about figuring out how to be true to yourself. The story is well paced and realistic, with characters you can relate to (even if they aren't your personality type).
Pros: Like Mclean, readers will find themselves loving Lakeview. When it ends, they won't want to leave.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a book teen girls could come back to when the days get tough and they need a comfort book.
Educational Themes: What Happened to Goodbye is a great choice for a mother-daughter or youth book club. Mclean and her friends face realistic choices, but also have things to learn that can generate great discussion.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - family, young adult, coming of age, realistic fiction
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.