I've been waiting for this book for what seems like ages. Sarah Dessen's reliability for smart, funny, contemporary ya chick lit continues its blazing trail of awesomeness with her latest novel - Big #10, due out tomorrow. Statistically, I'm sure there are people out there who do not like her novels. Just like there are people who do not like ice cream. Or kittens. Or having fun.
What Happened to Goodbye offers another female lead who doesn't think she wants to make connections with people. For good reason, though, because Mclean moves every few months. (I made a connection to this book and Pete Hautman's Big Crunch earlier this year.) But she likes the instability which offers her some refuge from the epic public disaster that was her parents' marriage and divorce. Each new place Mclean tries out a new girl - the theater girl, the cheerleader. No ties. No worries.
What could be everyday chick lit in some hands is near masterful in Sarah Dessen's. The spectacular way Mclean meets Dave, the tiny model town, the quirky-but-real cast of characters (including those you don't want to like but then learn that there's more to 'em), her relationship with her parents, the locker mirror of doom, craving for fried pickles (ah, Texas treats), the desire to get to Austin (I totally get it, dudes.) the Gert. The scene in the dark restaurant - one of the several times I laughed out loud on the plane trip from TLA Austin to Jacksonville. And I can't forget the Easter Eggs. (Thanks fine ladies at FYA for the term.) Dessen peppers her later novels with people, places, events from previous stories. I so love that. It makes her stories like visiting with friends back home. Oh yeah, I remember that place. Is that so and so from Colby?
Dessen is one of the more deserving authors who find their books on the NYT bestsellers list with every new publication. She's got a good thing going. Here's to 10 more novels!
Oh and librarians, there's some good librarian action in this one as well.
Book source: ARC from publisher