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.
For 2 years Mclean has been anyone but the person she was before she started moving from place to place with her dad. She doesn't even know who her true self is. She just knows that the person she was before her parent's divorce no longer exists and maybe never was her real self. In Lakeview, Mclean tries to start a new persona deciding on Liz, but it doesn't work out like she wants and she stays Mclean. Yet she doesn't know what type of persona Mclean is suppose to have. Dave is described as the nerdy guy just trying to be normal, yet I didn't really get that he was nerdy. Nothing he did made me think that he was super smart. The only thing that conveyed this was his friends talking about the way he use to be, and the way his parents treated him. So if he's going for the normal guy thing than he's accomplished it.
Like all Sarah Dessen books, this one is a love story with family drama thrown in. In What Happened to Goodbye(which I believe should be called What Ever Happened to Goodbye, for some reason that just bugs me), the family drama is Mclean's parents' divorce. He mother cheated on her father with the head basketball coach of the fictional college, Defriese, and leaves him to marry the guy. Besides the cheating part, the fact that it's with the Defriese's basketball coach a widely known school, makes it a huge scandal. So anyone who knows of Defriese and keeps tabs on college basketball knows about what happened. Mclean and her dad love basketball, but it's not the same any more after what happened. In my opinion, Mclean's mom acts like she's trying to escape her past just as much as Mclean is trying to change herself. Mclean's wants her mom to own up for what she did. She broke up a family and doesn't seem to be acknowledging that. So instead of dealing with her mom, she takes care of her dad. She doesn't know what he would be like if she wasn't there to handle things. So Mclean is only close to her dad and never really makes those close connections with anyone she meets in any of the towns she moves to, until now. After meeting Dave, he helps her to realize that she does have friends in Lakeview and maybe she doesn't want to leave this town and have a new persona that isn't her real self. This book, like all of Sarah Dessen's books, is extremely well written with a great heroine that you can't help but like even with her flaws. With most of Sarah Dessesn's books, I want to just read the parts that include Dave, but with this one I enjoyed all of it. It's another awesome book that fans of Dessen's previous novels are sure to not be disappointed in.