WHEN posed with the question of favourite authors, the one and only name that pops into mind has always been (and I hope will always be) Sarah Dessen so it is without doubt that I lead a raving review from this point onwards.
With a name like McLean, you'd be forgiven for thinking of our protagonist as a renowned basketball player instead this theme plays only a slight role in What Happened to Goodbye alongside a few other quirky backdrops such as scale model building, the hospitality industry and back to basic living. As it's the authors tenth novel in this format it obviously comes across as very well written and researched even managing to drop in a few interesting facts like Here Be Dragons as the term for ever going off the map and at every mention of those deep-fried pickles, I was left drooling!
After her mother betrayed the family, McLean made the entirely spiteful choice to instead follow her father as he attempts to breathe life back into failing restaurants across the country. Along the way, McLean has taken the opportunity to reinvent herself at every school picking up new personality traits, hobbies and even first names. So far she's been Liz, Beth, Elizabeth and Lizbet but things don't go as planned in her latest pit stop, Lakeview when her peers pick up her birth-name before she has a chance to correct them leaving her to feel more like herself than she has in years.
Overall, I found it really enjoyable to once again fall into a novel by my favourite author, she always managed to create a world worth skipping sleep for. I especially enjoyed the critique of Luna Blu as it was much like watching an episode of Top Chef, I only wish there was a little more focus here and less on the scale model building as it became quite tiresome but I understand it's relevance to the story in the end.
Even though the author has been highly critiqued for her often over-used formula, I think the fans will be beaming with joy over her latest offering as she always weaves the perfect boy meets girl scenario alongside a well built community of realistic friends and family that brings back readers year after year.