This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Sabtu, 23 Juli 2011

(book) What Happened to Goodbye

As a hardcore Dessen fan, I wouldn't miss this book for the world.

As much as I was disappointed about her previous two books, Lock and Key and Along For the Ride, I'm happy to say that this one's got its rhythm back. Of course, it's familiar, it's formulaic, but it's comforting, and it's a Dessen original.

I can't say I'm in love with the naming part (I'm a bit indifferent about Auden, Mclean and Ruby as the lead characters' names), or the same old formula: girl in trouble, girl meets charming boy, girl evolves into someone better. But then this one again reminds me why I love reading all of her books.

It starts directly, in the form of a scene, introduced with narration about the past. It gets a little flat after that, but picks up pace before the good middle part started. I love the dynamics between Dave and Mclean, and Dave is such a cute character! I didn't like Nate from Lock and Key and Eli from Along for the Ride, but Dave's perfect. The thing is, their friend/relationship is developed so nicely that it adds flavor to the story. The best part of a Dessen book is usually the friendship and the relationship between the leads and the side characters. I'm not so fond of the other characters this time, but Deb, Opal and the parents are fully developed and that also adds to the story nicely.

Oh, I'm also happy that the other characters from her previous books get mentioned: Gervais, Heidi, and specifically Jason, who's changed so much since we last read about him in The Truth About Forever and Along for the Ride.

I personally feel that the divorce should be discussed more. Not just the aftermath, but flashbacks to the scene, a heartfelt discussion about how things change, people move on and finally accept it.. I feel that it would help us to understand the parents' decision better, and let Mclean understand them a little better.

I could go on and babble about this book, but suffice to say I love it. Love it a lot better than the last two books, and even though the ending's kind of blurry, I know that it's realistic enough that it should happen that way. As much as I don't like Mclean's immaturity by escaping her problems, I could understand her confusion and her hurt, which gets me teary eyed as I reach the book's climax.

A satisfying summer read indeed.

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