Monday, March 19, 2012

what happened to goodbye

Sarah Dessen, in my mind, is one of the bright shining stars of
young adult literature. Pegging her books as romance, although
possibly selling them to teenage girls, ultimately does them a
disservice. Her heroines struggle poignantly with the same deep
issues as their peers. What happened to goodbye is a perfect
example. McLean, the heroine, must deal with perhaps the most
defining issue of adolescence, identity.
McLean was given the name of a winning basketball coach at her
parents' alma mater where they were college sweethearts. Her father
had lived for eventually making the team from kindergarten on.
Following graduation he had remained an avid fan, indoctrinating
McLean into his passion at a very early age. In a supreme irony
McLean's mom had left him to marry the new basketball coach.
McLean's father then sold his restaurant and took a consulting
job that would require a great deal of travel. It was assumed that
McLean would live with her mother and stepfather and their soon-to-be-
born twins in an exclusive gated community. Her father would visit
when he could. She, however, had other plans. "She could have her
bright and shiny new life, with a new husband and new kids, but she
didn't get to have me, too. I decided I was going with my dad."
MacLean and her father moved to the point where she knew by
heart the signs of an imminent uprooting. With each new school she
tried out a new persona. Eliza was a popular good girl. Lizbet was a
dancer and drama queen. Beth was an all round joiner. McLean tossed
each personification out with the inevitable next move, vanishing
without a trace. Hence the book title.
When McLean and her father move to Lakeview things change. She
uses her own name. Friends really start to matter to her. She's
becoming involved. There's even a special boy in her life. Then the
people she's come to care about, who have shared their homes and lives
with her, learn about her previous identities...
...Read the book already. You won't be able to put it down.
On a personal note, I am so happy! My favorite thrift shop brought
out their spring and summer clothes. I was in bargain heaven.
A great big shout out goes out to our courageous RSU 26 finance
subcommittee. They have the gruelling task of figuring out how to
budget dwindling funds for five schools in the ways that will impact
students the least. A lot of people who don't agree with what they
suggest are mean and abusive. It takes staunch hearts and true
loyalty to continue under those conditions!
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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