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 mother 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 lot of travel. It was assumed that McLean
would live with her mother and stepfather and 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."
McLean and her father moved quite frequently 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
takes 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 summer clothes. Bargain heaven!
A great big shout out goes out to our courageous RSU 26 finance
subcommittee: Sue, Travis, and Lisa. They had the gruelling task of
figuring out how to budget dwindling funds for five schools in the
ways that would impact students the least. A lot of people didn't
agree with their ideas and pressured them to change them. It took
staunch hearts and true loyalty to continue under those conditions.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod