What Happened to Goodbye Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of What Happened to Goodbye

A girl comes to terms with her parents divorce and her feeling of not really belonging anywhere after she making supportive friends at her new high school. Mclean Sweet is a high school girl who moves around a lot with her dad who is an architect. Mclean is used to not getting attached to anyone since she's never in any place for too long. In fact, in every town she's been in she creates a new online social profile with a fake name and takes on that persona at school. This time, Mclean and her dad have moved into the town of Lakeview, where Mclean's dad has been hired to help fix up a local restaurant called Luna Blu. There is some friction between the manager, Opal, and Mclean's dad because Opal is not happy with the way Mclean's dad has begun changing things, even though it is his job. Mclean likes Luna Blu, the town and especially her dreamy next door neighbor Dave but she tries not to get her hopes up about staying in Lakeview for long, though she doesn't make a new online social page this time. One night, Mclean goes to a party where she meets two other girls from her high school, Riley and Heather. At least she's making friends. Early one morning, Mclean gets a call from her mom who is very upset with her. Mclean and her mom don't get along and for good reason, too. Mclean resents her mom for cheating on her dad and remarrying a famous basketball coach. Mclean's mom just wants to make things right with Mclean and maintain a relationship with her but Mclean is having none of it. Now, her mom isn't talking to her either and so Mclean is surprised when she gets a call from Peter, her mom's new husband. He tells Mclean that he and her mom will be in Lakeview for a basketball game and invites Mclean to come. Surprising herself, Mclean agrees. Mclean is apprehensive about telling her dad where she is going the next day, especially when he invites her to lunch at Luna Blu because she knows she won't be able to make it since she'll be at the basketball game. She decides to meet up with her dad at the diner figuring it would be easier to break the news to him in person. Surprisingly, her dad is fine with it as he doesn't want her relationship with her mom to end. While leaving the diner, Mclean runs into Dave and ends up inviting him to be her plus one at the game and he agrees. After the game, Mclean's mom takes her and Dave to dinner. Dave is very chatty and fills Mclean's mom in on the entire goings on but Mclean is mostly silent. Later that evening, after she's dropped the two of them off, Dave comments on the awkward tension and Mclean reveals to him that her mom cheated on her dad. Dave agrees that it was an awful thing to do but he can see that her mom is making her effort to patch things up. The next day at school, somehow everyone knows that Mclean is the stepdaughter of the famous basketball coach. Sighing, Mclean goes to her locker and sees that a feathered mirror left over from the last student is still hanging inside her locker. She tries to pull it off and in the process smacks her nose with the locker door. Her friend Riley comes over and takes her to the nurse and offers to sit with her the entire time. Mclean thinks how good it is to have friends and admits to Riley that she isn't used to letting people get close to her. Later that day at lunch, in the cafeteria, everyone is staring at Mclean. Riley's friend Deb runs over and tells Mclean that there's a rumor going around school that Riley punched Mclean in the nose because she was jealous of her and Dave. Dave joins the two girls and they all have a laugh at the ridiculousness of the high school rumor mill.
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The next day, school is closed due to snow so Dave and Mclean go to hang out at Luna Blu. At the restaurant, Mclean's dad is nervous because the owner of the restaurant is coming to check on progress and things haven't been so great. But as it happens, the owner decides to give her dad and Opal more time and no one is fired fortunately. But just when things seem like they're okay, Mclean's dad tells her that her mom is hiring lawyers because she claims that Mclean's dad is not keeping up with his end of the custody agreement though really it is Mclean who chooses to avoid her mom. Not wanting to get her dad into trouble, she calls her mom and agrees to spend spring break with her at her beach house. The day Mclean's mom comes to pick her up to go the beach house is a doozy. First off, Mclean's dad tells her he's been offered a job in Hawaii and she can either move with him and go live with her mom, then Opal blows up at Mclean's dad when she finds out the restaurant is being shut down; he knew and didn't tell her sooner. Dave asks Mclean out and then all her friends find her old social media accounts with all her fake personas. Overwhelmed, Mclean rushes home and hides from everyone until her mom comes to pick her up. At the beach house, Mclean overhears her mom talking to someone. She hears her say, “this is a bad idea,” and wrongly assumes her mom meant it was a bad idea to bring her to the beach house. Upset, she grabs her things and heads to a motel nearby, then calls Dave to pick her up. Instead of Dave, both of her parents pick her up. They take her to dinner and the three of them discuss Mclean's future, deciding that it would be best for Mclean to live with her mom instead of moving to Hawaii. Despite the fact that she has to move again, things are somewhat better back at home. Mclean's dad and Opal are dating and Opal is opening her own restaurant in town. Not only that, but after Mclean's dad finishes the job in Hawaii, he will return to work in Opal's new restaurant. The cherry on top is Mclean and Dave finally have their first kiss after he reveals to her that he wants her to stay in town. Then in a twist, Opal offers Mclean a spare room in her house and Mclean's parents agree it could work. Not only does Mclean get to graduate with her friends and date her boyfriend, she finally feels like she knows who she is and where she belongs.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked this story because we can all relate to feelings like we don't belong somewhere. It's a classic coming of age story that has a happy ending.

Best scene in story: I liked the scene where both of Mclean's parents sat down with her for the first time in a long while and addressed how the divorce had affected her and what to do with her future. It was like they could all breathe again, having acknowledged that things had been hard for Mclean.

Opinion about the main character: I liked Mclean being supportive of her dad. I thought it was nice the book portrayed a supportive and open father/daughter relationship.

The review of this Book prepared by Kyle Spencer a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of What Happened to Goodbye

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   high school Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   fighting with bitchy momma

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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