Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Final Thoughts

77c1c661fae2bb84.gif      As you probably already know, for the third quarter blog I read What Happened to Goodbye. The author is Sarah Dessen and i think she is a fantastic writer. I'm not sure if it's because third quarter is shorter or if I have just had a serious case of blog block, but third quarter blogs have been a bit of a challenge for me. I even struggled with finishing my book this quarter. Usually I have no problem, just an easy read and I'm done. This book was different, though. Which is my first problem with the book. Now I know that all books need an introduction and that the beginning is probably going to be boring, but this book started off very slow. It felt like it was just taking me through McLean's everyday life, but nothing was happening. I'm sorry but the book was dry. It just wasn't enough to really draw me in. Maybe another reason I had a time getting involved in the book is because McLean and I don't have a lot in common. Not that I completely have myself figured out all the way, but I don't find myself wanting to be several different people. I have never experienced what it is like to have your parents go through a divorce either. I've had experiences with cheating, so I understood why she was upset, but the only thing I know about divorce is what I've seen on TV. McLean doesn't let people get close to her and she doesn't get attached to people. That was the only way I found to relate to the character. I completely understood why she did what she did because I'm the same way. Another problem I had with the book was all of Sarah Dessen books start to have a similar theme. There is a girl with some kind of family issue that makes her act a certain way, but then she meets a boy. The boy changes her, but then they break up. And in the end, they always get back together. It just gets old after the third or fourth book you've read of her's. 
     I didn't create this blog post to express my dislike for the book, there were things I actually did like. As I said above, I have never experienced what it feels like for your parents to divorce, but I like the way Sarah Dessen writes it. She is able to portray the way a child would feel torn between each parent in a very real way. I do have friends with divorced parents and they will talk about how they feel guilty to hang out with the other parent. I know McLean feels this way when she goes to the Defriese basketball game with her mom. She is even tells her dad this, but he tells her she should be with her mother. He isn't mad at all. I also liked how real McLeans character is. Even though I'm not currently going through an identity crisis, high school students all over the country are. It's something that everyone must go through to find who they really are. Sarah Dessen expresses this in a very real way that wasn't exaggerated at all. McLean could be a real girl at Carbondale High School and no one would think anything of it. I really like McLean as a character, and sometimes it really does take someone else to come into your life for you to find yourself. If we were talking about this situation like it wasn't made up for a book, I would say that McLean and Dave were meant to find each other. They met for a reason to help each other. All in all, the book was very realistic just not what I was looking for.

Just because I didn't like doesn't mean you won't. If you have read What Happened to Goodbye, what do you think? 

Animoto Time!

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Link Up!–-sarah-dessen/book-reviews/5087
This is a site with someone else's opinion on the book, What Happened to Goodbye.
This explains the effect that divorce can have on children.
This explains the stress of moving. McLean and her father are constantly moving from town to town and I would imagine this to be somewhat stressful.
McLean and her father know everything there is to know about basketball, and this site can help the reader have a better understanding as well.
Here is the official site of the book.
This is a fan site for Sarah Dessen fans. Fans talk about their feelings towards What Happened to Goodbye and other Sarah Dessen books.
In this video Sarah Dessen talks about her newest book, What Happened to Goodbye.
McLean is having a hard time finding who she really is and I think this site would be helpful to her.
There can be many psychological effects of divorce on children and I think that is why McLean doesn't let people get close.
Even though you can't always explain why people do certain things that hurt others, but I'm sure McLean wanted answers as to why her mother cheated. This site explains some of the reasons as to why.
This site explains what McLean's parents might be going through because of the divorce.
McLean's dad is a restaurant consultant and this website is for a consulting company (not the one her dad works for), and you can get an idea of exactly what he does.
This article describes why restaurants fail. When restaurants aren't doing well McLean's father helps them get back to where they need to be.
This is an excellent summary, review of the book. This was very helpful.
This is Sarah Dessen's personal blog and it gives a lot of insight into her personal life, so you can see where she gets her inspiration.

Did you find these websites helpful?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This is McLean. 

Her Parents are divorced.

Her dad is a chef and a restaurant consultant.

Her mom remarried and had twin babies.

McLean moves around with her father.

McLean and her mom don't really get along.

With each new town McLean changes her personality.

McLean doesn't let people get close on an emotional level.

McLean isn't sure who she really is.

Dave and McLean simply get each other.

McLean is letting herself make friends in Lakeview.

Basketball was a huge part of McLean's life until the divorce.

McLean hates what her mother did to their family.

The theme is finding yourself.

McLean learns it's ok to let people get close to you. 

 Can you think of any other pictures to represent the theme of the book?

"Too Many People"


     When you're going through something in your life sometimes when you find the perfect song to match your mood it can make everything seem ok. McLean is having a little bit of an identity crisis in her life. With each new town she has a different variation of her name and a new personality. So when she arrives in Lakeview she decides to use her own actual name, but what is her actual personality? who is she? She has made sure with each new town to be someone completely different from who she actually is but she now doesn't know who she is. At some point every teenager has to experience this. The only problem for McLean is she has to do it in a new town with people she barely knows. Now she has found Dave, the boy next door, who she feels she can actually be herself around, even if she doesn't know who that is.

     The song I chose to represent what McLean is going through is, Too Many People by Pet Shop Boys. The song has an interesting beat and isn't the best song but the words can express exactly what McLean is experiencing. The first lyric is, "I sometimes think I'm too many people". McLean has been the dancer, the outcast, the involved girl, basically anyone but who she is. She also won't let herself get close to anyone in the current town she is in, and when she leaves a town she doesn't keep in touch with anyone either.
"Love is kind, and love hurts
rebellion or conformity
What is my identity?"
These lyrics  describe McLean's views towards her parents divorce. She has a lot of anger towards her mother's actions and for that she doesn't let others get close to her. I think this also contributes to her identity crisis and why she is having trouble finding who she really is. Another great lyric to describe McLean is, "whoever i decide to be depends on who is with me". The people McLean decided to surround herself with played a huge role with who she was in that town. Then in Lakeview when she finds Dave, the boy next door, she feels she can finally start to be herself. She just has to find herself first.

Do you ever feel like you don't know who you really are? Do you have a song that helps you through this?

Round Three!

       Well after a whole semester of blogging I feel like I'm finally starting to get a hang on this blogging thing. My grade immensely improved from the first quarter to the second. I think during the first quarter blogging was such a new concept to me that I wasn't sure what was expected of me. Now I am finally understanding what it takes to make a successful blog. First semester our teacher gave us strict guidelines for each individual blog. This was easy enough and didn't take much individual thinking. Second semester was definitely not as strict, but there were still certain blogs that were required. Now for the third semester there are basically no guidelines for what each blog must be about. As long as it is two paragraphs in length, includes a visual, and engages people you're fine. You would think this would be great, right? Well that would be incorrect because I'm nervous that I might get a serious case of 'blogging block'. I sometimes struggle with creative ideas when it comes to blogging. I feel it turns into the same thing over and over again, but I'm going to try my best.


     My third Read For a Lifetime book is, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. I have read several Sarah Dessen books and most of them have been quite enjoyable. This is most recent one that has been released. I'm actually really excited to see if this can top my favorite book by her which is, This Lullaby. The only problem with Sarah Dessen books is many of them have the same theme throughout the book and can be very predictable. I'm hoping this book is different from her previous books, because quite frankly the story line just gets old. This book is suppose to be about a girl, McLean, and her parents are divorced. She lives with her dad, who is a restaurant consultant, and they have to move a lot. McLean likes to 'recreate' herself with each new town. Meaning she creates a different personality for herself with each town. Now she has ended up in Lakeview and for the first time she is trying to figure out who she really is. The people she meets along the way have an interesting way of affecting her life. I can't wait to read the book to find out more.