It Started With Goodbye
Author: Christina June
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Pages: 304 (PB)
Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.
This is a delightful read that resembles Cinderella’s story, but only to an extent. Tate’s stepmother is strict and relentless, making sure things are kept in well order. She ensures that Tate doesn’t have any fun filled days after being accused of aiding her best friend Ash in committing a crime. Her dad has gone out of town, making it easy for her stepmom to make all the choices for her in his absence.
Tatem doesn’t let any of this drag her down, knowing that she is innocent of all accusations. She makes the best of every day by working on graphic designs and gaining new friendships along the way. And a connection with a “cute” celo player she begins chatting with on a constant basis.
There are bonds that are formed between those that are not expected. Growth from one that didn’t seem would ever take place. Changes that are welcomed with open arms. A stepsister that isn’t as cruel as imagined, and dreams of being more than just a ballet dancer. A feat that will connect Tate and Tilly more than they ever imagined possible. And a new outlook on the dysfunctional family, that doesn’t always have to end up in worse circumstances.
There were many earlier chapters that moved slowly, but picked up the pace midway in the book. Even though that caused me to falter a bit, I was able to move passed that and appreciate the book as it progressed. I found Tate to be a character we can all relate to, who finds that things are not as they seem, and that first impressions are not always the best to go by.
It Started with Goodbye even has a fairy godmother… well, Tate’s version of a fairy godmother, in the persona of a sweet and loving step-grandmother. Who makes breaking her step-mother’s rules extremely easier. I can’t help but love Blanche and the ease with which her character lives within this novel. Another aspect to this read that I found very enjoyable.
It’s all about growing up, keeping connections, creating stronger bonds, and letting go of resentment and preconceptions.
***I received this copy from Amulet Paperbacks via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***