It Started With Goodbyeby Christina June
Published on May 9, 2017 by HarperCollins
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
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.
I’m not sure what went wrong with this one. I was able to read it in a day (which is rare for me these days), I wasn’t terribly bored with it, and I thought the idea for it was good. But I had trouble really connecting with a lot of the characters. I also had trouble remembering what actually happened. I think that is really what was wrong, it just didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. I have read so many important and life changing books this year that when I got to this one and nothing stood out, I was a little disappointed.
The romantic relationship between Shay and Tate was cute, but i didn’t particularly care if they ended up together or not. I liked that they interacted with each other through emails, it allowed Tate’s story to be less romance and more family interactions. Though her family interactions are another thing that I will get to in a minute…
I loved her friendship with Abby and Hunter. They seemed genuine and so much better than Tate’s supposed BFF, Ash. Abby was there for Tate during a hard summer and I’m glad that Tate was able to have that. I was glad she was able to learn what true friendship felt like from another person. Because let me tell you, I was definitely not a fan of Ash. Not only did she get Tate in trouble with the cops, but she acted like Tate did something wrong for trying to protect herself and Ash. That is not what a friend does. A friend does not choose a boy who obviously has issues over someone they have been friends with for years.
And now to Tate’s family. I understand that family’s have problems, hell my family has ginormous problems, but I just felt like the whole situation was a little exaggerated. I’m not saying a lot of Tate’s reactions weren’t justified, because they were, but I don’t know…something just bothered me about all of the interactions. I couldn’t understand why her dad would deflect to Belen (Tate’s stepmom) all the time when Tate herself would talk about how her dad used to be in the beginning. And then Belen herself. I understand that being a step parent is very hard and that she had a hard time growing up after moving to the US, but some of her reasonings for doing certain things didn’t make sense to me either. She was so strict…and I had strict parents. I’m glad things were resolved in the end with everyone, but even that seemed to wrap up a little too neatly.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was very neatly written and it was not a bad read, but I guess that was my problem. It was too neat. I wanted a little more push and pull, a little more struggle and heartache. But for what it was, I thought it was well done.