It Started with Goodbye
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Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is settling in for the worst summer on record. After she’s unfairly implicated in one of her best friend’s ideas gone awry, Tatum’s stepmother places her under virtual house arrest. But to Tatum’s surprise, her summer doesn’t turn out to be all bad. And things really begin to look up when she starts her own graphic design business and meets a cello-playing client, Seamus. If Tatum is reading his emails right, Seamus is funny, smart, and talented—and he seems to think the same about her. Too bad he's spending his summer across the ocean in Ireland…not that Tatum would be allowed to go on a date anyway.
But over the course of the summer, Tatum will learn that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules. In the process, she’ll discover things about her friends, her family, and herself that she never could have guessed. And when Seamus turns out to be closer than she thought, she might just get a perfect kiss in the bargain.
A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s It Started with Good-bye will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith.
A perfect modern Cinderella story
It Started With Goodbye is a charming, modern adaptation of Cinderella. When sixteen-year-old Tatum finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, she ends up arrested and sentenced to a summer of community service and a hefty fine. Shortly thereafter her father leaves on a business trip, leaving poor Tatum alone with her overbearing and impossible-to-please stepmother and her perfect step-sister, Tilly.
Worst. Summer. Ever.
Or is it?
Despite being forced into manual labor and iced out by her bff, Tatum finds new friends and learns a lot about her family, friendships, and herself over the summer. With the encouragement of her “fairy godmother” (aka her stepmother’s mom), she starts a secret online design business. And begins flirting online with a client, her very own prince charming.
I loved the dialogue in this book. I would love to hang out with Tatum. I loved all of the characters actually, I thought they were very well rounded. The “evil stepmother” wasn’t really evil, she always meant well and just didn’t see eye to eye with Tatum. Neither of them communicated with each other very well. I loved the “fairy godmother”, she was a real gem, offering just the right advice when Tatum needed it. I even loved Tilly, the step-sister—the perfect daughter—who Tatum comes to realize maybe isn’t all that bad after all.
I’m not sure this is a book that will stay with me forever, but I truly enjoyed this story and the characters and would absolutely recommend it for fans of young adult fiction, and especially modern fairy tale retellings.
A Great YA Read
It Started With Goodbye is a sweet young adult romance that also address the complexities of teenage friendships and the relationships involved in blended families. I enjoyed Tatum's snarky commentary and seeing her attempt to repair and better her relationships with those around her.