Monday, July 20, 2015

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl--as a friend?
On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

When I first got this book in the mail (thank you Penguin and Random House!) I had no idea what it was about. I had seen it on other blogs as part of BEA hauls but that's the only time I had every really heard about it. I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed it but I also had a few issues.

For a middle grade novel, this is really deep and realistic. It confronts the types of issues that tweens/teens are facing today and I loved how it didn't sugarcoat anything. It dealt with bullying, both cyber and otherwise, boy issues, and other things that come with growing up and changing. The author really seemed to know what she was talking about and actually seemed to have experienced these things. I have not read any of her other books, but after how great this one was I definitely will be.

My one main problem with this book was how na├»ve some of the characters were. Emily should have been more responsible with the pictures she took and I  also wish that Bridge would have been smarter concerning that event.  I understand that they are teens still finding out about the world but still. I think that they make this a good book for teens finding out what they maybe shouldn't do and its a good coming of age story. Yea, I know, my one negative with this book is sort of a learning experience type thing but still.

My favorite character had to be Sherm. I loved how he was still learning about himself and trying to forgive his grandfather for leaving him. I think this book had a cool angle on divorce and the whole "9,000 things about you" idea and it really helped me think about people breaking up and why they do it. I've never really thought about really WHY people get divorced since in this day and age it is a very common thing. It opened my eyes to the actual reasons there might be, other than just an argument or finding someone else. Its sometimes much deeper than that, things you didn't know about the other person until now, or things you just found you dislike. This is the perfect book for kids whose parents are divorced or getting divorced and it will not make them feel like it is their fault in any way.
This was a very moving book that I absolutely loved. I highly recommend it!!!

***I received an ARC of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. Huge thanks go out!!!***

Thanks for reading!

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