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It Started with Goodbye

Review

It Started with Goodbye

Sixteen-year-old Tatum is not having a great start to her summer. She's been put on house arrest and is doing community service after she was wrongly penalized for a crime she didn't commit. To make matters worse, her best friend who (unknowingly) participated in the crime is ignoring her. With little to do, Tatum decides to covertly start a graphic design business and it's through this venture that she makes a friend and finds love.

I thought IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE was entertaining as a contemporary work of fiction, however, as a modern Cinderella retelling I felt it was a flop. On the whole, I found the connections to the original tale to be weak and the author's overall attempt felt halfhearted to me.

"Even though IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE had its issues, I still found it to be enjoyable and entertaining book that I had no regrets reading. I think contemporary lovers, young teens and tweens...should give it a try."

Tatum's romance with her client was cute (their first email conversation was particularly adorable), but it also left me feeling like I had read it before. The romance was also a much smaller part of the story then I'd expected and I think the book would have benefited if Tatum's romantic relationship had a larger role in the plot. I liked that June changed things up and made her Hispanic characters be of Chilean descent. Unfortunately, she didn't go into the culture so there was nothing to differentiate them from other Hispanic nationalities. There was also an African and Irish character, which I thought was interesting since it's a culture combination that I hadn't seen. Even with the cultural variety representative of the melting pot that is the United States, inaccurate racial stereotypes were still present.

One thing that surprised me was the legal element of the story. At first I didn't think I'd like hearing about the attempted robbery and Tatum's community service, but I ended up really enjoying that part.  

As far as characters go I liked Tatum at first, but then her unhealthy attachment on her best friend, lying problem and love of horror started turning me off. Tatum's new friend Abby was nice and gave good advice. Although I was surprised that we didn't see more of Abby's budding romance. Tatum's love interest was sweet but very stereotypical, as were many of the characters.

Being a HUGE cutesy contemporary fan I'm used to seeing cliché elements in these types of stories, so what I look for from authors of cute contemporaries is their own personal spin on the present archetypes. And I don't feel that June necessarily did that. Her characters weren't bad, they just weren't original.     

Even though IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE had its issues, I still found it to be enjoyable and entertaining book that I had no regrets reading. I think contemporary lovers, young teens and tweens and anyone looking for a clean read should give it a try.    

Reviewed by Rachel A., Teen Board Member on August 29, 2017

It Started with Goodbye
by Christina June

  • Publication Date: May 9, 2017
  • Genres: Architecture, Art, Fiction, Romance
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Blink
  • ISBN-10: 0310758661
  • ISBN-13: 9780310758662