I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: It Started With Goodbye
Author: Christina June
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
It Started With Goodbye is a touching story about a girl who is falsely accused of a crime and tries to strengthen her relationship with her stepmother and stepsister. I loved the main character’s independence and the focus on family and friendship instead of romance. Fans of authors like Sarah Dessen will definitely enjoy this book!
This book is kind of like a modern version of Cinderella. Tatum is falsely accused of a crime that her best friend helped commit and is placed under house arrest by her strict stepmother. She must earn $500 by the end of the summer to pay her fine, so she decides to start a graphic design business to keep her busy when she’s not doing community service. I loved the use of emails in the book and the mystery identity of a certain client named S.K. If you like your contemporaries a little more on the serious side with less of a focus on romance, you will enjoy It Started With Goodbye.
I loved Tatum’s character in the novel. I felt so frustrated just reading about her sentence for a crime that she didn’t even commit. Despite all this, she still stays strong and agrees to work hard for forgiveness. Tatum is also an avid graphic designer, which I found really interesting. I loved the fact that she is able to become an entrepreneur at such a young age because of her talent. Strong and independent female characters are my favourite, so Tatum really hit the bullseye for me.
One of my favourite aspects of It Started With Goodbye is the strong focus on family and friendship. Tatum doesn’t have the best relationship with her stepmother and stepsister, but she really bonds with them throughout the book. It was so touching to see her prim and proper stepsister open up to her. Tatum also spends a lot of time trying to connect with her friend (the one who assisted in committing the crime), who has been shipped off to a boarding school. Romance isn’t the priority in this book, which I really enjoyed. We need more YA books like this one, about friends and family.
It Started With Goodbye is a modernized version of Cinderella with a main character who is strong and self-reliant. The focus on family and friendship is really touching, and much better than a story all about romance. Definitely pick this story up this summer!