Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

by Christina June
YA Romance
272 pages

MAY 2017!!!

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.

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.


This is a sweet coming of age story with characters you want to hug and never let go of again.

Tatum is a sixteen-year-old girl, who thanks to her strong sense of loyalty and desire to watch over her friends, gets herself wrapped up in a criminally sticky situation. Now, she has to pay the consequences no matter how unfair they might seem. Life as she knew it ends when her stepmother places her under summer long house arrest. 

According to the blurb, this is a Cinderella retelling of sorts, and although there are perhaps a couple of similarities between the two, they are far and few between. In other words, if it really can be considered a play on the fairy tale, it is a very light one.

That said, the book is wonderfully sweet and well done. Tatum is a normal teenager in every way and could be the girl next door. Her problems are very realistic--friends, parents, being misunderstood. It's something readers of the intended audience will relate to without any problem. Nothing goes smoothly in Tatum's life, but then she does have a slightly rebellious side. Her decisions aren't always the best ones, but coming of age and learning to prove yourself isn't an easy process.

The story line is one full of feelings and emotions, nothing over the top but just enough to grab and not let go. It's all familiar, which makes it that much more engaging. This isn't a 'packed full of adventure' kind of book, but the pace still keeps up nicely, and it's easy to get lost in the pages. There's a perfect amount of descriptions, bringing the world and characters to life. It's not dull. . .and I'm saying that as an action fan who steers clear of heart-filled novels. . .but simply grabs with a wonderfully, warming story.

There's a little romance, a light sort of thing which glides as gently as snowflakes. There's tons of friendship--new ones, old ones and ones which are in need of repair. There's family, forgiveness, learning to give, understanding and tons of other messages all rolled into a lovely, woven flow. It's the type of book to be read and thought of long after the last page is done.

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