Monday, September 21, 2015

Goodbye Stranger

by Rebecca Stead

Summary 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?

Thoughts on the Book

Another BEA book.  When I opened it up I was surprised to see I had gotten this one signed, I completely don't remember doing that.  I also didn't realize that it is considered a children's book since it takes place in middle school.  I guess I should really pay more attention to the books I pick up...

My Review

This book is about a girl, Bridgette - aka Bridge -, who got hit by a car and should have died, it was through the efforts of the surgeons that she survived.  Goodbye Stranger takes place a few years later once Bridge is completely healed and fully reunited with her best friend Tabitha and new since the accident best friend Emily.  The book deals with the struggles of growing up and basic middle school awfulness.  

Reading this book made me miss my friends from middle school (and high school), the three of us were inseparable, and we can still be found together around town occasionally, although those sightings are become more and more rare the more life gets in the way.  (And, side note, it's super appropriate that this is the review being posted today because it's one of those two best friends' birthday today - Happy Birthday Jessi!)  So I related to Bridge, Tabitha, and Emily greatly.  Even the Sherm side of things I could relate to, although I wish my past matched their future.

I mostly loved this book.  I loved the story-line of what Emily was going through, how the three friends did their best to stick together through it all.  I also loved how welcoming Emily and Tabitha were of bringing Sherm into the group, they didn't force Bridge to choose new friends over old and Bridge never shunned her old friends to hang out with Sherm.  Even Emily did her best to not do that, despite not being around much because of soccer practice.

There were only three things I didn't like, two bugged me a little, and the third I would have hated the book if it went on for more than it did.  First, Sherm's grandfather.  I don't get it, what was the point?  It was such a random thing to have happened and it really didn't add anything to the story.  All it did was allow for Sherm to write letters to him. Second, all the nicknames, no one was called by their full name, it was all Bridge instead of Bridgette, Sherm instead of Sherman, Tab instead of Tabitha, and Em instead of Emily.  For all these characters I actually prefer their full name to their nickname. The third thing was the random chapters in second person.  Who writes in second person? Seriously, it's awful.  It added absolutely nothing to the main story.  It was an unnecessary "mystery" that the resolution of was stupid.  Moral of the story - we all have friends!  

Thankfully those chapters were very short and it was just a minor annoyance.  Bridge's story was so good that it made those chapters fade into the background.

Overall I give this book a 9.5/10.  It would have been a solid 10 if not for those second person chapters.  Seriously though, who writes in second person if you're not writing a choose your own adventure book?

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