Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

goodbye

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?

Goodbye Stranger just wasn’t for me.  I found the multiple points of view (including a mystery narrator) and switching of time periods very confusing. It’s a slow story dealing with heavy issues, and I found myself wondering whether it would be better received by teens than middle schoolers.  Sure, the world has changed and tackling internet safety is important, but middle school sexting?  Even more alarming is the character’s lack of remorse for sending racy photos to her crush.  The story concluded without any life or moral lessons.  Overall, the fuzzy plot line and mature issues totally put me off and I quickly lost interest in the story’s outcome.

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