Publish date- August 5th.
Publisher- Text Publishing.
RRP- $16.99 (AUD)
(A Brief) Synopsis:
Interweaving stories that, among many other things, have a sure focus on what it is like to grow up. To be living at the stage that isn't childhood, but certainly isn't young adult-hood. It's that time where you're not really sure, and this presents it beautifully.
Thank you to Text Publishing for this review copy!
Image source: Text Publishing.
What I thought:
Goodbye Stranger is the kind of book you might call a revelation. It is surprising, generous, thoughtful, honest and it paints a picture of the time after childhood and before youth more honestly than I have ever seen depicted.
I was keen to read it, but also nervous: one element of the plot deals with a young girl sending pictures of herself to a guy and as it progressed I grew increasingly uncomfortable, but in the end I give it applause for it was done genuinely, with consequences and friendship and cause and effect, and so well. It also wasn’t as big a plot point as I expected it to be- we’re also focusing on Bridge’s growing friendship with Sherm and her progress of self learning and confidence, expression, Sherm’s letter POVs and the POV of an unidentified character living through their mistakes and running from the world for a day. It was so cleverly done, that last POV, with these aspects of the other characters being familiar to this person, their lives being detailed and understood. The story was also filled with references from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which was adorable and made the relationship Bridge and her brother had so physical and real, and utterly sweet. These two I just loved so much.
It does touch on a lot of subjects- divorce, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, growing up, almost dying- things that are tough and not really pleasant, but Rebecca Stead does a master’s job. She makes us love and regret and consider our options and realise the options we always have, and she does it by presenting a book that is true to itself and it’s characters.
I appreciated that so very much.
Basically? My first sentence. Let's go with that.