Monday, August 31, 2015

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead.

Publish date- August 5th.
Publisher- Text Publishing.
RRP- $16.99 (AUD)


Review time...

(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.

Rating: Excellent.
Basically? My first sentence. Let's go with that.

14 comments:

  1. A revelation, you say? I haven't had one of those in a while.

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    1. Revelations are the best. THEY REVEAL EVERYTHING. xx

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  2. This sounds rather sweet. I've always meant to check out Rebecca Stead's books when I'm in a contemporary mood.

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    1. I think I checked out one of her first ones, but couldn't get into it! This was a couple years ago, though, so I'm thinking maybe I should try again, since I loved this so much. This is really splendid, though. I'd certainly recommend it! xx

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  3. I have seen this floating around. It sounds interesting though maybe not something I'd normally read haha. I'm glad you could really appreciate it!

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    1. I didn't think it was necessarily something I'd enjoy- I thought I might, but at the same time, I might really, really dislike it. Or DNF. But turns out it was amazing, which I'm so thrilled about! But MG Contemporary isn't generally me- I love MG, but Contemp isn't a favourite genre at all, so the mix is weird for me- so it was very much a possible love-hate thing. xx

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  4. I love your (brief) synopsis. I haven't heard of this book but I will be checking it out one day. Also, I love when books have alternating POVs so that is a plus! I'm glad you enjoyed it! -Jordan

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    1. Aw, thanks! I enjoy writing up those, although they do present their own difficulties somedays. Oh, that's great! Alt POVs are tricky for me, because often I only care about one of the characters, but this was really well and interestingly done, so I enjoyed it a lot.
      xx

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  5. Sounds like a refreshing and realistic book that we could all take something from Romi! I'm so glad it dealt with the consequences genuinely because knowing how many people could relate to it these days - often it's hard to think of those at the time. Lovely review and I'm glad I know what to expect coming into this book now!

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    1. Definitely, fantastic description of it, Jeann! I'm so excited that you already have this lined up, or are at least planning on reading it (actually, pretty sure I saw it was one of your planned Sept reads, so yay!), because it is just so seriously good. I'm excited to read your thougths on it!
      The consequences element was so amazing. It was like, okay, so you didn't think about this, but you did it and just because you DIDN'T think doesn't mean you don't have to live what happens because of it, that kind of thing. It was kinda awesome, and so true to life. xx

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  6. I know what you mean when you mention being a bit uncomfortable with the idea of that in the novel, but I am glad that running subplot was handled well in the end. I also like the sound of this one being a light hearted and sweet kind of romance that touches on a lot of deeper subjects as well.

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    1. The whole thing was just beautifully done and became an unexpected favourite. And there were elements I wasn't really keen on reading about, things that discomforted me, but Rebecca Stead did a beautiful, gorgeous, intricate and compelling job. I think you'd really like this one, Olivia! I hope you'll give it a try. xx

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  7. That cover is super pretty. I am sad because we do not have this at work :(

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    1. Isn't it just THOUGH? It's seriously lovely. Get them to get it! Or buy it! xx

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