23615709Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Source: ALAMW2015
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star (4.5)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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?– Goodreads

Review:

If your friendship has a rule of no fighting, can it really survive? Goodbye Stranger is a realistic portrayal of growth and friendship. Tab, or Tabitha, sees life as a game. There are rules to obey and that is it. Bridge, is the girl who shouldn’t be alive and sees life everyday as one in which she should not be here. And Emily is the girl who may have a boyfriend who is sending her random photos.

What Stead does in Goodbye Stranger is capture those emotions that carry you not only through middle grade, but also carry you through life. Not feeling like you belong. Being lost and confused. Stead also intertwines a mysterious narrator told through a second point-of-view and a classmate or the main trio named Sherm. What’s amazing about Goodbye Stranger is how well these multiple point of views work. Throughout Goodbye Stranger I was full of feelings and emotions that had me hanging on to every page.

These characters have a huge amount of growth throughout one year of their lives. Stead doesn’t make it easy on them, or ever have the characters “cop out.” I can’t say the characters felt the same throughout the novel, because there was so much change from the characters that by the end I liked them even more and when the story ended I was sad to say goodbye to my friends. I wanted more of them. I wanted more of this multicultural cast and the mysterious narrator who didn’t make herself known until it was the right moment.