Cover Image: It Started with Goodbye

It Started with Goodbye

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Member Reviews

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE by Christina June shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.
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After reading reviews of It Started with Goodbye by Christina June, I just now realized that it's a Cinderella retelling but now that I think about it, it was pretty obvious with the stepmonster, stepsister, fairy grandmother and all. It was a pretty cute summer book, a lot of the plot is actually about family and friends and not romance, if you're not into that haha. Would definitely recommend it! Thank you NetGalley for the free ebook copy in exchange of an honest review.
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This book felt SO authentic. The conflict was real and emotional. I just wanted to give our main character a million hugs. I think so many teens would relate to this story. I was so glad the book had lots of humor and created such a well balanced plot. I didn’t know this was a Cinderella like retelling going in but I think it was done well.
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IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE is a charming contemporary reimagining of Cinderella. Tatum Elsea is essentially under house arrest after a misunderstanding leaves her with a summer of community service and a fine to pay off. To earn money, she starts taking on a few design clients, including the enigmatic SK, who is on vacation with his family in Ireland but needs her help with a website for college applications. While I enjoyed the funny, warm romance, what I loved most about this retelling is that it wasn't just about the romance--it was also about Tatum's friendships and her family relationships.
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Ya contemporary with average characters. My tastes have changed in the last few years so I might have enjoyed it more before
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this title. Unfortunately, presently I have no interest in reading this title as I am in a YA slump. I may come back to it when I am in the mood in the future. I apologize for the convenience.
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I don't read a lot of YA anymore but I really liked this one and will look out for future books by Christina June. Even though I'm in my 30s I could relate to the feelings - and I definitely loved the modern Cinderella retelling.
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The beginning of this book was a little slow for me. It was called the "Cinderella of YA" which I completely understood from the first chapter. The stepmother gave me the "evil stepmother" vibes immediately. 

There were some things that I found unbelievable. I didn't understand how Tatum was found guilty of grand larceny. It seemed kind of unrealistic that it would happen like that. I also didn't understand how mean and hard Tatum's dad and stepmother were on her. I understand kind of about the stepmom, however, I feel like no one was allowing her to get her word in edgewise.  

I will say that I really enjoyed the characters. I think Tatum was a great character who was extremely relatable. At 16 years old, you know exactly how she's feeling. I would want to be her friend back then.

I think ultimately, this is a good YA novel that is not anything life-changing. I appreciated the story and could relate to the friendship and family in this book.
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This was a very quick easy read. Perfect for summer. 
The characters felt very real and raw at times. Something I imagine many people with step parents can relate to. 
I don't know how I feel about everything being somewhat perfect at the end. It's nice but maybe I expected something else. I don't know why.
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I really wanted to like this, but unfortunately was not able to finish. The main character was not very likable, and the writing style seemed too juvenile for YA and ridden with cliches.
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This was such a sweet book. It was a fast read and thoroughly enjoyable. One of the things I really liked was how relatable the characters and their conflicts were. It's a quiet book that resonates.
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this book appeals to my pre-teen Sarah Dessen-loving heart. It truly is a modern day Cinderella with a twist. A fun read for young adults and adults alike.
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Meh. Fluffy, kind of boring, and predictable. Also, all the deception was killing me inside. Not a fan, unfortunately. :(
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This book was adorable and swoony and gave me all the good feels. The characters were fantastic and the Cinderella retelling near perfect. I loved every little thing about it.
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This was a cute take on the story of Cinderella which I am not really a fan of but this had a bit of a contemporary twist which made it a bit more enjoyable. 

I thought it was a fantastic book especially considering its a debut. The story did feel a bit predictable but that's maybe down to it being a retelling.
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I am working through and clearing out my list of galleys and unfortunately not interested in reading this any more.
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Such a cute story! I loved this one from the beginning to end and recommended it to many customers. The characters had a great arc and the ending didn't feel rushed. Everything from the cover to the flow of the book to the characters was everything I was hoping it'd be. Definitely would read it again.
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I loved reading this cute take on Cinderella! I am a fan of fairy tale re-tellings with a contemporary twist. I liked spotting all the small little connections in it. On top of everything else I enjoyed the plot and characters to make this a wonderful book.
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I’m pretty sure this is one of the only (if not the only) Cinderella retellings I’ve ever read, but I am a sucker for any modern retelling of a classic fairytale. Cinderella was never my favourite, but I thought this sounded cute and fluffy and perfect for summer, so I decided to give it a shot anyway. It took me so long to read this book. Tatum, her dad, stepmother, and Ashlyn all drove me insane. They were just assholes to each other. Particularly Tatum and Ashlyn. The best character by far was Blanche, but I also thought Tilly was an interesting character and was disappointed that even once she and Tatum started to become friends, we didn’t really get to know her (even if I did later discover that she has her own book, as does Ashlyn).
I just didn’t sympathise with Tatum. She was whiny, oblivious and sometimes just a flat out bitch to her stepmom and stepsister. Even when she was actively trying not to be an asshole, she just couldn’t help it and had to say something snarky. And I mean, I get that. It’s not like I’ve never been a bitch to someone, I just thought that she really focused on the wrong things. I was so sick of hearing how none of it was her fault, even though I agreed with her that a lot of it wasn’t. Saying that, I didn’t necessarily think her dad or stepmom were much better. She thought her dad was amazing, but he was more than happy to sit back and let his wife be the bad cop. It really bothered me that they didn’t fight harder for Tatum (even if her dad apologises for this at the end of the book), or listen to her and trust that it wasn’t her fault. 
I think I could have really enjoyed this purely for entertainment purposes if I hadn’t so strongly disliked Tatum for most of the book. Yes, she improved towards the end, but for the most part, I couldn’t stand her. I definitely saw the plot twist coming, but it still had a pretty cute outcome, I just wish that it had happened earlier so we could have seen more of their romance. On the one hand, I’m glad the book was as short as it was since it took me so long to get through, but I also think it maybe should have been longer and had a better arc for Tatum and more time to focus on the romance, instead of having to try to fit everything in at the end.
As I mentioned earlier, there are two other books, one focusing on Ashlyn and one focusing on Tilly and while I would maybe be interested in reading Tilly’s story (if only to read more about Blanche), I probably wouldn’t read Ashyln’s.
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I have Feelings about this book. A lot of Feelings that I can’t really sum up in an introduction sentence, so is it good with you if I just jump straight in? Yes? Okay, good.

P L O T & C H A R A C T E R S
Even though it feels incredibly simple, the plot of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE was surprisingly enjoyable. It took me a while to pick up on all the nods to Cinderella, weak as they were, but once I did, I really liked being able to point them out. The little connections to previously mentioned things at the climax was also really nice; June really took the “if there’s a gun in the first act, it should be fired in the second” advice to heart.

I honestly don’t know what was accomplished through this novel. Sure, a few relationships were formed, but our main character didn’t really have a huge change of heart. None of the arcs, character- or plot-related, were satisfying.

The characters were not particularly unique either- and the characterization of one was quite… irritating, but besides for that, it was a pretty okay cast. I’ve seen multiple people bragging about SK, but honestly, I wasn’t very entranced. Oops.

And here’s the element that brought the book down. I really didn’t like the writing style; maybe that’s because I had just finished a novel with an amazing writing style and nothing could ever live up to that, or maybe it’s because it just… wasn’t good.

Mainly, the writing led to some of the most inconsistent characterization I’ve ever seen for our main character (who, in all honesty, I still don’t know the name of). Let’s look at just a few things I highlighted to show this:

I was starting to think I had a valediction complex, I was worrying about it so much.

Abby had an abundance of chutzpah, which was part of why I liked her…

“I think my stepgrandmother might actually love this car, and would drive it like she was on the autobahn.”

So you all can see in all three of these quotes, the words “valediction” (please just say closing), “chutzpah” (what), and “autobahn” (WHAT) are all used. They are all said by a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL who also said “interwebz” at another point.

Why, you ask, does this girl have such an extensive vocabulary? Oh, I guess she’s been studying English frequently and wanted to learn more words.

NOPE. She’s a graphic designer. A normal sixteen-year-old girl. NO ONE I know at that age has EVER used those quotes.

Then, later in the book, as if she hasn’t just used words that I had to look up…

Unique opportunity? Elite? I didn’t know anyone else my age who would say those things.

You all can see why I’m frustrated, right? I’m not alone here? This girl thinks that “autobahn” is commonly said, while “elite” and “unique opportunity” aren’t. Give me a BREAK.

I also wanted to talk about one other quote, said by our favorite SK:

You get bonus points for the brown. Clearly, you pay attention to details- I like that in a girl.

First off, that’s the worst line I’ve heard in a long time. Second, you literally just hired this girl to design a portfolio for you. Of COURSE she pays attention to details. Aaaaagh.

Okay, I was lying. I wanna talk about how actions are displayed in this book as well. Here’s a quote of action displayed horribly:

“I think there are better ways of teaching that concept, Dad.” Even though he couldn’t see me, I went ahead and made bunny ears when I said “teaching.”

Yes, I know that the narrator made air quotes. Yes, I know that air quotes vaguely look like bunny ears. Despite this, whenever I first read that, my mind immediately had the narrator giving herself actual bunny ears instead of air quotes. Y’all see what I’m getting at? I can’t STAND that.

In conclusion, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE- I have no idea what that title means, by the way- is a wonderfully simple book that could have been written much better. I recommend this novel to anyone looking for a possibly quick & cutesy read.
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