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Review by Suze
Tatum has been falsely accused of taking part in a criminal offence, while she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because of this injustice she has to do community service, her father and stepmother have given her house arrest, she isn't allowed to go anywhere for the entire summer, and she has to pay a hefty fine. If Tatum wants to be able to afford this she should work, that's why she starts her own graphic design business and she pet sits when she's back from her community service.
Because Tatum's stepmother has a job she asks Tatum's step abuela to keep an eye on her when she isn't around. Tatum actually likes this woman and it isn't so bad to spend time with her. With abuela's guidance Tatum is trying to get her life back on track. She might even find something she has in common with her stepsister. Will Tatum's summer be as horrible as she thought it would be or will something good come out of all the bad stuff that's been happening to her?
It Started with Goodbye is a captivating story. My heart ached for Tatum when I read about the situation that lead to her heavy punishment. She's being treated unfairly by everyone in her surroundings and she manages to stay calm and undergo it all. I greatly admired her strength and determination to make the best of an awful situation. She's strong, she can stand up for herself and she's a wonderful friend. It was sad to see how little appreciation she receives from her family and I kept hoping they'd open their eyes and start to see the beautiful person she is instead of the disappointing daughter they're making her out to be. The only support she has is from her step abuela and I enjoyed reading about the wisdom of this woman and their heartwarming connection very much.
Christina June writes about acceptance, resilience and perseverance in a fantastic open way. Her story has the classic Cinderella elements, but it also has a fresh and original approach of the subject at the same time. I loved that combination and the execution is flawless. The writing is great, the plot is impressive and the overall atmosphere is fascinating. It Started with Goodbye is a fantastic story about dysfunctional families, expectations and prejudice. I highly recommend this amazing book, it's moving, compelling and entertaining at the same time and it has a sweet happy ending.
I'd highly recommend It Started with Goodbye to both young adults and adults who love reading stories about family and friends and if you're a fan of fairytale retellings you should definitely read this book.