Hello there you paranoid androids. It’s time for another book review! This time, i’m reviewing Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead. If you recognize that name, she also wrote When You Reach Me, which was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2010.
After just finishing the book today, I can give my past self a pat on the back for joining Battle of the Books and reading this. Go you past Riley!
If you don’t want to click the link, i’ll summarize it here very quickly. In 6th grade Jamie and I decided to join our school’s Battle of the Books team. If you don’t know what Battle of the Books is, you basically just read twenty books and try to remember as many details as you can. However, you wouldn’t actually have to remember everything from 20 books, as a team you would split the books up to become and expert on. Once the competition comes, everyone on the team should know a lot about the books they studied. There, the main library will ask trivia questions about the books, and your team faces off against another one to move on in the competition. The winning team will get a copy of every book for each member and driven to an ice cream place in a limo.
I took much longer than I should have explaining that. Anyways, Goodbye Stranger was a book from Battle of the Books, and that’s how 6th grade me discovered it.
That’s a solid 250 words so far of non-review…
On to the review!
A common theme of all of my positive reviews is that the writer does a good job making their characters relatable and understandable, and the author does not disappoint. After rereading this book, I decided to move it up past The War That Saved My Life on my favorite books list. The author does a wonderful job describing the day-to-day problems and fun that come with finishing middle school, and the main characters all have the depth and liveliness that you would expect from teenagers in New York. One of my favorite things about the book is the author’s way of working in these little side stories that all intertwine to create an amazing snapshot of people just living life, whether things pan out or not for them.
In this book’s case, the epilogue is in my opinion used the best way an epilogue can be used. I won’t spoil it for you, but i’ll go ahead and tell you already that this book is worth however much it’s sold as. If you are a teenager and enjoy books, this is perfect, buy it. I don’t have experience from non-teenagers and this book, but I would recommend it regardless.
My only problem I had with this book was that the characters seemed to have been written as high school students, and then for whatever reason the author thought to put them in 7th grade. Their actions don’t really accurately represent what a 7th grader would do, and I think that if she would’ve just set the book in high school a lot of things would have made much more sense, such as the club fair, pics, talent show, and how the main characters acted. Maybe things were just different for the author when she was in middle school? Luckily though, this doesn’t detract from the story, and it’s still very enjoyable.
I think that having Bridge gradually become more and more aware of Sherm throughout the book as she starts to realize that she found her dance partner, along with the added bonus of describing him as smelling like bread, is really well done.
*Minor Spoilers End*
That’s going to be the end of this review, thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of this post!
I think this is the longest post there has been on the blog in a really long time, so if you made it down here, comment a + sign for me to see who actually reads these things..
Hints for Next Review: egg splat.