Book Review: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

"Not all stories begin with once upon a time" (cover)

Title:  It Started With Goodbye
Author: Christina June
Publisher:  Blink, an imprint of HarperCollins
Release Date:  May 9, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night, which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client. If Tatum is reading his emails right, her virtual Prince Charming is funny, smart, and talented—and he seems to think the same about her. Too bad he’s spending his summer across the ocean in Ireland…not that Tatum would be allowed to go on a date anyway.

But over the course of the summer, Tatum will learn that sometimes going after what you want means breaking all the rules. And when Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way. A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith.

"Not all stories begin with once upon a time" (cover)

So if I had read that tagline before I started on It Started With Goodbye by Christina June, I wonder if I would pick up the fact that it's a loose retelling of Cinderella. Probably not, and trust me when I say, I think it's great that it doesn't. Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale growing up, so clearly I have high expectations, if I knew it was a retelling of it.  

I love a good retelling of classics or fairy tales when it's done right and with the author's distinct flair, without making it an exact replica put in the modern setting. And It Started With Goodbye is exactly the type of retelling I love. It's the type of retelling that I didn't even realize it until I read the author's acknowledgements at the back of the book. True, if you've read the description, you would've known, but I don't read them.  And once I realize it was a retelling, I think back and smiled. I smiled because it was done so well. 

I enjoyed this story, purely for how the author told the story of Tatum (Tate) - the moment her life made a change due to a wrong decision, as well as being wrongly accused of something. O, I get all that angst Tate feels. I love how the focused is not on some teenage hormonal needs to crush on a boy, though there's a bit of that, but truly focus on family and friendship. A sweet story, with love and grace. A story of forgiveness and proper independence. The pop cultural references periodically was fun too! I definitely recommend this to young teens or any one that would love a good story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

Her debut novel, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, will be published by Blink/HarperCollins in May 2017.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: Website Facebook  Twitter  Instagram 




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