It Started with Goodbye ended up being a pleasant surprise. Since I’m not usually the type that likes twists on classic stories, I wasn’t sure that this book would be for me. I mean, we already kind of know where the story is going, right? Lucky for all of us, Christina June outdid herself in this modern retelling of Cinderella.
Tatum is an incredible main character because she represents all of us. I don’t even know how many times I had to stop, read a line twice and just think same. Her sarcastic, snarky personality had me laughing through the entire book, and it ensured that there was never a dull moment. The characters and dialogue are hilarious, real and relatable, by far the strongest part of this story.
Although this story is a hilarious romance with a happily ever after, it still contains an important message. Relationships are Tatum’s struggle throughout the story, whether it’s with family, friends, or her virtual Prince Charming. However, through this struggling and searching, we are reminded of what it means to be a loyal friend. We remember how important family is, no matter how much of a pain they might be sometimes. And, maybe most importantly, we are encouraged to see situations and life through the perspectives of others.
As with any modern version of a classic story, we more or less know the ending. I began reading this book with the expectation that the plot wouldn’t throw me any curveballs, and it didn’t. This is a story about a high school girl and her struggles, so it isn’t a book with a complex action-driven plot. However, I found that it was incredibly refreshing to pick up a book with relatable characters that came alive even though the end was for the most part predictable.
All this to say, even if you are someone who tends to gravitate toward the adventure shelf in the YA section, don’t count this book out! I would highly recommend you pick up a copy and treat yourself to a great summer read. After all, we could all use a little happily ever after!