Back in grade five, Bridge, Tabitha and Emily made a pact. Never to fight, ever. Now, two years later, they're still best friends, but other things are changing.
Bridge meets Sherm, and is soon excited and confused by her new, strange feelings. And when Emily starts texting pictures of herself to Patrick, Bridge and Tab find themselves complicit in a naïve plan that quickly spirals out of control. And while the three friends navigate the challenges of their changing friendship, another story - of betrayal and remorse - keeps you guessing until the very end.
Goodbye Stranger is a tender and intricate story about friendships, and love, and the pain of sometimes making the wrong choices.
Goodbye Stranger takes a look at life in Year 7 through the eyes of our main character Bridge (Bridget), and her relationships with her best friends, Em and Tab, and her growing friendship with Sherm.
Bridge suffered a horrific accident when she was a child, riding a skateboard into the path of an oncoming car. This backstory and its long term impact on many of the characters runs through the story.
Dealing with family issues including divorce in a positive manner, the book also tackles friendship and how the fairly naïve outlook of the characters can have consequences.
One of the main issues that the novels focuses on is ‘sexting’. The novel takes this to the point of swimsuit or underwear (bearing in mind the characters are in Year 7) but still shows the serious ramifications such behaviour can have.
All in all, I thought it was well written, interesting and certainly age appropriate for 12—15 year olds.
I enjoy Rebecca Stead’s writing and this book was no exception - easy to read and tackling modern coming of age issues in a relatable way. Although I enjoyed this book, I appreciate that some may find it a little simplistic or overly preachy.
Reviewed by Rob