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). 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 shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.
Publication Date: 9th May 2017
Okay so all the early reviews for this one have been absolutely glowing but for some reason, I just didn’t like it very much so here’s me who will very happily trash this insufferable book.
This book is your basic contemporary Cinderella spin off. We have Tatum, the tragic step daughter. Tilly, the stepsister, Belén the evil stepmother and Blanche the ‘fairy godmother’.
In the book, Tatum gets in trouble with the law for basically doing nothing while someone she barely knew tried to steal some phones.
As a result, she gets into major trouble. With her punishment laid out, Tatum’s father leaves for an extremely long business trip and essentially leaves Tatum at the mercy of her seemingly cruel stepmother, step grandmother and stepsister.
Now firstly, I don’t understand how Tatum managed to get into more trouble then her best friend who was the one actually with the guy who stole the phones in the first place.
Secondly, how are her parents so dumb that they did not see that she basically had next to nothing to do with the whole crime and that her punishment was totally uncalled for an unfair?
I mean seriously. That part could have been so much stronger.
The whole plot just felt unbelievable and weak.
Okay honestly, Tatum wasn’t a horrible character and her down-to-earth self and honest portrayal really salvaged a pretty crappy story line.
I liked hearing Tatum’s voice and I liked her personality. I feel like even though she was in a pretty crappy situation, she just really made the best of it and constantly tried to do her best for everyone in her life which was really great.
I’m sorry but Belén was literally the worst. I mean okay. You want to portray her as the evil stepmother who is pure evil and stuff, fine. Go ahead. But at least keep it that way. But no. Nope. She had to have a change of heart at the end. I’m just. I can’t.
So you’re telling me that two girls who have lived in the same house for ten years decide automatically that they can’t talk to each other and then one day, one person decides to try to crack the ice and in the next second they are best friends forever? Unrealistic much?
SK is the mystery boy that Tatum starts emailing and then goes off on a whirlwind romance with.
Now I know I only have a little experience with relationships but even I know that an online relationship is very different from a real life one and that upon the first meeting, one does not immediately fall in love and kiss and be perfect. You know what a kiss on the first meeting usually means? It usually means a hookup.
I mean come on. Their ‘relationship’ was so unrealistic. These things don’t happen in real life and I know that for a fact. Where was the awkwardness? Where was the getting to know you bit? No one is immediately that comfortable with someone they just met. Give me a break.
The concept was there. The general idea was there. However it was just executed very poorly and with very weak characters.
I hated how at the end everything was tied up with a pretty red bow. I mean come on. These things don’t happen in real life.
However, that said, I did think the story was not completely insufferable. I mean I didn’t DNF it so there’s something right?
I did enjoy certain aspects of the book. Like while I did not like SK and Tatum’s real life relationship, I did enjoy their online one because it reminded me a lot of the friendships I have with people who live in other countries. I also liked how Tatum bonded with Anna and the band. That was sweet and very cosy.
And so somehow, I am giving this book a generous three stars because I can’t bear to give it any less. I’m really just in the middle with it.
*An advanced copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by the publishers. However all opinions are my own.*