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.
Publication Year: 2017
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Characters: Tatum, Ashlyn, Tilly, Abby
*I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This book is loosely based on Cinderella. It’s written from Tatum’s POV in the first person. It’s set over the course of one summer. The main theme of the books is growing up and taking responsibility for the choices you make. I really felt the author captured this well. In the beginning, Tate is smarting from being blamed for something she didn’t do. However, it was her decisions that lead her to be at the wrong time and place which is what she is being punished for. At this point, she doesn’t understand this and feels she is being unfairly treated.
But with a little insight from her step-grandmother (this stories Fairy God Mother) and some self-reflection Tate begins to understand that her perception and understanding of things and the people around her are not what she first thought.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It had a lot more depth to it than the synopsis lets on. I really enjoyed Tatum’s journey and personal growth. I really enjoyed all the little references to Cinderella practically Gus the CAT!
I really enjoyed Tate, she was just enough angsty that it wasn’t annoying. I like that she made good with her step-sister and step-mom in the end and that she was able to let go of her anger towards her best friend and forgive her for making a mistake. I think this showed a lot of maturity on her part as most 16-year-olds can be very unforgiving
Tilly was a real surprise, once she and Tate started talking it was a joy to read. I really liked her character and would have liked to have read more about her.
Ashlyn, at the beginning I felt was a tad childish for not talking to Tatum, but this was just out of embarrassment for her actions and for getting Tate into trouble.
I really liked this book it’s the first one I’ve read by Christina June. It was a really fresh take on the Cinderella story. I’ve just done a little bit of research and discovered a book from Tilly’s perspective which will be inspired by Little Red Riding Hood is being released next year – needless to say, I’ve added this to my TBR pile!
So in summary, If you like Meg Cabot’s writing then you’ll probably like this. Also if you enjoy fairy-tale retellings then you’ll like this one.
My Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟
It Started with Goodbye is out May 9th, 2017 you can pre-order your copy here