It Started with Goodbye is a modern day retelling of Cinderella. The story centers on Tatum Elsea, who after unfortunate events will spend all of her summer doing community service and being watched over by her Step-Mother. Her best friend, also a victim of unfortunate events, has been shipped away and not talking to her. On the low-key, Tatum opens a graphic design business, meets a boy, and learns some things about her family.
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the fact that the main character was a graphic designer. And I was very pleased that Tatum’s passion was a huge part of the book. However, my overall conclusion is that the book was not for me.
This book felt extremely rushed, predictable, and seemed like the author wanted to solve everything quickly and tie a nice red bow atop. The relationships were lacking depth and believability. For example: how and why did her best friend suddenly have a change of heart? Why did S not return Tatum’s item earlier if he knew who she was?
Tatum was a decent main character. You really get to know her as the story progresses. She responded to situations in ways that a normal teenager would. Again, I loved that she was a graphic designer.
Unfortunately, Tatum never really had that character development moment that everyone in the book claimed had happen. She seemed the same to me; start to finish.
I really enjoyed how her and “S” communicated by email. That was cute. The only issue I have with the romance is that the emails were better than the actual meeting between the two. When they finally met, the relationship was rushed and definitely felt instalove.
It is worth mentioning that calling this book a Cinderella retelling is a stretch. If it was not mentioned by the author at the end, I would have never known.
It Started with Goodbye is filled with fluff and isn’t too serious. Although, I wasn’t a big fan, I do think younger audiences would enjoy this book. It’s a quick read and is extremely simple. Everything is resolved at the end, and the main character is likeable. It’s a no-strings-attached kind of book, that doesn’t require much thought.