This brilliant, New York Times bestselling novel from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship.
Long ago, best friends Bridge, Emily, and Tab made a pact: no fighting. But it’s the start of seventh grade, and everything is changing. Emily’s new curves are attracting attention, and Tab is suddenly a member of the Human Rights Club. And then there’s Bridge. She’s started wearing cat ears and is the only one who’s still tempted to draw funny cartoons on her homework.
It’s also the beginning of seventh grade for Sherm Russo. He wonders: what does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?
By the time Valentine’s Day approaches, the girls have begun to question the bonds—and the limits—of friendship. Can they grow up without growing apart?
“Sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love.” —The New York Times
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, NPR, and more!
Bridget Barsamian accidentally skated into traffic at age eight, and this brush with death has made her an uncommonly introspective seventh-grader. A tight triumvirate, Bridge and her friends Tab and Em have sworn upon a Twinkie never to fight, but now Em's curves are attracting boy interest (and a request for a risqu photo), while Tab's attentions are turning toward feminism and social justice. Meanwhile, Bridge has a new friend, Sherm; his share of the story unspools in letters to his estranged grandfather, who left Sherm's beloved Nonna after 50 years of marriage. Then there is an unnamed high school age character, whose second-person chapters take place on Valentine's Day, months in the future. Keeping readers off-balance is a Stead hallmark, but it doesn't work quite as successfully here as it did in When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy, perhaps because the mystery narrator and the people she interacts with aren't as fleshed out as everyone else. That said, this memorable story about female friendships, silly bets, different kinds of love, and bad decisions is authentic in detail and emotion another Stead hallmark. Ages 10 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a good book, but I would recommend it for ages 13+
There are a couple instances of language, and a couple other things, but otherwise it’s a good book!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. This is really a good book, and I hope you take my advice.
You might want to read this aloud to your children, depending on their age, but otherwise, this is a good book!
Loved Goodbye StrNger!
Loved this book! Tina Wexler suggested it to me after I asked a question about agent/publisher views on multiple POV. Honestly, I struggled with the bouncing POV a little in the first third of the book, but it wasn't just because of the POV, but it was because one was masked until late in the story. I didn't understand that it was DELIBERATELY masked for a while. I thought I had missed something. If I had picked it up in the bookstore. without a recommendation or previous reads from the author, I am not sure I would have made it to the register due to the confusion. However, it's a great read, so real and relatable, and full of love, redemption, and wisdom. One of my favorite takeaways is when Celeste said (paraphrasing). " Who am I really? Am I the person who did something horrible, or am I the person who feels horrible about an awful thing I have done. And does one side of me have permission to forgive the other side ?"