REVIEW: How to Say Goodbye by Amber Lin

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


If you've been following my reviews then you would probably be aware how much I love books with drama, real life issues and complex characters. This book has all of those.

New Adult/Young Adult books right now seem to be following a certain pattern. Characters name change. Settings change. But the flow of the story remains the same.

Innocent Girl meets Bad Boy.

Both experience INSTA-LOVE/INSTA-ATTRACTION whatever.

Bad Boy changes for Innocent Girl.

Innocent Girl loses her virginity.

Bad Boy does something stupid.

Innocent Girl tries to leave.

Bad Boy wins Innocent Girl back.

And they live happily ever after.

Blah. Blah. Blah,

You guys all know what I'm talking about right?! Most of the NA/YA love story now a days have that that specific pattern and it makes the story old, dull and boring. Fortunately, How to Say Goodbye is not like that. Well it does have its share of cliches that I guess could not be avoided but all in all, the uniqueness of the story overpowered it.

The story revolves around Amy and Dane who both have their own demons to face.

Amy was smart but socially awkward. Her mother returned to Japan after her father died which caused her to learned how to live on her own. She's never been close to anyone. She never really had a person who would be able to tell her or advise her about stuff as she was growing up. Her mother only cares about her academic performance. She never really asks her if she was fitting in well or if she made any friends. Amy was curious but afraid to get close to people. *Did I forget to mention she was Japanese?*

"Every other time in her life, she'd pretended not to want this. Friends and laughter. Easy camaraderie. Touch. Standing on the cooling sand, her stomach grumbling with hunger, she could no longer pretend."

Dane was not the type of guy you'd expect to be a homeless person. When you see him, he wasn't the type of person you'll think to have such a huge secret. When he was 14, something happened and he was never the same. That experience made him run away from home and chose to live alone, away from the people who love him. He stayed under the radar. He didn't work regular jobs just so that his parents wouldn't be able to find him. *Did I forget to mention he was a surfer??? A hot surfer??*

Amy and Dane's story started out pretty generic but then evolved into something beautiful. I thought Amy depended too much on Dane too soon. But then I guess it's just because she never really had anyone until Dane. What happened to Dane breaks my heart. I seriously feel for this guy. He is such a sweetheart and he doesn't deserve living a life he doesn't deserve.

Dane has so many secrets that he doesn't want Amy to know. He felt embarrassed about his past which was something he had no control over. He constantly felt that he wasn't good for Amy. Amy has a bright future ahead of her and he felt that he wasn't going to be good enough no matter what he does for Amy. It really breaks my heart everytime he talks like that. It really tears me apart.


* I didn't feel it was like any other NA book. It didn't follow that pattern I just earlier on this review
* I liked the interracial love story. It was a first for me.
* Writing style was impeccable.
* I LOVE the characters. There was just so many facets of them I was able to see.
* It made my heart ache. I just love that feeling. When books bring out emotions in me.. I just love that.


* I felt that the ending was a bit rushed. I liked that the story built up pretty well. The pace of the story was slow but became really fast and hurried for my taste towards the end.
* There were tini-tiny bits of cliche. Mainly though on Amy's character. (Example. She was a virgin who hasn't have any experience.)


The story won't be as effective if the writing isn't good so I have to give kudos to Ms. Lin for writing such a moving story.

The pace was something I fell in love with. The words that were used seems to have been chosen perfectly. I think the story wouldn't be as effective if the wrong words were used.

What else??

Okay. I just have to say it again. I just love Dane. :)


  1. I never heard of this book but it sounds like something I may enjoy. Great review! :)


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