Making the Breakup Experience More Positive–Or Less Devastating Anyway

Lisa Doucet reviews Goodbye Girls by Lisa Harrington (Nimbus Publishing)

The Goodbye Girls
Lisa Harrington
Nimbus Publishing
(Ages 12+)

Who knew that a band trip to NYC could cost so much? Lizzie is deeply disappointed when she realizes there’s no way she can afford to go on the trip she and her best friend Willa have been looking forward to for ages. But a comment from her older sister gives Lizzie a brilliant money-making idea: a business to help teens with the messy task of breaking up.

Thus is born The Goodbye Girls, purveyors of breakup baskets to help make the breakup experience more positive (or less devastating) for both dumper and dumpee.

Initially, business is booming and it looks like Lizzie’s financial woes are over. But someone starts sending malicious prank baskets and claiming they’re from The Goodbye Girls. Is it someone who knows Lizzie and Willa are the ones behind this new business?

Things start falling apart in nearly every other aspect of Lizzie’s life. A rift develops between she and Willa. She and her mother have a huge falling out. She struggles to sort out her new relationship with Garret, her sister’s ex-boyfriend. Lizzie suddenly finds herself needing to mend her own broken relationships.

Halifax author Lisa Harrington delivers an entertaining story featuring relatable teen characters in a realistically depicted contemporary high school setting. Harrington adeptly portrays the various relationships in Lizzie’s life: her close and easy relationship with her mother, her tried and true friendship with Willa and her complicated, fraught-with-tension relationship with her sister Trish.

The complications that develop as Lizzie tries to negotiate all these relationships are portrayed with sensitivity and humour. The result is a fun family drama that will satisfy readers of her previous books and earn her new fans as well.

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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