My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.
This is the first Rebecca Stead novel I haven't really liked. It's very contemporary but for some reason that makes it feel boring. Like, I've heard all of these stories before (from shared posts on facebook).
I really lost interest in the story when the girls went as Bollywood for Halloween. I think there might have been a way to make that idea work but it just felt like it became culture as a costume rather than embodying Bollywood (Bridge literally refers to their outfits as costumes at one point).
There are characters of color in the book, but the fact that they're not white is pretty forgettable. I feel like Sherm's Italian-ness is more emphasized than any other ethnicity. Also all the feminist points in the book feel pretty white feminist. I don't think Stead could have pulled off racialized misogyny convincingly, but I can't decide if ignoring it all together is better or worse than what ended up in the book.
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I found Goodbye Stranger underwhelming. (Is it just me or is that title missing a comma?)