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No spoilers in this rapid review of It Started with Goodbye by Christina June. I give it 4 stars.

I love fairytale retellings and Christina June’s modern-day version of the Cinderella story is refreshing and heartfelt.  It’s a fun read about family and friends, and the often strained relationships between.  It shows how taking responsibility for your own actions, putting yourself in other people’s shoes, and trying out a little kindness can go farther than one might imagine.

The heroine, Tate, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and her punishment it harsh despite her lack of real involvement.  Not only does she lose her best friend in the whole world, but her parents put her on house arrest and she is forced to participate in community service all summer long.  With her now abundant free time, Tate makes new friends in unexpected places and starts a covert graphic design business that would never meet the approval of her stepmother.  One of her clients, a boy at her sister’s school, proves to be quite interesting as they banter and flirt via email.  What with her cute pen pal and the discovery that she is not the only member of the family that has secrets, the summer is suddenly looking up.

I give it 4 stars overall.
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I recommend this feel-good easy read to anyone who loves true YA.  It is appropriate for young teens and tweens or anyone really.  I loved the messages of family and forgiveness.  While some of it is a little cheesy–it is based on a fairytale after all–I found it uplifting and fun.  And who couldn’t use a little cheesiness now and then?

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