Review: Telling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDaniel

Posted February 8, 2013 by Sophia

Review: Telling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDaniel

Review: Telling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDanielTelling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDaniel
Published by Laurel Leaf on April 9, 2002
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Physical
Source: Library

Trisha Thompson and her best friend Christina are having a great senior year. Trisha and her boyfriend, Cody, are making plans to attend Indiana University together in the fall, while Christina has already received a scholarship to the University of Vermont. Everything would be perfect if only Trisha got along with Christina’s controlling boyfriend Tucker, who is trying to convince Christina not to go away for college. But suddenly their lives change one night when Tucker is driving the four home from an away basketball game. When his car hits a patch of black ice and overturns, Tucker walks away with barely a scratch, but Trisha is injured, Cody is in a coma, and Christina is dead. Those left behind must learn that it takes time for their scars—both visible and not—to heal. And they must find the courage to move on with their lives.

I hate commenting about how much the synopsis gives away. I don’t find much joy in reading the book when the synopsis gives spoilers away. And I hate giving it a lower rating because of that synopsis. But as much as I want to like this book, I’m gonna have to give it a facepalm. The synopsis practically gave away EVERYTHING. From the synopsis, cover AND title, the book already gives these things away (I don’t think this counts as spoilers since the synopsis already says it):

  • Trisha, Christina, Cody, and Tucker are Seniors.
  • Best friends, Trisha and Christina are having a great year.
  • Trisha is dating Cody. Christina is dating Tucker.
  • Trisha doesn’t get along with Tucker.
  • Christina receives a scholarship from University of Vermont.
  • Tucker is controlling of Christina and wants her to stay.
  • They get into a car crash after a basketball game. Trisha is injured, Cody’s in a coma and Christina’s dead. Yet Tucker is all injure-less.

Not to mean it in a bad way, but that gives practically the entire plot and some other stuff. Maybe even the entire book. Besides some things, such as (those who read it would know the answers already, but I’m speaking from the reader’s perspective of just examining the book at the bookstore and reading the synopsis and such):

  • Does Cody wake up from the coma?
  • Do those effected by Christina’s death find the courage to move on and heal?
  • Do Trisha and Tucker get along later?
  • Etc, etc. One can only know the answers to their many questions when fully reading a book.

But despite the synopsis giving so much away, Ms. McDaniel still leaves the reader, regardless of whether just staring at it at the bookstore or anyplace or have to read it due to required reading, with many questions. Props for not giving the full story away, especially the ending. And while some of us may love spoilers to the point of actually spilling beans, some of us just like to keep things detailed yet vague on what’s happening because we just love the suspense building up. It would’ve been a triple facepalm if the synopsis gave any more away (kinda explains the meme).
If you’re still thinking I’m being a bit negative, the only part I found pretty bad was how the synopsis gave it all away (I’m that person who hates too much spoilers and end up predicting and being right majority of the time. I kinda like my dose of keeping me guessing…). In many good parts (of the pie or something good), Ms McDaniel manages to narrow in with an emotional story while weaving in the meaning of losing a cared one and to not take life fully for granted, because you never know when it will all end and it may be someone or something very close to you. (Kinda reminds me of a sad song…)

Sophia has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House crisis. Unlike her personality in blog posts, she's a socially awkward recent college grad who majored in Communications. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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4 responses to “Review: Telling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDaniel

  1. OoO I hate when the synopsis tells all..usually if they are too wordy i back away. I so agree about not minding endings that are not wrapped in bow and leave it a little vague..i like filling in the pieces.

    • I usually back away when it ends up giving a lot, but I hardly judge a book by how wordy it is, lol. I like filling in the pieces as well, especially when I'm left guessing at what's going to happen next 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. hmm, interesting thoughts about it… especially the synopsis. although I do enjoy books that leave one guessing.

    happy chinese new year! 😉