Review: When You Never Said Goodbye by Meg Kearney

When You Never Said Goodbye
Meg Kearney
Available March 21, 2017

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Through poetry and journal entries, Liz relates the story of her first year at NYU and her search for her birth mother. As she forms a circle of friends, she gradually shares with them the truth about her adoption and her search. She finds support and love from these friends and from her family, though each member of her family struggles with the search for different reasons. Liz won’t give up looking, even as one obstacle after another rises to meet her.

One of my favorite things about this story were all the references to literature and poetry contained in the text. It made me want to read a lot more poetry and to pick up my guitar and head to the park to play. Liz’s journey tugged my heart. Her thoughts and emotions come through so clearly and make it so easy to empathize with her.

I didn’t realize when I picked up this book that it’s the third (and last) in a series. After reading it, I would definitely consider reading the first two.

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Liz’s friend Henri is Asian. Her friend Calvin is African American. Liz’s friends briefly wonder if her friends Jan and Jade are lesbians, but they aren’t.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Liz wonders if her boyfriend has had sex. She’s a virgin. There’s a brief reference to one of the girls going home with one of the boys and spending the night with him. Liz kisses a boy.

Spiritual Content
Liz’s family attend mass over the Christmas holiday. At one point she ducks into a church to read a letter. It feels like in that moment, church and faith are a safe place for her, though it’s not a theme that’s highly developed.

Liz has a brief but meaningful correspondence with a (Christian) woman of faith.

Violent Content

Drug Content
Liz thinks back to the summer after her father died when she spent too much time drinking and her studies suffered for it. More than once, she drinks alcohol with her friends to a local bar that doesn’t check identification early in the day.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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