Blog Tour | Review: The Goodbye Year

Posted September 9, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Blog Tour | Review: The Goodbye YearThe Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda
Published by Sparkpress on May 3rd 2016
Also by this author: The Next Wife
(312 pages) • GoodreadsAmazon Barnes & Noble

Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated facade of her life. Will and his wife are fine as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).

Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple s second act together empty nesting is often actually the end."

Initial Excitement

When I saw the summary for this one, I knew I wanted to partake in the blog tour. I’m always fascinated by stories like this for some reason. The idea of multiple people and points of view – both the parents and kids – intrigued me. The slice-of-life style always ends up on my TBR because I think it’s really interesting to see how people live their daily lives.

Summary in a Second

A bunch of parents and their senior year students are gearing up for the final year of high school. Each family has some major familial and relationship issues. The story follows all of them through the first half of their senior year as they try to work through their problems and other craaaazy things happen to them.

Storytelling & Setting

The story takes place in Crystal Cove, California, which is described as an upscale down with lots of gated communities. It sounded like it could have been a setting for a series of Real Housewives, so I was definitely excited about that! I love reading about smaller communities – whether they’re rich ones or just average – because you can really feel how everyone knows each other. That’s absolutely key in this story.

About those Characters

Melanie, Keith, Seth, and Dane: Melanie has been dealing with her slacker son, Dane, now that her oldest, Seth, is off at college. She copes by drinking a little too much and is trying to get the lives of her family members back on track. Keith is really just trying to help Melanie focus on herself more and understand that Dane is different than Seth.

Sarah, Jud, and Ashley: Jud is a well-known plastic surgeon and Sarah has essentially become his “brand” by giving her countless procedures to look perfect. Ashley, their apparently perfect overachieving daughter, is a senior at the high school. Ashley is stressed about her life and relationship with Jud as he frequently travels everywhere for work.

Carol, Will, Marni, and Piper: Will is cheating on his wife, Carol, with Lauren. Carol is apparently quite overbearing with her color-coded schedule and demanding nature, but Will seeking other partners outside of the marriage is not okay of course. The daughters aren’t really in the story as much as the parents are.

David, Lauren, and Kiley: Lauren is with Will on the side after breaking up David’s first marriage. He’s rich and owns a car dealership. Their daughter is an interesting character who definitely knows how to play her parents and everyone around her.

Zoe and Collin: Zoe is a single, bohemian, flighty mom who is trying to raise Collin. Collin has some issues with how she parents and her boyfriend.

So, What’s the Problem?

I do love multi-POV books, but it was hard to get on board with SO many different people. All of the characters above, minus a few, had sections in the book. It was definitely easy to remember who was talking WHILE they were talking, but it was hard to differentiate as a whole. A lot of the voices sounded similar and it was hard to figure out legitimate personalities between some of the characters.

Looking back on the story, aside from some of the main events that were crazy twists, it really feels just like a slice-of-life story with not as much plot. You definitely don’t notice this as you’re reading though because it’s so easy to just keep flipping the pages until you get to the end.

 The Ending

I won’t spoil specifics, but some absolutely crazy things happen in each family and in the school. I did predict one thing but the others definitely surprised me. I was mostly happy with how certain things wrapped up in the end because some people got what was coming to them and others got happy endings. It wasn’t perfect, but it was appropriate for many of them.


If you’re looking for a book with a lot of messed up, imperfect characters, that will have you turning the pages rapidly until the story is over – give this book a shot for sure. The small community of Crystal Cove featured such interesting relationships and events over that year that there’s something everyone would find interesting.

61OkLirotpL._UX250_About the Author

Connect with Kaira: Website Facebook | Twitter

Learn about Kaira here!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books a Million | Barnes & Noble

Tour Stops

Thursday, September 1st: The Baking Bookworm
Friday, September 2nd: FictionZeal
Tuesday, September 6th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Wednesday, September 7thPalmer’s Page Turners
Thursday, September 8thA Chick Who Reads
Friday, September 9thBookmark Lit
Monday, September 12thWrite Read Life
Tuesday, September 13thBooks and Bindings
Wednesday, September 14thDreaming Big – author Q&A
Thursday, September 15thBookchickdi
Friday, September 16thBrooklyn Berry Designs
Monday, September 19thKritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, September 20th5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, September 21stLavish Bookshelf
Thursday, September 22ndDiary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, September 23rdPatricia’s Wisdom
Monday, September 26thSharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, September 27thGood Girl Gone Redneck
Wednesday, September 28thSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, September 29thLaura’s Review

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