It Started With Goodbye by Christina June: Review, Giveaway, and June’s Top Ten Addictions

Posted May 13, 2017 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Author Top Ten Lists, Giveaways (Ended), Reviews / 8 Comments

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June: Review, Giveaway, and June's Top Ten Addictions

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June: Review, Giveaway, and June’s Top Ten AddictionsIt Started With Goodbye by Christina June
Published by Blink on May 9th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retellings
Pages: 304
Source: The Publisher, Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4 Stars

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.


My Take copy3

This book was exactly what I was hoping for—a fun contemporary twist on Cinderella that reminds us that sometimes family is complicated. And that’s okay.

What Fed My Addiction:

  • Focus on family. Sure this book has a cute romance element, but the story focuses a whole lot more on family issues than it does on the “prince.” (Actually, now that I think about it, I guess the original Cinderella kind of did too.) Tatum learns that sometimes we don’t really know even the people who are closest to us. Tatum has spent most of her life feeling like she can’t live up to her stepmother’s expectations and she’s never been close to her all-too-perfect stepsister. So when her summer goes very awry and she’s basically put on house arrest except for mandatory community service (and her best friend won’t speak to her), Tatum can’t imagine how her life could get any worse. The only bright spot is the fact that her free-spirited grandmother is coming to stay with them—though Tatum can’t imagine how her lovely grandmother ever raised such an uptight daughter as Tatum’s stepmother. But as the book goes on, Tatum learns that her stepmother might not be acting out of malice but out of (sometimes possibly misguided, or at least overprotective?) love—and she starts to see her family members in a new light.
  • Gaining confidence. Tatum has always loved graphic design and art, but she applied to her sister’s fancy arts school and didn’t make it in, so she doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence in her abilities. Still, when her first graphic design project goes incredibly well, her friend convinces her to pursue it sooner. Since she has nothing else good going on over the summer, Tatum decides to give it a try. I loved seeing Tatum gain confidence in herself and in her art with each new project she took on.
  • Endings are new beginnings. June says she gave the book its title because Tatum starts her summer with so many goodbyes: her father leaves on a business trip, her best friend is sent away and won’t speak to her, and even her summer plans have met an untimely end. But, as often happens in life, these endings lead to new opportunities and Tatum grows in ways she’d never imagined!
  • Cute romance. Most of the romance takes place via fun and flirty emails. The romance was really cute, and gave us just enough to make us want to see Tatum find her prince in the end!
  • Friendship. The books focuses on Tatum’s friendships even more than the romance, I’d say, which was just fine with me!

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • Harsh punishment. When the book first started, I was a bit surprised at how extreme Tatum’s parents made her punishment, since it wasn’t like she was a troublemaker and she hadn’t purposely done anything wrong. Of course, that ends up being part of the point, and Tatum eventually learns a little bit about why her stepmother is so strict—and her parents come to realize that they might have been too harsh. Unfortunately, Tatum ends up acting out against her parents’ extreme punishment by breaking their trust after all, so…
  • Slightly unrealistic ending? The book might end with a bit too much sunshine and rainbows to be completely realistic, but that didn’t bother me too much in this case. I also thought it was a bit unrealistic that Tatum’s graphic design business was so successful right off the bat (especially since she got most of her clients from the art school—wouldn’t there have been artists at the school who were trying to do that same sort of work?)

This book is a perfect summer YA read that focuses on friendship and family with a dash of fairy tale flair and an extra helping of romance on the side. I easily give it 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

Take a look at June’s Top Ten Addictions!

Christina June’s Top Ten Addictions

  1. All things truffle – the mushroom kind, not the chocolate kind, though I really enjoy those too. I’ll put truffle oil and truffle salt on pretty much everything.  I love truffle honey on toasted baguette with some triple cream cheese.  If a dish in a restaurant says truffle in the description, I’ll probably order it.  It’s definitely a polarizing ingredient and I am happily #teamtruffle.
  2. Cupcakes – I love them so much, they’re in my official author bio. Fun fact: my husband and I used to write a very short-lived cupcake review blog.  We judged bakeries by their vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting.
  3. Felicity – hands down, my favorite TV show of all time (followed closely by Lost). Felicity was in her 4 years of college the same time I was, which made it even easier to relate to her.  I rewatch the whole series about once a year and I am a firm believer that she should’ve picked Noel.
  4. The Tudor Wives – not sure when this one started, but I will read any book, watch any TV show, movie or documentary, and seek out any tourist destination related to the six women who held the unfortunate title of wife of Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn is my favorite, but I think Katherine of Aragon was the most tragic.
  5. Travel – I don’t spend money on big TVs or nice cars, but I save my pennies for experiences. My parents toted me around a lot when I was younger and taught me to appreciate and learn from new-to-me cultures.  I’m trying to do the same with my daughter.  Bonus points if I can pull off a secret trip and she doesn’t know what we’re doing until we get there.
  6. Reading in bed + drinking coffee – Weekend mornings, I like to stay in bed as long as possible. There’s not much I like more than snuggling down under the covers with a good book, sipping on dark roast with hazelnut creamer.
  7. Candles – there’s almost always a candle burning in my house. I like the ones that are strong enough that the scent lasts until the next day.  Once upon a time, I sold candles at in-home parties, but stopped because I wanted to buy all the merchandise.  My favorites are the fall and winter scents.
  8. Catfish – the movie and TV show, not the actual fish. The internet fascinates me from a psychological vantage point.  I came of age in the days of AOL chat rooms where people would ask you “a/s/l?” and seeing how it’s grown and evolved, sometimes in weird ways, intrigues me.  Plus, I think Nev and Max are awesome with their good cop/bad cop relationship.
  9. Guacamole – this one is a fairly recent obsession. I didn’t eat guac for most of my life, but about 6 months ago I was introduced to the table side guacamole at an amazing Mexican restaurant.  Life changing.  Now I order it anywhere they offer it, I’ve perfected making it at home, and I’ve found my favorite prepared brand.
  10. Reading reviews – Yelp, Trip Advisor, Eater, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. I love researching things, all the things, and seeing what other people thought about them before I make a decision about something.  I come by this honestly; my dad does the exact same thing.


Felicity is one of my favorite shows too! And I am right there with you on Noel, Christina—he was obviously the best choice!

About the Author

Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters.

Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

Her debut novel, IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, will be published by Blink/HarperCollins on May 9, 2017.

Author Links:
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8 responses to “It Started With Goodbye by Christina June: Review, Giveaway, and June’s Top Ten Addictions

  1. Sam

    Felicity and cupcakes — I have a kindred spirit in Christina June! I really enjoyed this book. It was very sweet, and I thought the Tatum grew a lot over the course of the book. Great review!
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. Now I’m sad that I didn’t get a copy when I had the chance. But my TBR pile is threatening to fall over and squish me, so I decided to exercise some self-control. I’m starting to think that self-control is overrated. Ha ha.

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