Back in grade five, Bridge, Tabitha and Emily made a pact. Never to fight, ever. Now, two years later, they’re still best friends, but other things are changing. Bridge meets Sherm, and is soon excited and confused by her new, strange feelings. And when Emily starts texting pictures of herself to Patrick, Bridge and Tab find themselves complicit in a naïve plan that quickly spirals out of control.
And while the three friends navigate the challenges of their changing friendship, another story—of betrayal and remorse—keeps you guessing until the very end.
Goodbye Stranger is a tender and intricate story about friendships, and love, and the pain of sometimes making the wrong choices.
Rebecca Stead is the author of four novels: First Light, When You Reach Me (a New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal winner), Liar & Spy (Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize winner and New York Times bestseller) and, most recently, Goodbye Stranger. She lives in New York City with her family.
‘This memorable story about female friendships, silly bets, different kinds of love, and bad decisions is authentic in detail and emotion—another Stead hallmark.’ STARRED Review, Publishers Weekly
‘[Stead] captures the stomach-churning moments of a misstep or an unplanned betrayal and reworks these events with grace, humour, and polish into possibilities for kindness and redemption. Superb.’ STARRED Review, Kirkus
‘Stead shows how strongly love of all kinds can smooth the juddering path toward adulthood. Winsome, bighearted, and altogether rewarding.’ STARRED Review, Booklist
‘[Stead’s writing is] filled with humor, delightful coincidences, and the sorts of things...that escalate in ways that can seem life-shattering to a 13-year-old. The author keeps all her balls in the air until she catches them safely with ineffable grace.’ STARRED Review, School Library Journal
‘Rebecca Stead’s story is multi-layered and sumptuous, beautifully plotted and a real page-turner.’ Alpha Reader
‘An unforgettable book about young girls coming of age written with wit and compassion.’ ReadPlus
‘Goodbye Stranger was such a pleasure to read…[Stead’s] teenage characters are so real, and charming and likeable, even when they’re not making the best decisions…I will continue to sing the praises of this new book well into the rest of the year (and probably much longer).’ Middle Chapter
‘[Stead has] a profound appreciation for the young people she writes for…She creates the kind of situations that would shatter a vulnerable thirteen-year-old girl but somehow manages to do so with a deft, light touch full of empathy and humour.’ Readings
‘Goodbye Stranger is the kind of book you might call a revelation. It is surprising, generous, thoughtful, honest and it paints a picture of the time after childhood and before youth more honestly than I have ever seen depicted.’ Where the Writer Comes to Write
‘The language is often dazzling and the minor characters have great appeal. A very satisfying read.’ Stuff NZ
‘The emotional complexity is deftly done by Stead in a way that is satisfying and accessible for young adults and adults alike, without being patronising, and acknowledging that we all make mistakes along the way.’ New Zealand Book Council
‘Goodbye Stranger falls in the zone of upper middle fiction/young YA, and is a great book to discuss with a tween as it gently preempts teen issues...Stead opens up a discussion of phone use and photos that never veers into shaming or hysteria.’ Leanne Hall, Readings