Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Blog Tour: It Started with Goodbye - Christina June

It Started with Goodbye 
Christina June
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Blink
Rating: 4 out of 5 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.


"You won't be able to put this book down. This heartfelt read totally sucked me in. A (Prince) Charming read." -- Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan

"Honest, fun,and entirely compelling, this is a story about how being in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to a whole lot of right. Tatum is a character you'll relate to, cheer for, and want to befriend." -- Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts

"Tatum's complex and realistic relationships with her friends, family and the potential love interest will have you savoring every chapter while heavily anticipating the next. It Started With Goodbye is an adorable and clever contemporary that will enthrall you with its fairytale-esque charm." -- Ami Allen-Vath, author of Liars and Losers Like Us

"I loved this fun, contemporary take on the Cinderella tale that explores what it takes to be yourself while finding your place in life, love,and your family. June's characters are vividly drawn, complex people that you'll want to root for, and Tatum's story will strike a chord for anyone who's felt like they were misunderstood." -- Lisa Maxwell, author of Unhooked, Sweet Unrest and Gathering Deep

"A sweet and satisfying portrait of family, friendship, and discovering your own path. Tatum's journey from fear and disappointment to honesty and freedom to be herself is one that will resonate with many readers." -- Ashley Herring Blake, author of Suffer Love
"A fresh, charming debut, brimming with friendship, family, and love." -- Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing


Chapter 1

“Tatum, they have your license plate on camera. This is as good as it’s going to get.” Mr. Alves stood at the head of the table in the plush conference room.

I stared blankly at him, still trying to process what he was saying. My head was spinning, and it sounded like he was speaking Greek while his cheeks were stuffed full of mashed potatoes.

My stepmother, Belén, poked my shin with the toe of her pointy pump. “Tatum Elsea, Mr. Alves is trying to help you.”

I yelped, even though it didn’t hurt. “You didn’t need to kick me,” I said loudly, making sure my dad, Mr. Alves, and the people in the next office over heard me.

“Tatum,” my dad warned, putting a hand on my shoulder. “Tom, could you please run through the deal again? Tatum, you need to listen. This is your future.”

“Yes, sir,” I said, eyes down, guilted. The temperature in the room seemed to increase with each second that ticked by on the wall clock. I wiped my palms on my skirt.

Mr. Alves cleared his throat. “Right. Here we go again.” He looked at me over his glasses. “You’re expected to confirm the figures seen on the security camera at four thirty-seven p.m. on June ninth, exiting Mason’s Department Store.” He pushed his glasses back up on his nose and glanced down at the paper in his hand. “Ashlyn Zanotti and Chase Massey. Is that correct?”

“Correct,” I said, and checked out my reflection in the table’s polished surface. This was torture.

“The official charge for both is grand larceny, because the total amount stolen exceeds two hundred dollars. Normally in Virginia, you would be charged with the same felony, since you were the driver. However, as you have no record, you’re issuing this statement, and there was no merchandise found on your person or in your car, the commonwealth attorney has agreed to reduce it to a misdemeanor instead.”

“Thank goodness for small favors,” Belén said. “This is still going to affect your college applications, you know. I was reading on the Focused Parent blog about the impact of criminal charges. You’ll have to disclose it, Tatum.”

It was so typical of her to bring up that stupid blog. Just because the author was an “expert” and was on TV all the time did not make him the authority on life. If I’d had the power to take away her voice temporarily, like in The Little Mermaid, I might have used it. I bit the inside of my cheek instead.

“The silver lining is that we can petition to have your record expunged.” Mr. Alves offered me a sad smile, while Belén exhaled the biggest sigh of relief the world has ever heard.

“That’s good,” I said quietly, to the table. At least this snafu wouldn’t follow me forever.

Mr. Alves continued. “Mr. Massey, age nineteen, will obviously be charged as an adult.”

Had I heard that right? I picked my head up. “Um, Mr. Alves, did you say nineteen?”

“Yes,” he said, his glasses sliding lower on his nose. “Why?”

My eyes grew wide. “He told her he was seventeen.”

Belén’s hair rustled against her blouse as she shook her head, no doubt with disappointment over the stupidity of teenagers, especially that of my best friend, Ashlyn.

It was case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When Tatum was arrested as an accessory to a crime, she was unable to convince her family of her innocence. Her father and step-mother sentenced her a summer long grounding in addition to the fine and 100 hours of community service she earned courtesy of the Commonwealth. She lost her freedom. She lost her best friend. Worst of all, she lost the trust of her family. The summer began under a grey cloud, but Tatum was determined to atone for her discretions, and earn back the trust from those she loves.

My reaction at the end of this book:

*So sweet!*

I can honestly say, that this book charmed the pants off of me. I have an affinity for books like this, where the protagonist embarks on a journey to self discovery, and also where the author ties things up so nicely.
"The talking probably wouldn't be pretty, but I'd learned a lot about myself this summer. I knew I would be okay..."
With all the extra time on her hands, Tatum began to take a look inward. She had definitely suffered some setbacks in her 16 years, which left her with some open wounds, but during this summer of imprisonment, she was able to find the girl, who was always there. She was smart, witty, talented, giving, and loyal. I really enjoyed getting to know the Tatum that was just waiting to be discovered, because she was a wonderful young woman.
"Yeah. I'm good. Really good. Today kind of feels like the answer to a wish I made at the beginning of the summer."
I am all about the characters when I read a book, and June gave us some great ones to fall in love with in It Started with Goodbye. Other standouts for me, aside from Tatum, were: Abby, SK, and Blanche. Abby was a fantastic example of the type of friend everyone should have. She backed Tatum up, supported her in her endeavors, encouraged her to grow and try new things. She was definitely a friend I would want in my corner. And then there was Blanche, who was an awesome step-abuela. She was so many things for Tatum. She was a calm in the storm, when things were getting really tense at home. She was a voice of reason, when Tatum could only see her own side of things. She was love and support and exactly what you want in a grandma. I just found her delightful. Finally, there was SK. *heart-eyes* You may be able to tell that SK was the love interest, and he was perfect. This romance played out predominately online through emails. I always find that approach sort of fun, and it was amusing and cute in this book too. The things he said, the way he said them, it was all so endearing and sweet. I swear! I may have gotten my first cavity.

One thing, which took center stage, was Tatum's relationships. When this story began, Tatum was feeling disconnected from her step-mother and step-sister. She was also reeling from losing the only friend she thought she had, Ashlyn, and losing her father's trust. There is so much to say with respect to how June handled all these things. She showed that there are two sides to every story, and that sometimes one needs to look at things from a different perspective. She also showed how anything worth keeping, is worth fighting for, and the best things do not come easily. It was beautiful how June had Tatum fighting for her relationships. It was a rocky road to redemption, but Tatum kept at it, and was a winner in the end.

From the blurb, I learned that this is a Cinderella retelling. What I like most about modernized retellings, is trying to find the original story elements present in the book. It was fun looking for all the analogs, and I really liked how June adapted the idea of Cinderella's story. I am a lighter-fare fangirl. Once upon a time, I liked those soul crushing stories, but now that I am older, I am more about the fun, the fluffy, and the HEA. June gave us the "evil" step-mother and step-sister, absentation of the parent, a fairy godmother, and even a prince charming, but it never really went to that dark place like in the original story, and I was ok with that.

I loved all the fuss with valedictions, because I fuss over that too.
"Yours in music and marshmallows....
It was the best valediction yet."
Overall: A delightful Cinderella-esque story, filled with charming and down-to-earth characters, which left me with miles of smiles.

**I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book


5 winners will receive a copy of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE by Christina June.
*Must be 13+ to enter. Open internationally. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.

WEBSITE: https://christinajune.com/
TWITTER: @ChristinaJuneYA
GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13987227.Christina_June
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaJuneYA/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/christinajuneya/
PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/ChristinaJuneYA/

Photo Credit: Hannah Bjorndal


Many of the characters in this book have an artistic type talent: visual art, music, dance. 
Do you have any special talent?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Oooh, I can’t wait to read this one! It sounds really sweet (I do love sweet books like you!), and it’s been on my TBR for a while, so I really want to get to it soon. Great review, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!! :D

    1. It was really sweet, but also had the important coming-of-age type stuff in it. I just felt so happy at the end of it, and I love when books make me feel that way.

  2. This sounds great - I'm adding it to my tbr, and thanks for the giveaway. :)

    1. Keep an eye out. I am going to do a second giveaway with the book I received for the tour, since I had already read a digital ARC. I want to share this lovely story as much as possible.

  3. Love the sound of this one! I feel like I've been seeing it around but haven't really heard much buzz about it. So glad I saw your review. This one sounds right up my alley.

    1. I have made requesting debut authors a priority, so when they blow up, I can say I read them first. =)

  4. I have had my eye on this one but I didn't realize that it was a Cinderella retelling. The characters sound wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. It was really fun, sweet, and just a feel good story

  5. This sounds like an interesting book. I have no musical or artistic abilities, but I know many that do that would enjoy this.

    1. No abilities here either, but I can plow through books like a boss. 😉 This book was fun and left me smiling at the end. Those are my favorite kinds of books

  6. I'd seen this book around but not really paid any attention to what it was about but it sounds like this is a really fantastic read. I think it's interesting the whole house arrest business and being accused of a crime she didn't commit. Sounds like it really focuses on family as well which is pretty cool.

    I can't claim any kind of artistic ability. I used to draw and paint a lot but it's one of those things which fell by the wayside as I've gotten older maybe I should take it up again.

    1. The most artistic thing I did was my scrapbooking, but I don't have the time any longer. That arrest really set the story in motion. It was her "goodbye" that led to Tatum's growth and change. I really enjoyed this book. It was quite sweet and fun too.