Study Guide

What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye Summary

Mclean and her dad are trying out Luna Blu, the latest restaurant that her dad has been sent to fix-up. They've just moved to Lakeview, their fourth move in two years ever since Mclean's parents divorced. Her mom is still living in her old hometown, Tyler, with her new husband—basketball coach Peter Hamilton—and her new twin babies.

When they get back to their new house, Mclean starts unpacking and getting everything set up. She's startled to find a boy napping on their back porch, but he sneaks back to the house next door. In the middle of the night, she hears music playing and goes out to the house on the other side—a college party house. She hangs out for a bit and meets some people who are in her high school too, including a girl named Riley who is best friends with Dave, the kid she ran into on her porch.

She almost starts a new Ume.com (think: Facebook) account with a new name—like she does in every town she moves to—but instead decides not to. In every other town, she's gone by a different name and persona.

In the meantime, things at the restaurant are going poorly. The manager, Opal, resents Mclean's dad coming in and changing everything. She's also currently trying to put together a model of the entire town for the centennial, and needs help—Dave volunteers because he needs to do community service hours after getting caught with a beer at a party.

Mclean goes to school and is accosted by a peppy girl named Deb who claims to be the school's hospitality committee. Riley and her friend Heather call Mclean over, and they eat lunch together—Mclean feels sorry for Deb, who is sitting all by herself. Later, Mclean gets a phone call from Opal telling her that her dad's been in an accident and needs his insurance card—she asks Deb for a ride to the hospital, and the two become friends.

Mclean begins to feel more comfortable in Lakeview. She still struggles with her relationship with her mom—who she doesn't want to see or talk to out of a sense of loyalty to her father—but she's starting to make friends, and even gets attached to Luna Blu and the staff there. Along with Dave, Deb, Riley, and their other friends, they work on the town model to try to get it complete in time.

In the meantime, her dad tries to figure out how to keep the restaurant running, while dodging date invitations from a councilwoman who happens to be Opal's all-time nemesis. Mclean also starts to develop romantic feelings for Dave, which are obviously reciprocated. Mclean's mom goes to the lawyers to try to revisit the custody agreement, so Mclean agrees to visit more and to come to her mom's new beach house for spring break.

Right before spring break, Mclean finds out that her father just got another job offer in Hawaii and that Luna Blu will be shutting down for good. While reeling from this information, she discovers—to her horror—that her friends have found her previous Ume.com accounts and that they know that she had all these different personas at her last schools. Ugh.

She goes to the beach house with her mom to escape talking to anyone. While there, she overhears her mom talking to a friend about how this is all a mistake and assumes that she's talking about having Mclean with her for a week. Feeling hurt and out of place, Mclean grabs her old car and runs to the Poseidon, the cheap motel where she and her mother used to stay on their trips. She calls Dave to tell him where she is and says that she wants to date him—he says that he'll be there soon.

Instead of Dave, though, Mclean's parents show up and realize how hard the divorce has been on her. Her dad takes her back to Lakeview, and she goes back to working on the town model with Deb, finding that her friends don't think that she's weird at all; they just want to be there to support her. Dave isn't working on the model town because he's been grounded after he tried to take his car out—Mclean realizes that he did try to come see her at the Poseidon but was caught by his parents. Aw…

Eventually they finish the model of the town, and when it's done, Mclean goes to look at it and sees that Dave has put little figurines of her everywhere where they shared a memory in the town. He also wrote the word stay on the roof of the abandoned house behind his. Cue romantic music: She finds him and they kiss for the first time.

Mclean discovers her dad and Opal together and finds out that they're now dating. They decide that after the restaurant closes, Mclean's dad is going to Hawaii for the job, and Opal will be buying out the building and opening her own restaurant. Instead of cutting and running like he usually does though, Mclean's dad plans to come back and help her with the new restaurant.

They also decide though, that Mclean will go back to live with her mom in Tyler for the remainder of the school year, which she isn't happy about. She resolves to stay in touch with her friends this time, and plans to try out a long distance relationship with Dave.

At the last minute though, her mom tells her that she can't uproot Mclean yet again. Three cheers for Mom, right? Opal offers Mclean her spare room, and Mclean decides to move in and spend the remainder of the school year in Lakeview. She gets to graduate with her friends, and ends up working in the restaurant that Opal opens. As the book ends, she is planning to go to college.

  • Chapter 1

    • When the book opens up, the main character, Mclean, is sitting at a subpar restaurant called Lunar Blu with her dad. Her dad is weirdly excited about ordering both calamari and guacamole and is in full-on dorky dad mode.
    • Mclean tells her dad that this place totally has potential (even though the service sucks), and he tells her that she's awesome. His phone buzzes and she realizes that his girlfriend is texting him and probably doesn't realize that he's moved hundreds of miles away… again.
    • Mclean's dad is basically the guy from Restaurant: Impossible—he goes from town to town and fixes up dead-end, struggling restaurants. Luna Blu is the latest notch on his belt.
    • She's moved with her dad four times now, and each time she starts over completely, selecting a new name and crafting a new persona for herself—Liza, Eliza, Beth, etc.
    • Like Sandra Dee remaking herself as bad girl Sandy in Grease, Mclean takes on different personalities and interests each time she moves. What will she be this time?
    • Her real name—Mclean—is the name of the all-time best basketball coach at Defriese University, her parents' alma mater and her dad's favorite sports team. Growing up, she went to all the games and was raised as a die-hard fan, especially since their family still lived in Tyler, the college's town. Her dad owned a restaurant there called Mariposa Grill.
    • Three years ago though, Mclean (the basketball coach) retired and was replaced by a new, handsome young coach named Peter Hamilton. And then Mclean's (the narrator) mom fell in love with Peter. Uh-oh.
    • After that, Mclean's dad took a job as a restaurant fixer-upper and now she and her dad hit the road together and move from town to town as a team.
    • They pull into their new house in Lakeview (the town where Luna Blu is located) and Mclean is pleased to see that it's cute and cozy. When she steps onto the back porch though, she freaks out because there's someone lying on the patio furniture cushions. What the—
    • She jumps back inside, closing and locking the glass door. She can see that the person is a dude in jeans with long hair, and that he'd been reading a book. He mouths a sorry through the glass and then disappears over the fence to the house next door.
    • She doesn't say anything to her dad when he enters the house, though. She's pretty sure that the guy is just someone who doesn't feel like being at home, and she feels oddly sympathetic.
  • Chapter 2

    • Even though Mclean's dad is a chef, he's not the one who cooks at home—and he never was. Her mom always cooked, even though her go-to recipe involved pouring a can of cream-of-whatever soup on top of whatever it was she was cooking.
    • Mclean was totally shocked when her parents' marriage ended because they had such a good love story—her mom was a debutante from a rich Southern family, and her dad was a scholarship student whose parents were blue-collar workers.
    • When Mclean was still living in Tyler, she'd spend half of her time at her mom's new fancy schmancy house per the custody agreement, missing the home-cooked cream-of-whatever meals now that they had a personal chef.
    • She held out hope that her mom and dad would get back together… that is until her mom got pregnant with twins, pretty much sealing the deal with Peter.
    • Mclean decided to go with her dad when he got his new job, and drama ensued—lawyers were called in, and they revisited the custody agreement so that she could go with her dad.
    • Now Mclean doesn't exactly get along with her mom. She tries to see her as little as possible, and doesn't like to talk to her much.
    • Back at Luna Blu, the restaurant manager, Opal, is pretty upset that Mclean's dad is charging in and making big changes. He's even suggesting that they change their complimentary appetizers (beloved rosemary rolls) to—gasp—fried pickles.
    • After her dad's tiff with Opal, Mclean comes in to deliver her update. She tells her dad that the utilities are up and running, when the garbage pick-up is, where she's registering for school, and that she stocked up on all the supplies they need. Talk about a responsible teenager.
    • She walks outside and overhears Opal talking trash about her dad and his haircut. Opal sees her and is mortified—obviously—and asks Mclean not to tell her dad what she heard.
    • She asks for Mclean's name, and in that instant, Mclean introduces herself as Liz… And so another persona is born.
    • Mclean goes home, unpacks, and checks her Ume.com (think: Facebook) account—her last one was for Beth Sweet. She starts making a new one for Liz Sweet, but is interrupted when HiThere!—her video chat application—turns on. She runs into the kitchen to escape it.
    • Her mom's voice comes on, asking if she's there and telling her that she misses her. Her mom doesn't seem to get the message that Mclean is still furious with her and wants to avoid talking to her at all costs.
    • She looks out the window after her mom has signed off and the coast is clear, and sees that on one side of their house a bunch of college students seem to be having a party, while on the other side there's a middle aged couple cleaning up the kitchen. Talk about opposites.
    • In the middle of the night, Mclean wakes to the sound of the flowerpot on their porch breaking. She goes outside and sees that some of the college students are getting slopping and drunk. They hand her a beer as an apology, and she grabs a jacket and goes to join the party.
    • Inside, she starts talking to some kids who act like she's going to jail when she mentions that she's going to Jackson High School. She meets a girl named Riley who asks where some dude named Dave is; they talk about how Dave's parents are super overprotective.
    • Mclean goes outside to get some air and looks at the stars. Her mom taught her the names of the stars and constellations, and thinking about them makes her feel sad. Her moment is interrupted though, when someone shouts, "Cops!" and everyone goes scrambling.
    • In the mayhem, Mclean runs too and is chased by the cops. But then someone grabs her and pulls her down into the dirt and down a flight of stairs.
    • The cops run by and the lights turn on so that Mclean finds herself in… some kind of cellar. And she's with the guy who she found on her back porch. He introduces himself as Dave. Hey, Dave.
    • He tells her that it's a part of the abandoned house behind his, and that he found it while he was exploring as a kid. He asks her for her name, and instead of saying Liz, she tells him her real name—Mclean. Then she goes home.
  • Chapter 3

    • Jackson High is not as bad as the kids at the party made it out to be—basically it's like most other high schools that Mclean has attended. She's pretty well versed in what different high schools are like, after all.
    • Her homeroom teacher doesn't let her correct her name (she wants to go by Liz), so she's stuck as Mclean for now.
    • As she passes by the office, she hears a couple talking about their son's schooling, and how he's had problems ever since he transferred from private school to Jackson High. She looks at the dude—who seems familiar—before realizing that it's Dave from last night. Except now he's wearing a button-down with khakis, and has short hair.
    • The girl named Riley comes up to hug him, relieved that his parents are letting him stay at Jackson High… for now.
    • At lunch, Mclean is approached by a painfully perky girl who's dressed like a J. Crew mannequin. She comes up and says that her name is Deb, and she's got some gifts from the hospitality committee—apparently her job is to welcome new students to the school.
    • Mclean is kind of cornered by her perkiness and enthusiasm, and is relieved when the girl sitting with Riley calls her name and tells her to come over.
    • When she gets to their lunch table, the blonde girl introduces herself as Heather and tells her that there is no hospitality committee—Deb's the only one. Mclean looks over to see that Deb is now sitting under a tree and eating lunch by herself.
    • Riley—who is Dave's best friend—explains his backstory. Apparently he's a genius who was attending the private school and could have graduated way early, but decided to come to Jackson High to have a normal teenage experience. He even got an after-school job at Frazier Bakery.
    • After school, Mclean takes the bus to Luna Blu and sees that her dad is talking on the phone with Chuckles, his boss. The UPS guy comes in and delivers a bunch of cardboard boxes, which Opal signs for.
    • When Mclean asks about the boxes, Opal explains that she agreed to create a model of the town in exchange for city council not shutting down the parking lot next to the restaurant. She really cares about this restaurant after all.
    • Opal tells her that she's been working at Luna Blu for forever. In fact, it was her first real job, and even after college, she came back to work at the restaurant and just ended up staying.
    • When Mclean has a moment alone with her dad, it's clear that he's not impressed with the way that the restaurant is being run. It's basically a zoo—and they don't even have any customers.
    • He asks her to come to the staff meal tonight so that he'll have someone who likes him there, since the entire staff seems to regard him as akin to Genghis Khan.
    • The next morning, Mclean's dad has worked himself into a state where he's convinced that the restaurant is a disaster and that there's no way to save it. Mclean knows the drill though—this is just a part of the process.
    • Sure enough, after a few minutes, her dad starts talking about the place's potential again. Typical. Then he gets a phone call and starts talking work to someone on the other end.
    • As he yells over the phone angrily, Mclean sees Dave and his mom, Mrs. Wade, approaching their house with something. Mrs. Wade welcomes Mclean to the neighborhood and hands her some nut-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free brownies. Yum?
    • Mrs. Wade seems put-off by Mclean's dad's outbursts in the background, but he comes over and smoothly introduces himself as the interim chef at Luna Blu. She tells him that she loves Luna Blu—especially those rosemary rolls. Ha.
  • Chapter 4

    • Mclean makes the mistake of answering her phone without checking the caller ID before class, and is dismayed when she realizes that it's her mom.
    • She's still mad at her mom for calling in the lawyers again to revisit the custody agreement just because Mclean doesn't want to visit her or go to Defriese University for college.
    • Her mom starts talking excitedly about how the beach house that Peter bought her is all done, and that maybe Mclean can visit for spring break; Mclean basically hangs up on her.
    • As she walks to class, she runs into Riley who asks if she's seen Dave. Apparently his parents are freaked out that he's changed so much (you know, into a normal teenager) since he started attending Jackson High—plus he's been in deep trouble ever since getting caught with a beer at a party.
    • By second period, Mclean's already missed two phone calls from her mother. Yeesh—talk about clingy.
    • She hates that her mom is bringing up the beach because that used to be what they did together—they'd randomly take road trips to the beach and stay at this old model called the Poseidon—and her best memories of her mom are from this time period.
    • By lunch, Mclean has a total of four messages. She skips through all the ones from her mom, but stops when she hears one from Opal about how her dad had an accident and is at the hospital.
    • She calls back in a straight-up tizzy and finds out that her dad just needs some stitches, but that he left his insurance card at home. Mclean offers to go home and pick it up, asking Deb to drive her to the hospital.
    • Deb leads her through the hospital and they find her dad—who really does seem okay—waiting with Opal. Mclean introduces Deb as her friend, which seems to really delight Deb. Poor thing… she should have a hospitality committee welcoming her.
    • A nurse comes in and starts hitting on Mclean's dad. Well, this is awkward. When he leaves, she even gives him her direct line—just in case he needs anything.
  • Chapter 5

    • On Saturday morning, Mclean is woken up at 9:00AM by the distinctly annoying sound of people playing basketball outside. As you can guess, she's not the biggest basketball fan anymore.
    • Her mom calls, shrieking about Mclean never calling her back. When Mclean tells her what happened with her dad, her mom gets even more upset, saying that she shouldn't have had to leave school to go get his insurance card. Everything is his fault, apparently.
    • The ball bounces toward Mclean, and she grabs it and throws it with all her might. Well, that's a healthy way to let out all her teenage angst and anger toward her mom, right?
    • What's not healthy is that the ball immediately smacks Dave in the head and he topples to the ground. Mclean hangs up on her mom and rushes over to help Dave up—it seems like she's surrounded by injured people these days.
    • Dave's friend introduces himself as Ellis and asks Mclean to show them how to do her awesome shots, but she says no—after all, she can't do the whole basketball thing anymore. It'd be like a betrayal to her dad.
    • At Luna Blu, Tracey, one of the waitresses, is completing a crossword puzzle with the help of some dude named Jason who works at the restaurant but has the crossword puzzle skills of a genius.
    • Opal and Mclean's dad are having some kind of disagreement because Opal has volunteered the upstairs room as the place where they're going to build the model of the town—so now there are a bunch of delinquent teens with community service requirements waiting downstairs to get their hours in and their papers signed.
    • They've been in Lakeview for three weeks, and Mclean is still weirded out by the fact that she hasn't picked a persona and is going by her real name. She now hangs out with Riley, Heather, and Dave… somehow they seem to have decided that she's a part of their group.
    • One day, they all sit at lunch and discuss what Riley should do about her dirt bag boyfriend—he cheated on her again, which is totally not cool.
    • Mclean surprises everyone by waving Deb over and telling her to sit with them—even though Heather looks appalled. Deb asks about Dave and Riley's tattoos; they both have a small circle on the inside of their wrists. He tells her that it represents someone that he was very close with at one time.
    • Deb tells them that she'd love a tattoo and that she used to hang out in her mom's friend's tattoo shop, which shocks everyone since she's got a total Betty Crocker vibe going.
    • When they ask her what she would do about Riley's boyfriend, she says that she'd have to consider the circumstances—then launches into a thoughtful, detailed explanation. So she's not as bubbly and airheaded as she seemed after all.
    • Back at Luna Blu, Mclean finds Opal unpacking all the boxes of supplies to make the model town—she's overwhelmed because there's so much, and there's no way it will be done in time for the town centennial that summer.
    • Now Mclean's mom is giving her the silent treatment. Her HiThere! program finally pings though, and she opens it, thinking that her mom is ready to talk again.
    • Instead though, she finds herself face-to-face with Peter, who tells her that they'll be in town for a basketball game and that he'd really appreciate it if Mclean would come to the game. She agrees, even though she doesn't want to.
    • She goes to take out the garbage and finds Riley parked on the street, crying in her car. When Mclean approaches, she tells her that it's just boyfriend drama and that she's upset—but she also tells Mclean that Dave won't admit it to her, but that he likes Mclean.
  • Chapter 6

    • By Saturday (the day of the Defriese game), Mclean still hasn't told her dad that she's going to meet up with her mom and Peter. She's all prepared to do it at breakfast, but her dad sends her an "AHBL" text from the restaurant, which means "All Hell Breaking Loose."
    • He asks her if she wants to get lunch instead, which makes her feel even guiltier because she'll be at the game. Since it's best to break bad news in person, Mclean decides to head over to Luna Blu.
    • When she gets there, she's surprised to see Dave there as well. These two just keep running into each other, don't they? Apparently he's there to help Opal with the town model as part of his community service agreement for being caught with that one beer.
    • Opal is all freaked out when he gets there because none of the other delinquents have shown up—there's a reporter coming to take pictures of all the teenagers working on the town model, but only Dave is around. So Mclean and some of the staff pretend to be community service teens for the story.
    • The reporter comes in and starts taking pictures and interviewing Dave. Then Lindsay, a blonde, perfectly-coiffed woman in a suit, comes upstairs. She is the city councilwoman who arranged this and has been Opal's nemesis since high school. Ooh, a little mean girls action…
    • As they're talking awkwardly about the progress (with lots of barbed insults thrown at each other), Mclean's dad comes upstairs and is furious because no one is working. He tells everyone to get downstairs, and the councilwoman remarks that she thought these were all the youth volunteers. Oops.
    • Mclean is all nervous to talk to her dad, since she always tries to publicly take her dad's side in everything and cast her mom in the wicked witch role. Still, she tells him that she's going to the game and admits that she feels super guilty about it.
    • But her dad tells her that it's totally fine, and that he doesn't want her to apologize or not see her mom because of him. He even tells her to have fun.
    • Upstairs, Dave is working hard on the model and tells Mclean that she can help if she wants. She tells him that she's going to the Defriese game and he's super jealous because it's impossible to get tickets.
    • As she grabs her jacket, she sees a text from her mom and gets all nervous and panicky about the situation. Before she can stop herself, she asks Dave if he wants to come to the game. Looks like he'll be her plus one.
  • Chapter 7

    • Outside the game, Mclean sees her mom waiting for her and thinks about how they look similar—with the same blonde hair and blue eyes. Their similarity stops there, though.
    • Mclean's mom was a total Southern belle—she was homecoming queen in high school and dated the son of a congressman, even wearing a promise ring on a chain around her neck. When she went to Defriese though, the congressman's son broke up with her.
    • It was there that she met Mclean's dad, who was a work-study student at the cafeteria. With her dad, Mclean's mom went all natural—she wore almost no make-up, worked in the restaurant, and wore simple outfits. But now she looks like a rich man's wife again.
    • She introduces her mom to Dave, who tells them he appreciates the invite, and that they probably don't understand just how hard it is to get tickets—in response though, her mom calls out to the security guy, telling him that they're all ready to go in.
    • He leads them through a side door and all the way to the third row of seats, which are marked by a RESERVED sign. Dave is all confused, and asks Mclean who—exactly—she is. She tells him that she doesn't know.
    • After the game, they all go out to dinner and Mclean's mom asks her what she's been up to. Dave tells her that they've been working on the model of the town, and that it's a huge project. She thinks about how she must be such a stranger to her mom now, who doesn't know what she does or who she hangs out with on a daily basis.
    • When Peter and Mclean's mom finally drop them off in their neighborhood, Dave remarks that Mclean's sigh is really loud, and she admits that she doesn't get along with her mom too well.
    • He says that he could feel the awkward tension the whole time, but that it seems like her mom is really trying. Mclean doesn't care if she's trying—she just wants her mom to understand that cheating on her dad was a really awful thing to do.
    • Dave tells Mclean about how his parents freaked out when he got arrested, and how they blame it all on Frazier Bakery because they see it as a dead-end, non-educational job. But he says that he took the job because it was fun, unlike all the years that he spent working in the lab with his mom.
    • He wants to go on a road trip to Texas with Ellis, Riley, and Heather this summer but he has a lot of trust to earn back with his parents before they'll reconsider it. He says that his parents only see two options: either he's a delinquent or a prodigy physicist. He wants to have a third choice.
    • As Mclean stands there, Dave puts his arm around her and she leans her head against him. Ooh la la…
  • Chapter 8

    • The next morning, Mclean is late for school and she spots Riley sitting in the hallway. She goes to her locker and decides to take off the mirror that the last student left—an ugly feathered monstrosity that says SEXXY on it.
    • When she finally yanks the mirror off, though, the door of the locker swings toward her face and hits her in the nose—and Riley comes running to ask if she's okay.
    • Riley insists on taking her to the nurse's office and staying with her while she ices her nose (which doesn't look too good). Everyone knows who Mclean is now, and that her stepfather is the Defriese head coach.
    • Mclean tells Riley that she's a good friend, and that because she moves around so much, she doesn't really get to form close friendships anymore. Look who's letting her guard down a little bit—go, Mclean, go.
    • Riley points out that Mclean hasn't really done that in Lakeview—she's made some connections and even has friends (like Riley) who will stay with her at the nurse's office when she's gotten into a jam. That's a thought.
    • At lunch, people stare at Mclean like crazy, which is weird because she only has a swollen nose—it's not like she looks that messed up.
    • Deb runs over and says that there's a story going around that Riley punched Mclean in a jealous rage because she went to the Defriese game with Dave. Say what? The high school rumor mill is clearly alive and well here.
    • Mclean assures her that none of it is true and asks her what she's listening to. When she puts the headphones on, she hears speed-metal playing and is surprised—especially when Deb tells her that it's music from a band that Deb was a drummer for. This girl is full of surprises, isn't she?
    • Dave comes to sit next to them and the whole school pretty much stops to stare at them because they believe the whole love triangle story.
    • Deb remarks that love triangles are more trouble than they're worth, which makes Dave and Mclean crack up—they're learning more and more about Deb's rich past.
    • Then Dave asks Deb if she'll help with the model of the town. She responds enthusiastically and says that she'll be there for sure—apparently she also loves group projects.
    • When Mclean gets to Luna Blu, she finds her dad and Opal laughing hysterically about how they used a numeric system to rank the staff, and they have the worst staff ever. That's definitely one way to deal with the fact that they have a failing business on their hands.
    • After Opal leaves, her dad admits to her that he doesn't know how the restaurant is going to turn out; Chuckles might just want to sell the building, since it's worth a lot of money.
    • That night, Mclean is doing homework when she hears a knock on the door and sees that Dave is outside with a whole saucepan of chicken soup. Hidey ho, neighbor.
    • They settle down to eat the soup, and Dave says that it can use more thyme. He goes looking for their spices, but realizes that there is basically nothing in their kitchen—the cupboards are pretty much bare.
    • She admits that they've moved four times in the past two years, and that now they just don't spread out much when they settle into a new house.
    • He says that it's kind of sad, because she doesn't have anyone to be her 2:00AM—the person that she knows she can call no matter what, even if it's 2:00AM.
    • They're interrupted when Dave's mom calls to him to say that the documentary about the lives of cells is coming on. How fascinating. Dave asks if she wants to come watch it too, but Mclean says no.
    • As Mclean sits there in the empty house by herself, the phone rings and she answers it. Lindsay Baker, the councilwoman, is calling for her dad and says that she wants to take him out for lunch. Mclean's dad sure is popular with the ladies.
    • There's a knock at the back door and Mclean goes outside to find that no one is there. There is a box with a single plastic container of thyme inside, though. How thoughtful of Dave.
    • Mclean goes back into her room and sticks the little spice container on her bedside table so that it'll be the first thing that she sees in the morning when she wakes up. Uh-oh… is someone developing a little crush?
  • Chapter 9

    • Chuckles is coming to visit the restaurant, and Mclean's dad is nervous because it's not exactly running smoothly yet. At least it's snowing though, so he might be delayed a bit.
    • As she watches her dad go out into the snow, she wonders where he'll be next year when he has to move from town to town without her—she'll be in college then. She worries about him.
    • In a moment of perfect timing, her mom calls and starts pestering her to come visit soon. Mclean keeps making excuses about how she needs to stay in town, but then her mom gets upset and tells her that she just wants them to be close.
    • Mclean tells her mom off, saying that all of this is her fault because she cheated on her dad—their relationship has suffered because of her actions—and then she hangs up, feeling worse than before.
    • To clear her mind before school, Mclean goes to Frazier Bakery where she runs into Dave. She's late already, so he offers to give her a ride. Apparently his parents just gave him his car back—it's a totally beat-up Volvo, but seeing it reminds Mclean of her old car, which she misses.
    • As they drive, Dave explains his matching tattoo with Riley. Riley's grandmother used to babysit him, and she had this huge wart right on her wrist that never went away. When she died of cancer last year, they both got the circle tattoos as a tribute to her.
    • They go toward the school and the sidewalks are all icy. They both wobble, but Mclean has this weird feeling that even if she were to fall, she'd be okay—Dave would be there for her.
    • School is cancelled by lunchtime due to the snow, so Mclean heads straight to Luna Blu to kill some time.
    • Deb is totally taking over the model town project and advocates a "pinwheel" method of putting it together, and Dave whispers to Mclean that Deb is a total freak—in a good way.
    • They start working on the model in sectors that Deb has partitioned out, while Deb gets on the phone with the woman at the model parts company. This girl really takes things seriously.
    • Opal comes up and tells Mclean that the councilwoman keeps calling for her dad; she's obviously got the hots for him. This distracts Mclean because she knows that once her dad develops a romance in a town, it means that he'll be moving soon. He doesn't like to get too entangled.
    • When she comes downstairs, Opal and her dad are sharing a bottle of wine. Opal's over the moon because the meeting with Chuckles went well and no one's getting fired. Hooray and yippee and all that jazz.
    • As she goes to leave though, she hears her dad on the phone in his office. He's telling the other person that he'll pick them up at city hall. Wait a minute… does that mean that her dad is going on a date with Lindsay?
    • Mclean realizes with a sickening lurch that they'll be leaving soon… her dad is already making plans to go on a date, and earlier when Opal was celebrating, he hadn't said anything. The restaurant won't be saved after all… And this time, Mclean doesn't want to leave.
  • Chapter 10

    • Mclean is working upstairs on the model with Dave when she hears her dad yelling downstairs—something bad is going on, but she's used to it by now; the restaurant business is pretty stressful after all.
    • The next day when Mclean comes home from school, her dad is waiting for her. He wants to know what in the world is going on between her and her mom, and says that her mom has decided to call in the lawyers again.
    • Her dad asks her to think about visiting her mom more, since her mom is arguing that they're not upholding their part of the visitation agreement. Upset, Mclean goes down into the storm cellar to sit and be alone.
    • The door opens and she hears Dave yell that she scared him to death. She apologizes and says that she needed to have some alone time and he says that he came for the exact same reason.
    • In the morning, Mclean wakes up super early and goes to Frazier Bakery. She needs to develop a serious game plan when it comes to her mom—she needs to figure out a compromise that will keep them both happy, and keep those pesky lawyers off her tail.
    • She's also still upset because she knows that they'll be moving soon, and she doesn't want to. After these three tumultuous years, Mclean's finally found a place where she feels at home, and she doesn't want to give it up. Plus, having a cute neighbor is an added bonus.
    • She's interrupted by Lindsay Baker, who comes in and tells her that she loves the Frazier Bakery chain and that she always orders a skim caramel espresso. She is so not her dad's long-term type.
    • At 7:00AM sharp, Mclean pulls out her phone and calls her mom. They have to talk. Mclean agrees to come to the beach for her entire spring break (a full week), and to visit four other weekends before graduation—she gets to choose the weekends, though. Her mom agrees to those terms.
    • When she gets home, Dave challenges her to a game of basketball. They play a bit and he wrestles her playfully to the ground; they lay there for a moment next to each other.
    • It's looking like Mclean and Dave, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N… but then he hesitates. He's unsure because she's always moving around, and she thinks that he probably doesn't want to get too involved with her.
    • They get up and start playing ball again to avoid any awkward hormone-charged moments.
  • Chapter 11

    • Mclean finds herself at the town library, looking for a map of downtown Lakeview from twenty years ago. She looks through the maps until she finds the abandoned building behind Dave's house—it says "hotel."
    • As she's looking at it, she gets a text reminder from Deb—she's scheduled to work from 4:00PM-6:00PM today on the model town. She heads over to Luna Blu and finds that Deb and Dave are already there, working hard on the model.
    • Riley, Ellis, and Heather show up to pick up Dave for their monthly dinner at Riley's house. Apparently her mom makes a big feast every month for all of them to indulge in. She invites Deb and Mclean along too, and they decide to go.
    • They ride on over to Riley's house in Ellis' van like they're the Scooby gang in the Mystery Machine. Deb quietly tells Mclean that she's so happy because she's never been invited over to dinner by friends before.
    • They drive all the way out into the countryside before stopping at a large brown house with a metal roof and a wide porch. A bunch of cars are parked out front. Looks like it's a party.
    • Riley's mom seats them and sets down a huge, heaping feast of good Southern cooking and they all dig in. It's basically the best thing that Mclean's ever eaten. Who can hate on fried chicken and macaroni and cheese? Not us, for the record.
    • After dinner, they sit around, hang out, and watch basketball—Riley's dad even calls Deb over to give her a history lesson in basketball, which she eagerly takes in.
    • All of the teenagers are assigned to dishwashing duty, and Mclean helps out, thinking that it's really nice to have a dinner in a home with a big family—even if it's not her family.
  • Chapter 12

    • At Luna Blu, Opal is still riding high on the fact that Chuckles didn't fire anyone; she's busy picking out different paint swatches and deciding how to renovate and revamp the restaurant.
    • Mclean and her dad have been in Lakeview for two months, and it feels different from any other place she's been. She feels like herself, for one, and she has friends and people that she actually cares about.
    • Things have definitely changed for the better—even her conversations with her mom are going slightly better now that they've come to an agreement about the whole beach thing. And her dad seems to be busy dating Lindsay Baker.
    • Mostly though, Mclean's distracted by a certain cute boy next door. On the ride home from Riley's house that one night, she'd rested her head on his shoulder and he'd held his hand against her head. They didn't even kiss, but it was still A Romantic Moment.
    • And when they were dropped off, he held her hand as they walked over to their houses. How chivalrous of him.
    • Mclean goes upstairs at Luna Blu to find that Ellis, Riley, and Heather have volunteered to work on the model town too—Deb's having them read her welcome package and overview.
    • As she's working with Dave, she leans over and starts to tell him that she found out what the abandoned house used to be, but they're interrupted when Lindsay Baker appears. Oh, great.
    • Mclean feels awkward because she sees that her dad is holding hands with Lindsay; usually a sign of that much commitment means that he's going to cut and run soon. Things get even more awkward when Opal comes up and sees Lindsay there with Mclean's dad.
    • After they finish work on the model town for the night, Mclean and Dave walk home. He asks her what she's having for dinner and she says that she'll probably just have some eggs. To her surprise, he gets all misty-eyed; apparently his mom doesn't believe in eating eggs and they're going to have tofu loaf for dinner. Sounds tasty.
    • Mclean goes into her empty house and starts making some scrambled eggs and toast. Just as she's ready to dig in though, Dave and his dad show up and ask to use their television—the Defriese game is on, and their television isn't working.
    • Dave and his dad have brought over their tofu loaf to eat, but when Mclean sees her mom and Peter on the television screen, she jumps into the kitchen to busy herself with making more.
    • She gives the scrambled eggs and toast to Dave and his dad, and they are blown away—they usually eat Neggs, some kind of weird egg substitute that doesn't taste this good at all.
    • As she's watching the game, she sees her mom pull out her phone on the screen. A second later, her phone rings. It's her mom calling about the beach trip and how excited she is.
  • Chapter 13

    • When Mclean wakes up the next morning, she's startled to see that Chuckles has pulled up to their house and is asking to speak to her dad. She leaves them alone while she chats with her mom on the phone about when they're picking her up, and how she still needs to buy a swimsuit.
    • She gets downstairs to see that Chuckles has left, and her dad drops a bomb—he's been offered a job in Hawaii. It would start in five weeks. When she asks her dad, he says that nothing's set in stone, but that she can either go with him or move back with her mom in Tyler.
    • After school, Mclean heads over to Luna Blu with Dave because her dad tells her to stop by before she leaves for the beach. As they walk over, Dave does the unexpected—he asks her out.
    • She goes to look for her dad, but he's shut up in the office and the other workers say that he's not to be disturbed right now. Uh-oh. Something bad is going on.
    • When she gets upstairs, it gets even worse—her friends have found all her Ume.com accounts. All those different profiles under different names with different personas. They know her secret now.
    • Mclean totally freaks out and runs downstairs without saying anything. She realizes that Opal is coming out of her dad's office, and she's furious—she's just found out that Luna Blu is closing for sure, and is angry that he didn't tell her sooner.
  • Chapter 14

    • On the drive to the beach, Mclean is distracted as her mom prattles on about the weather. She's turned off her phone because her dad and her friends keep calling her and she doesn't want to answer.
    • They get to the house and it's absolutely huge. Mclean follows her mom inside and hangs out with her half-siblings for a little bit; she's not totally used to spending alone time with the twins.
    • She takes them out to the water, realizing that her mom and her half-siblings will never want for anything—they're totally set and taken care of now.
    • Afterward, they go to a diner and eat dinner. Then Mclean goes home and settles into her room. She listens to her phone messages and hears that she has a message from her dad, Deb, and Riley—they're all worried about her and want to talk.
    • Going down to the garage to retrieve her bag from the car, she sees that her old car is actually parked in the garage as well. Even though it looks as beat-up as ever, she's super pleased to see it. She also finds a quilt that her mom made for her before she left with her dad on their first move.
    • The doorbell rings and she answers it to find a lady who works at a boutique in town. She's brought over some bathing suits for Mclean. Wow, personal delivery service—nice.
    • The lady goes to talk to Mclean's mom, and Mclean overhears her mom saying that she doesn't know what she's doing, and that maybe this was all a bad idea. Mclean freezes, certain that her mom is talking about bringing her here. Maybe she doesn't want Mclean around after all.
    • Without waiting, Mclean grabs her things and goes into the garage to get in her old car. She drives away without looking back—going to the motel where she and her mom used to stay when she was a kid.
  • Chapter 15

    • Mclean checks into her room and just sits down on the bed and starts to cry. Everything in her whole life is a complete mess right now, and she doesn't know what to do. She has no real place that's hers.
    • But she does have a 2:00AM that she can call—so she dials Dave's number and starts sobbing, telling him that she does want to go out with him. She also tells him where she is, and he says that he'll be there soon.
    • Even though she's exhausted, Mclean starts looking through all of the boxes that were in her old car; she finds pictures of her with her mom, and pictures of her parents together.
    • Then she finds a notebook and starts to record all of her different personas: Eliza, Lizbet, Beth, and Liz. Then she falls asleep.
    • She wakes to someone knocking on the door, and goes to open it, fully expecting to see Dave—but instead it's her parents waiting for her on the other side of the door.
  • Chapter 16

    • When Mclean returns to Luna Blu, she finds Deb there working on the model. It's almost complete—they must have been working on it non-stop over spring break.
    • Deb informs her that she's been freaking out about the upcoming deadline, especially since they lost Dave, who got in trouble for sneaking out with the car. This whole time, Mclean thought he'd changed his mind about coming to see her that night, but he really got in trouble because of her.
    • When her parents came to the Poseidon, they both felt awful after learning about all the different personas she's had, and realized that the divorce has been way harder on her than they ever imagined.
    • She also told her mom about overhearing her conversation with the boutique woman, and her mom was horrified—she wasn't talking about Mclean at all. She was talking about the party she was throwing the next day.
    • Mclean admitted that she came to the Poseidon because it was the only place that felt familiar to her anymore.
    • They left the hotel and went to a diner together—all three of them together for the first time in forever—where they talked about the future, and what would be the best for Mclean. Both of her parents decided that she shouldn't go to Hawaii, and that she should live with her mom in Tyler.
    • When she brought all of her stuff back from the Poseidon, her mom found that she had the quilt that she'd made for Mclean. All the squares were made of Mclean's baby clothes, which she didn't know.
    • Now back in Lakeview, Deb and Mclean work on completing the model of the town. They're almost done with all the houses, but there are still hundreds of little people figurines to add to the model. Every town needs a population, after all.
    • Deb asks her whether she's moving away, and Mclean says that she has to. But Deb tells her that she can't just leave and not say goodbye like she did in all the previous moves; she has to keep in touch because they're real friends.
    • As she's walking to her house that night, she sees Dave coming outside. He's going to work on the model, and she tells him that she's so sorry about getting him in trouble and messing up his road trip plans.
    • She says that she's going to be moving next weekend, since her only two choices are to go to Hawaii or go back to Tyler—Dave tells her that she needs a third option though, and that she should look more closely to see if one exists for her. Who does this guy think he is, Yoda?
    • Mclean gets pretty brave and leans over to kiss Dave on the cheek and to thank him for being there for her. Looks like their mutual attraction is still burning strong.
    • Speaking of attraction… when Mclean gets inside the house, she sees her dad and Opal getting snuggly on the couch.
    • Mclean totally flips because she likes Opal as a person and doesn't want her dad to do his whole date-and-ditch routine with her. They both tell her to calm down though—they need to talk.
  • Chapter 17

    • Here's the deal: Mclean's dad has been officially assigned to the project in Hawaii, but Opal has also got a new gig. She'll be buying the building that Luna Blu is in right now and opening her own restaurant.
    • The big plan is for Mclean's dad to go to Hawaii to fix up the restaurant there, and then return to Lakeview to fill in as chef at Opal's new restaurant. Ooh—looks like thing's are getting kind of serious between these two.
    • Mclean has packed up all her stuff for her trip back to Tyler, which is a huge bummer since everyone else is talking about graduation and summer plans.
    • On the last day of working on the model town, they are all super excited—it's finally done. Months of work, and they've managed to create a small-scale model of the entire town.
    • There's a party going on downstairs in the restaurant, but Mclean decides to go upstairs and check out the model by herself. She looks at her neighborhood and realizes that there are tiny model versions of her and Dave—he created a tiny model of every memory that he has with her.
    • Without saying goodbye to anyone at the restaurant, Mclean jogs to her street and looks into Dave's car. She sees that there's a seashell bracelet in the car—just like the ones she used to buy near the Poseidon when she was a kid. That can't be right…
    • He comes up behind her and admits that he did go to see her that night, but that he saw her family coming and realized that they were the people she needed with her at that moment.
    • They walk back toward Luna Blu together, where all of Mclean's friends are gathered and hanging out together—she doesn't want to leave at all; it's too hard.
    • She goes upstairs to the model town and Dave follows. When they're up there alone, she tells him that what he did was amazing, and that it's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for her.
    • He tells her that they're doing a toast downstairs, and to hit the lights on her way down. Then he leaves. She hits the light switch right before she turns to leave, and sees that there is something glowing on the roof of the model version of the empty house behind Dave's. It says: "STAY."
    • She rushes down the staircase to chase Dave, but he's already right there, and they finally get that first kiss. Swoon.
  • Chapter 18

    • Mclean is now working in Opal's new restaurant—and has even graduated from Jackson High with the rest of her friends.
    • She was supposed to move back to Tyler according to plan, but after Mclean had said bye to all her friends and to Dave (who was now her boyfriend and willing to do the long distance thing), her mom said that she couldn't do this to Mclean—she wouldn't uproot her again.
    • So now Mclean lives in Opal's spare room and visits her mom regularly. She keeps in close touch with both of her parents via phone calls and emails, and was allowed to finish out the rest of the year at Jackson and feel like she truly belonged in the senior class.
    • She's planning on attending the university in town in the fall, and Dave will be going to MIT—even though she's nervous about the distance, she knows that they can do it.
    • Deb walks into the restaurant—apparently she got a job there as well. She's an awesome waitress and has totally improved operations because of her insane attention to organization.
    • She grabs her phone to check it, and sees that she has a message from her mom about going to the beach that weekend, an orientation email from the university, and a text message from Dave with a picture of his road trip to Texas. Looks like he got to live out his last months of high school like a normal teenager after all.