Amy Vandenplas, owner of Butterfly Books in DePere, Wisc., welcomes a spring novel by an author who’s a perennial favorite of staff and customers at her store.

What is it about Sarah Dessen books that YA readers can’t get enough of? As a bookseller, when I see a new book from Sarah Dessen in a Penguin catalog, my first reaction is “I probably don’t have to read this one… it will sell itself.” But guess which book is the first one read and passed around in-store? Sarah Dessen’s. Just as expected, when the ARC of What Happened to Goodbye came in, several staffers immediately claimed it!

After her parent’s divorce, Mclean and her father leave their unhappy past behind them. Mclean is able to reinvent herself while moving from town to town—four in two years. For the first time since the divorce, she finally feels the need to stay in one place and figure out how to just be herself—whoever that may be. Maybe Dave, her super-smart neighbor who is also trying to fit in, can help her.

I find Dessen’s ability to bring to life likeable characters dealing with real-life situations compelling. Though her books are not a series, it is fun to see some characters from a previous novel reappear in a small way, tying her books together. Dessen’s capability to write about serious issues in an upbeat manner allows teens to relate to the realistic situations they face. Her books portray the lead character, as well as the theme, in an honest way, and without getting tangled up in complicated dialect—something her fans definitely appreciate. The depth of her well-developed characters grabs her readers’ attention and leaves them anxious for each new release.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. Viking, $19.99 May ISBN 978-0-670-01294-7