On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Published September 1, 2015 by Poppy
Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Library Checkout; Hardcover; 246 pages
Also By This Author: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, This is What Happy Looks Like, The Geography of You and Me
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
I loved this book! Before reading it I was a little skeptical because Jennifer E. Smith’s books tend to be hits or misses for me (I enjoyed This is What Happy Looks Like but I didn’t really care for The Geography of You and Me).
The premise of this book also seemed a little far-fetched: two high school sweethearts spending the last night of summer debating if they should break up or stay together when they head off to different colleges. At first it felt like the author added drama just for the sake of adding drama. But, as I continued reading, I started to see how logical Aidan and Clare’s arguments were at the same time they saw it. I loved growing along with the characters.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was a really entertaining read. Each chapter took place at a different location that held some type of significance to Clare and Aidan. It was almost like following along on someone else’s scavenger hunt.
The characters were very likable and they also felt real. They were awkward, indecisive, and they sometimes said the wrong things and got into bitter arguments. One argument in particular felt like a typical teenage fight: it was heated, a little petty, and both sides refused to back down. I actually really enjoyed seeing that fight play out because it reminded me of my silly fights with friends and boyfriends when I was in high school (but I’m definitely glad to have grown past that stage!).
I think the reason I enjoyed Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between so much was because the characters reminded me of my own experiences and relationships when I was transitioning from high school to college. I had a not so amicable break up with my long-distance boyfriend, I got into arguments with friends over not including them in my life enough, and I definitely went through periods of doubt when it came to my future. I really felt for Clare since she reminded me of myself as a high school senior.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending was perfect! I reread it several times because I loved it that much. Up until the last few chapters I was only going to give this book a 4-star rating, but when I got closer to the end I cried and laughed and completely fell in love with Jennifer E. Smith’s ability to weave all the loose ends together. 5-stars all the way!
Read This Book If…
…you enjoy coming of age stories.
…you’re in the mood to read a book that will make you feel all sorts of emotions: joy, sadness (I cried three times!), suspense (I stayed up until the early hours of the morning to finish this book because I had to know how it ended. That means a lot considering I have a newborn who won’t let me make up for lost sleep during the day!).
…you want to swoon! Aidan and Clare are adorably romantic :)
…you like contemporary romances that are fun but deep-feeling at the same time.
“Maybe the world isn’t full of signs so much as it’s full of people trying to use whatever evidence they can find to convince themselves of what they hope to be true.”
Even though I was hesitant to read this book at first, I’m so glad I gave it a chance because it ended up being one of my favorite reads from 2015. Jennifer E. Smith’s writing style is fun and unique and her characters are very relatable and entertaining. This is definitely the type of book I plan on rereading!
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