Thursday, 3 September 2015
Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Source: Publisher **I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
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On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll 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 will lead them to friends and family, 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?
This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.
Jennifer E Smith is one of my dependable authors. You know like a good friend you can always trust? Yea, that's Smith for me. I have previously enjoyed all her books. They're quick, fun and cute contemporaries. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between(which I will shorten to Hello, Goodbye) was no exception. Except that it easily became my favourite of Smith's books.
Clare and Aidan are off to college. On the night before they leave Clare has made a list of all the places that mean the most to her and their relationship. As they look back at the past two years of their relationship they spend the present time deciding on whether they should break up or stay together. Both bring strong arguments to the table as to what the right decision should be. But can twelve hours, a bunch of good memories and the influence from friends and family really help sway the couple into one way or the other?
Hello, Goodbye was on point with how realistic it was. Here's two smart teenagers thinking about their future and that college means stepping into young adulthood. Rather than thinking everything will freeze and not change. From my memory, most of us realized that upon ending our high school career. Clare and Aidan were both heading in different directions. It wouldn't be a few hours drive between their schools. It was more a I might be home for Thanksgiving depending on if I can afford the flight(well for Aidan anyhow). Long distance relationships have a hard time surviving at the best of times. Add in the college atmosphere and the odds are pretty much nil. The last night together showed them being teenagers but it also showed to very mature teenagers. That they were able to have proper discussions where both parties could state their piece was encouraging. I like me some rational teenagers because you don't see them to often.
Clare and Aidan are both very relatable characters. Clare was the practical realistic I think we should break up on good terms side. Where Aidan brought a more emotional goofy I love you so everything will work side. It was very easy to understand and agree with how both characters felt. Clare not wanting to lose what they have to the eventual resentment if they stayed together. The experience of college would be hindered if they stayed together. Clare could imagine a near future where they could no longer even friends because jealousy, loneliness and distance broke them. It was sad but the truth. I completely agreed with the realism of that scenario. Aidan wanted to see it a little different; where love prevails. That Skype and texting could keep them going. It would be hard but isn't the hardest things worth fighting for? And for me that also made sense; you fight for what you want. So well the night was never going to be long enough. And the good memories were only ever going to be memories. Clare and Aidan made some tough decisions. A bit of truth thrown in there. Understanding that not everything was what the other person lead you to believe. I'd say it was one hell of a night for Clare and Aidan. They showed emotions and unexpected honesty in the face of reality. High school is over it's time to welcome yourself to the real world. And that might include losing your safe spot. Independence and the new unknown is scary. Just seeing Clare and Aidan's night unfold in a relatively short book did a really good job of showcasing those fears, the pressure and the realities.
Although the main focus of Hello, Goodbye was what was going to happen to Clare and Aidan's relationship. It wasn't everything. Their last night really highlighted the unknown. Clare was embarrassed over not having a major. Aidan was going across the country because that's where his sports scholarship was taking him. But what else? They leaving their best friends. Clare's relationship with her best friend, Stella was slipping away. Clare was blaming Stella for that. But really it showed how selfish Clare was being and fit in with Clare realizing she can't depend on Stella for everything. Independence is a must. Aidan and his daddy issues king of blow up. Or hit a boiling point. There were a lot of last minute realizations. Which is something else I find highly relatable. When doesn't everything make sense but at the last moment when everything is finally laid out in front of you?
I also found the side characters; the best friends, Stella and Scotty to be really well flushed out. They both play a big part in the couples life and that last night. So for me to see them both feeling the despair of moving on(Stella) or being left behind(Scotty) was appreciated. All the emotions and situations of growing up and moving on from high school were present. I like how that wasn't all squished into the two MC's because that would have been to much.
Let's talk about on point. That ending. Straight up exactly what I was hoping for. It's what was realistic and right what Clare and Aidan's whole journey. *slow claps* Perfect. It just shows that the ending doesn't always mean the end.
As I said, I am a fan of Smith. I would recommend any of her books. Especially when looking for an adorable contemporary. But I would push Hello, Goodbye first and foremost. It embodies that cute summer read, last chance romance. But it also tugs at your heart strings more than expected. I really never thought I'd tear up reading Hello, Goodbye. Surprises can be a good thing though.