Title: Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Paperback, 256 Pages
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Summary: 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?I received an ARC copy of Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between at BookCon this past May, and I was super excited because I enjoyed all of Jennifer E. Smith's previous novels. I even went on to buy The Geography of You and Me later that day at The Strand, just because that was her only published novel that I hadn't gotten my hands on yet, and since I received an ARC copy of this book, I wanted to make sure I've read them all. (And you can read my review of The Geography of You and Me by clicking here.)
So, a lot of teenage girls may or may not relate to this book - so may some adults who have gone through it before. Clare and Aidan met in their junior year of high school, and it didn't take them long to become boyfriend and girlfriend. Aidan loves Clare with all of his heart, and he doesn't hesitate to tell her so. But Clare, who still feels just as strongly for Aidan, doesn't have the courage or the will - even after two years of being together - to tell him the one thing that he should already know: that she loves him.
(Yeah, you read that right. This girl has been dating this boy for two years and hasn't told him once that she loves him. Pretty crazy. I'm honestly surprised he stayed with her that long when she wasn't strong enough to say it - I give the kid props, because he must have really loved her.)
Anyway, it's finally the day before Clare and Aidan leave for college. The problem? Aidan's going to UCLA and Clare is going to Dartmouth. For anyone who isn't the greatest at geography - their colleges are on two separate coasts of the United States. So they're spending their last night together driving around town and revisiting the locations of some of their best memories, and the night will eventually lead them to the inevitable decision: whether to stay together, or to break up.
I really liked all of the characters in this book - especially Aidan and Stella. They were my two favorites. (I actually wasn't really fond of Clare...) Aidan seems so sweet and caring and like a genuinely good boyfriend, and you can tell how much he loves Clare by how many times he says it and shows it, and how often he kept pushing for them to stay together throughout their whole last night. And just watching Aidan and Clare relive all of their memories together - from times at the local pizza place to the bowling alley to the shores of the lake to Clare's basement as reigning ping-pong volley champions - was super cute and actually made me smile a lot.
I just have a question - where were everyone's parents in this book? Clare and Aidan and Stella and Scotty were out until 5-6am the morning that they're supposed to be leaving for college, exploring and heading everywhere. I get that they're out of high school and supposed to be adults, but I can surely say that my parents would not be okay with me running around town until 6am on the morning I'm supposed to be leaving for college. No way.
This paragraph contains spoilers, so please proceed to the next paragraph if you have not read this book yet! The budding relationship between Scotty and Stella made me smile, too, and I can definitely say that even though I wasn't hinted at it right away, I definitely wasn't surprised when it happened. :) As for the ending, at first it severely annoyed me. It really did. It wasn't the way I wanted the book to end, and I severely wanted it to end an entirely different way. I was sad enough that I actually started to tear up, because what was considered impossible was totally possible and even when Clare changed her mind Aidan had to go and be the smart one. Dumb boys. I hate them. >:( The very last paragraph, though, had me smiling like an idiot. I knew that Jennifer E. Smith wouldn't let me down like that. So although at first I thought I was going to leave the book utterly despaired, when I finished I was smiley and oddly satisfied.
All in all, Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is a quick read about two high school lovers making the toughest decision of their lives at that moment: whether to try to make things work on separate coasts, or to call it quits before things get rough. They spend their entire night making this decision, and eventually what they choose is something that is unexpected and certainly surprising. I really enjoyed this book - it was a fast, easy read and I always seem to enjoy what Jennifer E. Smith has to say. I recommend this to anybody looking for a nice, quick, refreshing read. I really liked this one!