Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith


hello

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 cute book continues my run of contemporary YA. I’ve read Jennifer’s other books (This is what Happy Looks Like and The Statistical Prob of Love at First Sight) and I LOVED them. So of course I was uber excited to get into this.

Heat/Swoon Levels:

Jennifer usually does as awesome job of creating an intense attraction where two minutes previous there had been nothing. Insta-love isn’t usually my thing, but this girl is good. Which means I was SO sure I’d fall in love with this couple and cheer them on as they tried to decide whether to stay together or call it quits. Unfortunately, it fell short for me. Both Clare and Aidan were awesome characters in their own right. Their friendship was great and the moments between them were cute and ‘nice’ to read, but there was next to no romantic chemistry. It got to the point where I couldn’t work out exactly what was holding them back from getting together. I almost wished they’d broken up at the beginning and we’d seen them head off to college as friends where they moved on with their lives.

Plot pacing and resolution:

This was a lot of fun. I like books that take place over one day/night (it’s kind of like a novelty) and there was a lot of character development in so short a time. My only annoyance is there were a LOT of flashbacks used to establish key moments in the main relationships that could have been made more present so the reader could get a chance to feel them. Other than the flashbacks, the main parts of the story were paced well between fun with their friends and the bittersweet feelings about the future they were on the threshold of.

Character relatability:

I’m not sure exactly what did it, but by the end of the first page I had a clear and almost exact picture of who the two MCs were. Clare was cute, organised and kind of fastidious, Aidan was fun and loose (of course). Stella and Scotty, the two BFFs were also introed real quickly and it was like I’d known them all my life. I think that’s one of Jennifer’s big time strengths: she knows how to create whole characters in a short time. While I wasn’t totally on board with the romantic times (Aidan just wasn’t my kind of love interest), I loved the characters individually.

Overall this book is cute and fast to read. I’d recommend it if you’re after something relaxing and sweet, with a hint of nostalgia for growing up and moving on.

AOaR_3star (3)

(and a half)

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Heather has recently signed with Agent of Awesome and will soon be on sub with her first MS. You can follow her mental breakdown here.

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