Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Headline 2016 (Paperback)
Thank you to Headline for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
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?
I love discovering new authors and after coming across Jennifer E. Smith I knew I had to give her work a read. So I was really pleased when Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between arrived through my letterbox. I do love a good YA Contemporary romance so I was quite looking forward to giving it a read.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is a story set in one night as high school sweethearts Clare and Aidan try to figure out if they should stay together or break up as they are both leaving for different colleges the very next day. Clare makes a list of nostalgic places for them to visit to relive their time together before they make a decision that could change everything.
I really, really wanted to love this book as it had everything I could want from a story of that genre, but in reality it somewhat fell flat for me. I didn't really feel any chemistry between Clare and Aidan and I felt like they were making a mountain out of a mole hill at times. They way they kept analysing their decisions every chapter got rather boring after a while and at times it made me want to close the book and give up. However, I didn't as I was hoping that things would get better further along.
As it's a story that is set within one night there is a challenge to get to know the characters and warm to them. I did like the flashbacks that occurred throughout and I felt like this was a ploy to get us to know their back stories somewhat. I feel like I did learn a bit about each character, but not as much as I'd have wanted too if I'm being completely honest. With Clare, I found that no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't like her as a character. I found her to quite defeatist and I felt like she'd already decided that her and Aidan were going to break up without even thinking about it properly. I felt like she was very much set in her ways and at times I felt quite sorry for Aidan to have to put up with that. Aidan, on the other hand, I found very easy to warm too. You could tell that he wasn't going to give up on Clare without a fight and that he really did truly and honestly love her. I also found myself feeling rather sorry for him regarding his home life and his pushy father. He would be the kind of guy that any girl would love to date in my opinion.
I liked how the story ended as I guess it would give people hope that the two characters would get back together at some point. I admit it did leave me guessing for a few moments, but then it completely left my mind. I suppose some people of the romantic sort like to have hope that your first love will come back into your life at one point over time.
I was rather disappointed with Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between as I felt like I couldn't really connect with the plot or the themes that it surrounded and I found it to be rather flat. However, the few likeable characters and the back stories kept me going when I wanted to give up. Despite this, I will be picking up other books by Jennifer E. Smith as I can't judge an author on just one book.
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between, The Geography of You and Me, This Is What Happy Looks Like, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her writing has been translated into 31 languages.