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

Posted September 3, 2015 by Lori in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments Tags:

Book Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. SmithHello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2015-09-01
Genres: Coming of Age, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
AmazonBarnes and NobleBook Depository

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.

I’m going to be completely upfront with you guys about this book. Nothing really happens. It’s a story about a boy and a girl and their last night together. That’s it. It’s completely about the characters, their past, how they got to where they are, and how they feel about everything. If that isn’t something you want to read about, you will not like this book.

I actually really enjoyed it. Sometimes the drama got to be a tad much for me but overall it gave me lots of flashbacks to my own days before leaving for college and all of the feelings I had when saying goodbye to my best friend and my high school sweetheart. If you’ve been through the last days of summer at home and the first days away at college, this book will make you relive those memories. If you haven’t gone through those yet or aren’t heading away to college, this book might be a bit harder for you to relate to. And since that’s what I liked most about this book, how easy it was for me to relate to the emotions of the characters, it’s hard for me to say how much you might like it.

Because besides what I liked about it, there were also a bunch of things that weren’t great about it. The main character, Clare, was a little hard to like. She’s pretty selfish in the beginning and stubborn and not very sensitive to her best friend. The only thing she’s thinking about is whether she’s going to break up with Aidan at the end of the night or not. Which, I must say, is a horrible thing to do. Waiting until the very last minute, dragging it out as long as you possibly can, making this other person just wait and wait and wait until you finally decide to dump him right before going away. That was a bit hard to support. Also, it’s hard to like Aidan when he’s just hanging around and begging her to pretty much not dump him. Plus a whole bunch of other things that happen between them. They just weren’t the best kind of characters I like to read about.

As I said before, nothing really happens in the book. We follow the two around all night from one stop to the next while they talk and argue and make out and talk some more about the same thing. I think this book will be hard for a lot of people to like. Unless you can relate to what’s going on or you really like the relationship between the two characters, I’ll be honest and say you’ll probably find the book worthless.

This book had a similar to feel of Smith’s previous books in the sense that both characters are dealing with their own separate lives and trying to figure out what they each want but it didn’t have the same cute, sweet feeling of the others when it came to the relationship. Because the two aren’t finding and getting to know each other like in Smith’s other books, we don’t get the adorable moments where the characters meet for the first times or are starting to fall for each other. We get the real, more difficult emotions of a developed relationship. It’s an interesting change and one I appreciated but it’s not ideal if the sweet moments are what you enjoy most about Smith’s other books.

I hope you’ll give this book a chance if it sounds like something you might like. And if not, I won’t fault you for skipping over it. And just in case you’re curious, my absolute favorite Smith book is The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I will recommend that book always. It’s sweet and adorable and also very heartfelt. Give it a try!


2 Responses to “Book Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith”

  1. Hmm, I am not entirely sure how I feel about this one. It sounds like a cool journey, but like it also isn’t too much in terms of plot and focuses solely on their relationship with a lot of looking back. I personally, don’t think this is one for me. But great review nonetheless x
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  2. I wasn’t totally impressed with this book, but you raise an interesting point that the story could be relatable is you had a similar experience leaving for college. I didn’t have relationships like that in high school and didn’t feel like I was losing much when I went away. It wasn’t my favorite Smith book, but I’ll keep trucking and hopefully I’ll find “The One” 🙂
    – Krys
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