Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Pub Date: Sep. 1st 2015
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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?
Jennifer E. Smith is notorious for her cute contemporaries that you either love, or hate. For the past year or so I have seen so many mixed reviews about her previous books that I decided to shy away from her writing, however my blogger bff Jaclyn (from Living in a World of Book Quotes) insisted that I give her a shot. At BEA, Jaclyn managed to snag a copy of the book for me and also helped me find the author to take a picture with.
This book really hit home to me because it takes place during the final hours a couple have together before they part together, which really depressed me because of my whole college heartbreak situation (I’m still very touchy about the subject *sigh*). However I pushed my personal feelings aside and continued to read about the dilemma this young couple was facing.
Honestly, I hated the book at the beginning. I felt that the main character, Clare, was over-dramatic, self absorbed, and very self conscious. During her last night with her boyfriend she sees a couple of her friends and literally all she can think about is how sad she is because she and her boyfriend are most likely going to break up and then she’s mad because her friend is paying attention to her feelings, etc. etc. I literally wanted to strangle Clare because she has practically everything an 18 year old could want: parents who support her, friends that care about her, a boyfriend that loves her, and she’s going to a great college that will give her the very best education; but yet she’s whining over the most mundane things.
Despite my annoyance with Clare, I was curious to know how the couple was going to end the night so I continued reading. Frankly, I wanted to stop reading after Clare went off on her best friend, but Jennifer Smith’s writing really draws you in and makes you want to finish the story. Clare still annoyed me, but she began to grow on me and eventually I started to understand her. The second half of the book hooked me, Clare seemed to realize just how clingy she was, Aidan was taking control of their stops, and they had meaningful conversations that made me laugh and (surprise, surprise) even cry.
After finishing the book, I was unsure of how I should rate it. The ending definitely felt like a 5 star rating, but I knew I couldn’t rate the entire book by the ending solely. I determined that it was almost a 4 star book, but not quite so I rated it 3.5 stars- however I really did love the story. There was so much character development to make up for the annoyance I felt earlier on, as well as a ton of adorable and kinda deep moments towards the end. In the end, I think that I’ll recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary novels with slightly over-dramatic relationships.