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

February 28, 2016 Book 4 ★★★★★

Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. SmithHello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Published by Poppy on September 1st, 2015
Source: Netgalley
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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?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

Jennifer E. Smith’s book always find something to which your emotions attach onto and grip at it so hard that tears are bound to fall somewhere between reading.

As some may know, I started college barely last August and it was only the first of many new experiences I was about to start with blind eyes, no idea of what was to happen to me. I read this book somewhere between that first semester, and it really spoke to me about my fears, my goals, all the what-ifs, from the very first page. Clare was facing something similar, a new beginning in a college far from her home, her friends, her parents, and Aidan, her boyfriend. In the last night before they are both bound to leave to opposing coasts of the USA, Clare makes up a list of places to go to remember significant moments of their relationship, as if that would tell her they should try a long-distance relationship, or break up every important thing between them.

I love the romance in this book because it wasn’t lovey dovey and sickly sweet, but realistic and respectful; they were both caring and sweet and oh-so-cute. I kept thinking about how Clare was going to be stupid if she left him just because they were going to be apart for so long, but I had the same thoughts. Why have a relationship like that? Every single reason she gave to Aidan I had in my own mind too, and I related every chapter more and more with Clare with her list-making brain and structure.  She was realistic but hopeful of what they both had, and through the story we see her character develop well with this situation. I love it all.

Aidan was simply too much. He was a real romantic, funny, a dreamer, a geek cutie… *sigh*.

“That’s just Aidan: a natural talker, an unconscious prattler, a cheerful banterer.”

But other than those admirable and swoony aspects of him, his character had a very common problem among teens when it comes to colleges: when your parents want something you don’t. Aidan’s dad wanted him to go to his alma mater, but Aidan wasn’t going to, which brought a lot of conflict in his family and, eventually, his relationship with Clare.

As a whole, this novel was a real work of art, and I especially recommend it to everyone about to start college, or are in one, because it’ll speak tons of truth into your hearts and souls. Friendships end and new ones are made, decisions taken that’ll have a ripple effect through your life, and relationships that may or not may be meant to be. Jennifer E. Smith’s words resounded in my head and left me almost drown in a pool of tears from beginning until the end. Simply wonderful.

“Because love wasn’t something you could take back. It was like a magic spell: Once you said the words, they were simply out there, shifting and changing everything that had once been true.”

Rating: 5 stars


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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything 🙂
  • Honestly, the premise of this book scares the living daylights out of me. It promises heartbreak…though, that may be because I’m a negative Nancy nowadays. Sigh.

  • Honestly, the premise of this book scares the living daylights out of me. It promises heartbreak…though, that may be because I’m a negative Nancy nowadays. Sigh.

    • It has some heartbreak, but in a bittersweet and thought-provoking way. And I hope that whatever has you negative gets better 🙂

  • I’ve read a few other Jennifer E Smith books and they just really speak to me for their honest and realistic portrayals of teenagers! I love what you said about the struggles that both characters here face and how relatable it was for you. Lovely review Jennifer!