Published by Poppy on September 1, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Review Copy
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?
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was short, sweet, cutesy, and tried too hard to be something amazing. In the end, Jennifer E. Smith’s newest novel just winds up being a book that you’ll finish, put down, and never pick up again.
So we have Aidan and Clare, high school sweethearts, facing their last night together in their hometown before heading off to colleges on opposite sides of the country. And the big question is will they stay together, or break it off before the night ends? In an attempt to find an answer, they choose to follow a list of all the places that meant something to the couple during their time together.
What I thought Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was going to do was be romantic and lovely and I’d get to relive everything about these two characters. And I thought I’d root for them to stay together and live happily ever after. Turns out, I just wanted them to break up because they are the most annoying couple ever. Clare and Aidin are stereotypical and cliche characters with okay dialogue but no real plot that was worth investing time in. Rooting for them to do the unexpected actually made it easier to read the novel. It all felt like unnecessary drama was the main focus, and the drama that should have been front and center was very much an afterthought. I do like Stella and Scotty, though. I’m rooting for their characters to be eventually become awesome individuals.
I’ll admit, I haven’t read any of Smith’s other novels. So maybe this is a constant in her writing style, and I just don’t fit into the intended audience. And really, despite my complaints about the characters and plot, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between isn’t all bad if you’re looking for a beach read, or something you really don’t need to focus all of your attention on. Personally, I’m not mad that I read it, but I wouldn’t have been crushed if I’d missed it, either.