Friday 2 October 2015

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between, Jennifer E Smith

Pages: 256
Publisher: Headline
Release Date: 1st September 2015
Edition: UK e-proof, NetGalley review copy

One night. A life-changing decision. And a list…

Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That’s just how she is.

But tonight is Clare and Aidan’s last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past – from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium – all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye.

But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?

I devoured Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between in a few short hours. It's romantic, funny and bittersweet and I couldn’t stop reading.

Told over the space of the final twelve hours before Clare and Aidan go off the college on opposite sides of the country, they have a big decision to make and not long to make it: should they break up or try and make it work? Clare takes them on what she strongly emphasises isn’t a scavenger hunt but is a journey through their relationship landmarks in their town: the places of their first kiss, first dance, first conversation. It’s lovely to see them reflect on their falling for each other and the way that Smith entwines those events with the pressure of their decision, saying goodbye to their friends who are still around and generally saying goodbye to being a kid is very bittersweet and nostalgic.

As Clare and Aidan explored their relationship, I fell in love with them. They’re sweet, genuine, imperfect and wonderful to read about. Clare is practical and relies on logic and her parents are a second chance forever love, Aidan is loud and impulsive and his parents are disappointed that he didn’t get into Harvard. They complement each other. I loved how their differing experiences and examples gave them their views on love and the possibility of their relationship surviving college. It brought up some really interesting questions: is it worth risking our friendship? What if it’s too hard? Is it only worth it if it’s hard? First love doesn’t always last forever, but sometimes it does, and what if theirs will?

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is another romantic and thoughtful look at first love and I loved it.

Thanks to Headline and NetGalley for the review copy.


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