Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E.Smith
Published: September 1st 2015
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.
Aw, this book made me cry. That doesn’t happen very often. The last book I shed an ugly amount of tears over was the gorgeous, A Winter’s Tale. Jennifer E.Smith has successfully created her own subcategory of YA contemporary. Her stories are just so real, with genuine, flawed and beautiful characters. This book, as mentioned tugged at my heart. Authentically exploring the beauty and pain that sum up the experience of first love and what it feels like to close a significant chapter in your life. When everything you have ever known is changing, and time is going by much too fast.
Absolutely perfectly, given that the storyline takes places over the course of one night. All the feelings of rushed goodbyes, in this story they are in fact rushed and very real. We feel like we have infinite time, that we will always have a tomorrow to be the same ‘kid’ with our friends, to do the same things we always do and then one day, life has happened and there isn’t that tomorrow. Friends move away. Friendships fall apart. Relationships end. It’s growing up, and it sucks.
The nature of Claire and Aidan’s breakup is very real, and I can gurantee first loves across the world have separated for these same reasons. With that being said, the end of summer release date is actually perfect. Readers will be able to relate exactly to these characters because they are personally navigating through their own experiences of life, post first love.
It’s cruel isn’t it? That we are so content and carefree in our bubble of bliss and it has to be taken from us. That life has to push forward and everything has to change. All these emotions that we ALL have experienced this book perfectly captures.
E.Smith really pulled me into this one. It really spoke to me. I identified so much with Claire, it was nice to finally find a story where I could see a glimpse of myself in the protagonist.
It is not just the end of a relationship that is mourned. It is the end of an era. Of a comfortable life where everything is familiar to us. The timeline of one night feels very right. It does feel like the changes slam us overnight. We go to sleep peaceful and calm, and overnight our world has changed and nothing is familiar.
Reading Aidan and Claire’s experiences made me think of some of my own. The friends I’ve had. The people I’ve loved. The ‘big’ moments that once seemed to matter so much, and no longer do. It was a nice journey to the past.
It also taught a great lesson. One I’ve been struggling to learn, and this summer I’ve finally opened my eyes to this great truth. Just because something ends, doesn’t mean it takes away from the value of what was. Not everything is meant to have a happy ending, but there is always elements of happiness to take away from endings–whether it be the possibility of a new journey, or the memories of something that was once great.
One of her best books thus far.
Thank you, NetGalley for the review copy.