book, Book Review

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

About the Book:Book - Hello, Goodbye and Everything In-Between
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown)
Source: Publisher (thanks, Hallie!)
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult (New Adult) Contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: Admiring Jennifer’s books from afar on Goodreads – and even those on my own shelf (I own three, I believe), made me realize how much I was bound to enjoy her books. The cover art is modern and fun and sweet usually depicting an image of a silhouetted couple, obviously in love. When I received a copy of Jennifer’s September novel in the mail, I was beyond delighted. I had requested the book, but wasn’t confident it would be something I’d receive. 

Basically, the story sets up a one-night romance as Clare and Aidan plan to leave for college the following day. The choice before them? Decide whether or not to stay together over the four years they’ll be apart, not to mention accomplishing this while on separate Coasts. A series of events take place over the one night as the pair take a walk down memory lane, remembering all of their “firsts” – first kiss, first date and when they met.

As if this didn’t already pique my interest – come on, you gotta’ admit, this one sounds cuuute – I had two really good blogging friends (shout-out to Amber and Kara) telling me, reading a book by this author was a must. Though I would have eventually gotten around to reading them, I’m glad a review copy did arrive on my doorstep, “forcing” me to sit down, and become lost in its charms. Saying this probably isn’t fair since this is the only of Jennifer’s I’ve read, but this book, somehow seemed… different.

The characters are on the edge of putting this in the “new adult” camp and the style was mature. There’s a lighthearted vibe to nearly everything that goes down during Clare and Aiden’s night, but something seemed to have shifted in the story stylistically. Perhaps this is the unique voice in which the author tells all of her stories, but whatever the case, I can honestly and without reservation say, I adored this book. The start gets off to a slow pace, and briefly my opinion was one of disappointment (stress the “briefly”). It wasn’t long before the entertainment value kicked things up and an interesting night of self-reflection, memories and memory making, and the beautiful dilemma of figuring out the answer to, “what’s next?”

Clare and Aiden are amazing characters. I loved how “unpolished” they were. They were average teenagers on the cusp of changes and bigger decisions yet they were unique. I never once questioned their love or relationship, which flows naturally and reads authentic in every situation. I was swept into their whirlwind night, flip-flopping in my opinion of what the endgame was to be (and I may or may not have read ahead… but I’ll never tell). The interesting side stories and memories the characters inspire is charm personified. Basically, when I turned the last page, I was left wondering why I’d not read one of Jennifer’s books. This might have been my  prologue to her works, but it won’t be the epilogue. Lighthearted when it counts, poignant when it should be, and appropriately emotional, Hello, Goodbye and Everything In-Between should be on your “must” list for this fall. In short, you’ll despise having to say “goodbye” to this charmer.

Content: I honestly don’t remember much of issue in this novel. There are a few minor profanities and perhaps a sexual reference or two, and a “fade to black” type sex scene.

Coming Next from Jennifer E. Smith, Summer Days and Summer Nights (12 Love Stories): A collection of twelve romantic tales of young summer love. Edited by Stephanie Perkins. Featuring new short stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith. – 2016

Synopsis: 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?
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. – Goodreads

With thanks to the publisher (Hallie) for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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