August 24, 2015

Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Grade: B-
Release date: September 1, 2015
An e-galley was provided by Little, Brown via NetGalley and an ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I am a sucker for Jennifer E. Smith's books. It all started when I first entered the world of YA and read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I haven't actively disliked any of her books, but Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was not one of her stronger titles. Its characters were realistic, its plot was a fun idea, and it was a recipe for the perfect Emma book. But I found myself irritated with the characters a lot, and I was especially frustrated with Clare on several occasions. I get why Hello was more realistic than romantic, but I would've liked a little more fiction and wishful thinking rather than realism and a bittersweet ending. The one part I appreciated that was realistic and smart was the whole plot about Aidan not actually applying to Harvard and Clare not getting into Stanford. Their thoughts about all of that worked nicely; I'd elaborate but I'll be spoiling some big stuff in just a few sentences, so I'll leave this as a surprise. There was much discussion between Aidan and Clare about their potential break-up and I just wanted it to happen or not. So when, SPOILER ALERT, they actually broke up partway through the book, I was pleasantly surprised. That worked out nicely. But then, ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT, they slept together again after they'd broken up, and that left me confused. They were just a confusing couple in general. I never could quite figure out why they were even together. Now, Scotty and Stella actually kind of made sense. Their part in the plot was good, and I liked Scotty and how he reacted to feeling left behind and not as good as his friends.
There was more foul language than Jennifer's books normally have, but it still wasn't much. Like I mentioned above, one of the couples sleeps together (it's fade to black). There's a sort-of drunken fight and underage drinking.

The Verdict: Good, but this didn't top Statistical Probability and You Are Here as my favorite Jennifer E. Smith novels.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Yup, but not until it's in paperback. (Long story.)

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