Sunday, August 23, 2015

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

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I love this author. This was a book I would not let myself leave BEA without. I was beyond excited to meet her this year. She, I believe, is one of the best YA contemporary writers out there today. That being said, this wasn’t my favorite book of hers.
It was such a brave book. I’ve never read a YA that covers what this does. So, I give Smith major kudos for accomplishing something so big. Normally, contemporary romances are about falling in love. This, was about the end of falling in love. It’s about a couple getting ready to move away to separate colleges on opposite ends of the country. It’s about knowing they need to break up, but being so unwilling to do so.
This is the ultimate break up book. Who hasn’t been in the place of these characters? It’s such a universal topic that it’s kind of crazy to think that there aren’t more books centered on it. This book had me thinking of past goodbyes and past moments. Some things seemed so big and important and other things didn’t seem important enough. I remember hanging out with two friends of mine one night before we took are separate paths to our own respective colleges. And I remember knowing, like Clare, that everything was about to change. That this very well could be the last time the three of us would hang out. And it was.
Going away to college is such a dramatic occasion. And watching the characters of this book go through it all in one night brought back so many memories for me. Really, what a great idea for a book!
However, I never fully loved the characters. I related to Clare, sure. I know what’s it’s like to be going away to college, knowing everything will be different, knowing what I want will change. But, she just never stood out to me. What did she like to do for fun? What was she interested in, besides parties? So much of her inner turmoil seemed vague and typical, and I guess I wanted more pieces of her to shine through. I just didn’t feel like I knew who she was at all.
I think I liked Aidan a little more. He wasn’t afraid to say what he was thinking or do crazy things on his last night. He loved playing lacrosse and he knew where he wanted to go. He just seemed more solid to me. It wasn’t hard to picture who he was.
The best friend characters didn’t seem all too developed either. I felt for Aiden’s best friend, I really did. But, again, I just didn’t feel like I knew him that well. And Clare’s best friend was kind of fuzzy too.
The idea for this book and the journey Clare and Aiden go on are magnificent. I just wish the characters were as good as they were in Smith books of past. I’m also not a fan of the prologue. I feel like it was bit of a cop-out. However, I couldn’t put this book down. The whole concept of it kept me going. And I needed to know how it would all turn out. I give it an 8/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment