Jennifer E. Smith captures the beauty of an uncertain future in HELLO, GOODBYE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN!

Looking for an honest, emotional end-of-summer read? Look no further than Jennifer E. Smith’s Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between!

Clare and Aidan have been together for two years, which is practically an eternity when you’re a teenager. They’ve survived high school and quiet, small town life easily. They have amazing friends and favorite places and rituals that they love. But there’s one thing they’re not sure they can survive: College.

Clare is headed to the East Coast and Aidan to the West Coast for four years and, being practical, they recognize that the distance could easily become an issue for them. So the two come up with a plan to spend one last epic night together, revisiting all their favorite places and friends until they can finally come to a decision about whether they can say together or need to go their separate ways now.

It’s hard to feel for the characters at first, particularly Clare, who comes off as coldly rational compared to Aidan’s sweet optimism. But as the story goes on, you feel for all of characters. They’re undergoing one of the most intimidating transitions life can throw at you and everyone is handling it differently, sometimes a bit too dramatically. As Clare and Aidan constantly remind us, there is no simple answer to the questions life throws at you and there’s no proper way to react.

As wonderful as the two leads turned out to be, we must confess our love for their best friends! Clare’s best friend Stella is spunky and a bit of an outcast, overflowing with sarcastic wit but with a loving soul underneath it all. Aidan’s best friend Scotty is Stella’s verbal sparring partner, a kind-hearted, lovable oaf who never tried quite hard enough to make it to a four-year college. They add a lot of humor and poignancy to the story while serving as the perfect foil to Clare and Aidan’s problems. We want– nay, NEED– at least a novella about these two!

Amidst the solid plot and emotional roller coaster, there was admittedly one issue we struggled with: The story is told in the very unfamiliar third person present tense. It felt jarring at times, especially with past tense flashbacks strewn in throughout the novel.

Still, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is a wonderful read to prepare you for a change in seasons, whether you’re talking about the weather or life. It’s bittersweet, hopeful charm will pull at your heartstring in unexpected ways. If you love contemporary YA, give this one a glance!

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is out September 1, 2015.


Official 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?

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