Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is the story of Clare and Aidan who have been dating throughout high school but they’re both about to leave for Universities at opposite ends of the country; Clare has decided that they should break up because long distance relationships don’t work. Aidan has just one night left to convince her that they should stay together.
I really enjoyed this novel. I liked that it was a little different from other contemporary young adult books in that it starts at the end and we get to hear the story though reminiscing; it added a different dimension to the characters. Clare has made a list of all the places in the local town where meaningful things have happened in their relationship and over the course of this last evening together they will visit them all one last time. As Clare and Aidan stop at each place on Clare’s list we get to see how they feel being there now and we get to hear about why each place means so much to them. I loved how sometimes they remember things a little differently, and how they discovered new things like when they’d each first noticed each other.
Clare and Aidan have made so much of this last night together that the underlying tension is very apparent. Inevitably, the stress of making this last evening perfect begins to take its toll and arguments happen and a secret gets revealed. It’s the way these things go in real life and as much as I was willing these two on to have a brilliant night full of happy memories, it was much more believable that the worries and upset about their future apart from each other would creep in.
I really felt for them because they weren’t breaking up because they’d fallen out of love, they’d both made the very adult decision to apply to colleges that were the best fit for what they wanted to do in the future and rather than choosing based on them being able to live near each other. I really appreciated this in the novel too, as so often in books things all work out neatly because the characters end up living near by.
I was really torn about how I wanted this novel to end. I was half-hoping they’d decide to stay together and make a go of it. In this day and age with texting and FaceTime etc they maybe could have at least tried but I understand Clare’s point of view that if they tried and failed they might end up not even being friends, whereas if they end on a good note now they could remain friends. I was also half-hoping that Clare would stand her ground and that they would make a clean break as she did have a good point and she so badly wanted Aidan to still be in her life, at least as a friend, rather than him ending up as no one to her.
I really wasn’t sure how this novel was going to end but Smith ended it perfectly, I’m not going to give any spoilers at all but the end was just right.
The title of this book is perfect, it really does sum up what the book is about and it’s very memorable too! I really enjoyed Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between, it’s a heart-felt novel with characters that are easy to connect with; the story pulls you straight in and holds you there right to the end!
I rate this book 4 out of 5.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is out now and available from Amazon.
I received this book from Headline via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.