Hello, goodbye and everything in between – Jennifer E Smith
You know what, I could have really done with this book about eight years ago (has it really been that long? god I am old!) when I first left home for university and had to deal with saying goodbye to everything that was familiar and safe and all the people that went along with it.
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?
Firstly, I bloody love Jennifer E Smith books, so thank you bookbridgr for sending me a copy of her latest! I know they get a bit of criticism for being about straight couples doing cute straight couple things, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself in a bit of light hearted, fluffy romance every now and again. Hello is no different to her previous books, we have a story spanning one night (something that Jennifer E Smith does very well is entire novels set over the course of one night or a few days) while two teenagers decide whether or not to call time on their two year relationship the night before the embark on separate schools thousands of miles apart or to stay together and try the long distance thing.
Jennifer E Smith has found a formula that works really well, she is the queen of cute relationships, there is banter and intimacy and honestly, every single on of her books is a bit like looking at a box of kittens, it just makes your heart contract in a very peculiar way. Literally, every single one of her books is just the embodiment of the relationship goals hashtag that I use (ironically of course) on Twitter. This is just a story about deciding the future of a teenage relationship, this is also a story about moving on, growing up, having independence thrust upon you, change and of course, having to say goodbye. Clare and Aiden don’t just have to figure out what to do with their relationship, but also what they’re going to do with their friends, their parents, their entire lives now that everything is different.The relationship side of it wasn’t all teenage and ridiculous either, I know, being that I am nearly 27, that I get a bit frustrated reading YA romance sometimes because I just want to shake the couples and be like, ‘seriously? you are fifteen!’ but this had a couple that really thought about themselves as individuals, as well as a unit, it debated whether they were mr and mrs right or mr and mrs right now, there was a lot of discussion about relationships in general and how to navigate being yourself while being with someone else.
I think one of the main reasons why I flew through this so quickly was that it made me a bit nostalgic for that last summer between sixth form and university where it was all fun and games and underage drinking and then suddenly we were all packed into our cars and being driven to different points on a map not knowing what life was going to be like the next day or whether we would ever even see each other again once our first terms have ended. It’s a scary time and I remember really wanting to have a book or a film or something that would help me deal with that situation. Then, along came High School Musical 3 (which objectively is the best of the trilogy), a book called Roomies and this, they were all a little late for me having to deal with leaving behind everything and everyone that was familiar while I embarked on the next stage of my life, but they are here now and they’ll probably help someone.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between is adorable, quite frankly, it’s an easy read, but one that deals with very real thoughts and feelings and one that I would highly recommend. Even if you’re not heading off to university/college/whatever, even if you aren’t about to leave your loved ones for a prolonged period of time, even if you have a heart of stone, I think you should give this and a few of her other novels a read. Like I said, everyone needs a bit of light hearted and fluffy romance every now and again. Also look at that cover, that cover is amazing. I for one am quite pleased to have that one my shelf!