Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between

Book Information
Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9780316334426
Pages: 246

It is their last night before leaving for college, and Clare and Aidan have to figure out if they are going to have a long distance relationship or break up. Clare makes a list of the things and places that have been the most important in their two years of being together. Together they go from place to place, reliving the moments that brought them together. Along the way, they discuss the possibility of staying together and the fear of being apart. They get upset with each other and some of their friends as everyone they know struggles to deal with moving on to a new stage of life that no one is feeling comfortable with. Through the course of one night, Clare and Aidan decide to move on to have the college experience, but leave room for possible hellos in the future after a long night of goodbyes.

The book seems like it would be a cute, fluffy book, but the characters and situation make it unsuccessful. It seems strange that Clare and Aidan were able to date for two years with their polar opposite personalities. Clare is indecisive, far too logical that seems reasonable in the situation, and selfish towards her friends without realizing it for a long time and then is unwilling to apologize for it. When she finally gets what she’s been arguing for, she gets upset by it. Aidan, however, is a lot more likeable, but seems like a “wish fulfilment” character for the reader. Aidan puts more into the relationship that Clare seems to, making it feel very one sided. People leaving for college soon might find the book highly relatable in spite of the characters’ weaknesses.

*Contains mentions of sexual relationships