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

Review

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is reaching out to those who are feeling helplessly lost in their relationship because maybe the next chapter of their lives is inevitably pulling them away from each other, but are not quite ready to let go yet.

This book is all about Aidan and Clare, and their adventure, more like a scavenger hunt within 12 hours, visiting places that have mean something to their relationship, and they work up the courage to decide if they want to break up or still be together and have this long distance relationship.

Clare had made a list of the places they’re going to visit. At first Clare only wanted to reminisce the memories she and Aidan had shared, but as the quiet night goes by their adventure quickly turns into unexpected one, it takes them on a roller-coaster through their past, from their first conversation to their first kiss and they ended up making new memories to take with them as they got ready to say goodbye to each other and their friends.

“We’re definitely not wasting our time on sleep” she tells him, pulling a folded piece of notebook paper from the pocket of her dress. “We have way too much to do.”

“Aidan raises an eyebrow. “That’d better not be a list of reasons why we should break up….”

“It’s not,”…. “I just figured maybe we could use a plan.” (Smith, 2)

This story is written from a third person limited point of view, most closely following Clare, her thoughts, and her emotions. Clare is so painstakingly familiar with Aidan that she can tell what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling just by the look in his eyes or the expression on his face. That way, we as readers are never left wondering how Aidan may be feeling yet having an overwhelming understanding of Clare’s feelings. Jennifer Smith manages to find the perfect balance between the two. Seeing as this is a story all about staying together or breaking up, Smith gives both Clare and Aidan contradicting opinions on the matter. While Aidan believes that they should fight for what they have.

Clare has a more practical mind-set wherein what will happen in the next few hours, months, years, really matters. She even tells Aidan that,

“You know how I feel about you… But I just… I think we might have an expiration date” (Smith, 51)

This not only allows the book to reach out to a wider demographic of people, but it sets a bittersweet mood throughout the entirety of the book. It evokes a multitude of emotions, ranging for hope to sadness to frustration. It was also exceedingly relatable. It made the reader’s to make Aidan and Clare’s relationship as our own. There wasn’t anything in particular to dislike about this book. It’s thought provoking, page turning, and tear jerking. It would really hit you with the heartbreaking realization that relationships that end before they are really, truly over or for some reasons that are out of their control, such as timing or distance, are far worse than relationships that end on a bitter and resentful note.

4 out of 5 stars

"Sometimes the hardest things are the ones most worth doing."