01 September 2015

Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've professed my love for Jennifer E. Smith's YA books for a long time now, and I can say, without hesitation, that Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is far and away my favorite book she has written, and has upped the bar in terms of how young adult romance can be done.

The story takes place over an evening where two high school sweethearts, about ready to head off to college, are ending their relationship so that they don't have to continue it long distance. This isn't something they necessarily want to do, but the two are spending their last night together revisiting some of their favorite memories and times together. Things don't quite go as planned, and it, of course, gets complicated, but the story is about those highs and lows in all relationships.

Why is this so great? There are so many reasons to consider. The characters are really likable, the story is not a new one but still feels new and fresh (the analogy I made initially was Daniel Handler's Why We Broke Up, but this is much more sincere). The entire thing is so relatable that it's hard to read in a way - you know what you want to happen, you see the writing on the wall, and yet. And yet. It's certainly a tug-at-the-heartstrings tearjerker but doesn't feel emotionally manipulative either. The narrative itself feels almost like a documentary in a sense, and that's just really great.

I don't have a negative thing to say about this at all. It's pitch-perfect, and it's something that I hope anyone and everyone who reads YA finds a way to enjoy. It's so really well done, and that's with my sky-high expectations in place already. Highly recommended.

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