Tuesday 8 September 2015

Book Review: Hello, Goodbye and Everything Inbetween by Jen E. Smith

TitleHello, Goodbye and Everything Inbetween
Author: Jen E. Smith
Published: 1st September 2015
Publisher: Headline

Jen E. Smith is right up there with my favourite Young Adult authors. She just has this great ability to get across a teenager's thoughts and feelings and enables you to connect easily with the characters of the story. I loved Jen's previous stories, This is What Happy Looks Like and The Geography of You Me, so I could not wait to start her latest. 

I found Hello, Goodbye and Everything Inbetween a lot more serious than Jen's previous books and for a little while, I wasn't overly enjoying it. To be fair, this probably wasn't helped by the fact that I was on holiday and was hoping for something a bit more upbeat, so not Jen's fault there. However as the story unfolded, I did really start to get into it.

So this isn't Jen's usual sweet romance story, it's about two characters who are going away to different colleges far apart from each other and on their last night they are deciding whether they are going to stay together or break apart. Their last night takes them back to all the key places of their relationship and memories come flooding back. As the night goes on the decision becomes harder, so will Clare and Aidan be saying goodbye for good or for now?

Once I had read a few pages into this, I really started to get into it. As I said at the beginning of this review, Jen is brilliant at writing relatable characters and really being able to imagine yourself in their shoes. Jen has created a wonderfully heartfelt novel that looks at the love at the end of a relationship rather than at the beginning, and is not something that I have come across before. So despite my initial unsureness, I actually came to really like this. What also made it enjoyable to read was that each chapter was titled by a Stop- these were the stops that Clare and Aidan made that meant something to them during their relationship. I got so involved in their story and was desperate for them not to break up.

So despite the shaky start with the storyline focus, this actually turned out to be another great read from Jen. It doesn't make it into my favourites from her, but Jen still managed to deliver a beautiful, heartfelt story.


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