“On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide their future. The night leads them to family and friends, 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?”
If what we see of Clare and Aidan’s relationship in this book is any indication of what their relationship will be like in the future? I hope the answer to the question is goodbye forever.
Obviously, I didn’t enjoy the book. It wasn’t so bad that I had to stop reading, and my displeasure didn’t reach throwing-against-a-wall levels, but I must say that if I had a chance to tell my past self not to pick this book up? I would.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is an exercise in futility. From the first chapter, we are told that at the end of this very long night, our main characters will find a reason to stay together–to risk a long-distance romance. So the night is supposed to strengthen them as it leads them to “familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations.”
And it sort of does.
And then it doesn’t.
Reading the book, I had to wonder: did the author even know where she wanted the book to go? Did she know what her characters really wanted? Or was this a writing exercise that got published because her previous efforts sold well?
I’m not bitter here. I’m not a novelist trying to get my first novel published. But seriously, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between feels like something that one would find trawling through the Wattpad catalog. And even saying that, I feel like I’m going to offend some Wattpad writers.
There is nothing special about this book, and even it gimmick of a “scavenger hunt of memories” falls flat because the characters themselves give up on it halfway through. I don’t even know what the book wants to say except: people always break up, but because this is a romance novel, the protagonists will still find a way to each other.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I started reading this book. Entertainment? An escape? An interesting take on love? Whatever it was, I didn’t find it. But I did learn a lesson:
Don’t trust a popular author to always deliver a good story.
But, like I always say whenever I write anything about books I ended up not liking? Don’t take my word for it. Check out the blurb, find other bloggers who read the book. What didn’t work for me might have worked for someone else. Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s unlikable.
Give the book a try–
But maybe borrow the book, instead of buying your own copy. Just in case you end up not liking it too.