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“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” More
Summary: The last evening of summer vacation is no celebration. Tomorrow morning, high school sweethearts Clare and Aidan are heading off to start college. On opposite coasts: brainy Clare is off to Dartmouth, bumbling Aidan is heading to UCLA. All that's left is one last question: should they stay together or break up? As the stroll around town this last evening, they visit the landmarks of their relationship. Not just physical places like school and the pizza parlor, but they revisit things like Aidan’s tense relationship with his father and a sudden rift with another friend. Where will these memories ultimately take them? With college-bound main characters, this is a young adult novel in the high interest / low readability category.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and up; read yourself: 14 and up
Young Reader Reaction: Hello is a perfect novel for teenagers looking for a realistic, but not overly pessimistic portrayal of first love. Even those who are not hopeless romantics will enjoy Smith’s witty prose and acerbic humor. Overall, the mood is bittersweet and poignant, but never overly philosophical or heavy. The characters are sorrowful, but they are still young and filled with hope for the future. I admired Smith’s characterization. She neither dumbs her protagonists down, nor elevates them to a state of intellect above their eighteen years.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Poignant, bittersweet, and hopeful, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between will captivate readers.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This will be a lovely gift for a rising senior or recent college graduate.
If You Liked This Book, Try: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales; Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell; Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Kohn and David Leviathin; Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson IF I STAYTHIS LULLABYWHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE
Educational Themes: This is a very thoughtful book. It would be a nice selection for opening a discussion about going to college, either as a family read or a mother-daughter book club.
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, coming of age, school, realistic fiction, contemporary
Date(s) Reviewed: August 2017
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.