Welcome to Mini Reviews Monday, a She Latitude weekly feature! This is for those books that don’t really require a full-fledged review and is a way for me to really just take note and keep track of all the books I’m reading. This week we start with Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith and Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between | Jennifer E. Smith (2015)
Young Adult, Contemporary | 246 pages | ★★☆☆☆
What it’s about: A teenage couple tries to decide whether to break up or to stay together since they’re leaving for college tomorrow and will soon have thousands of miles between them. Cue a night of visiting the places that mean something to them in the two years they have been together.
What’s good: It’s pretty fast-paced, and people who are on the brink of leaving for college would probably find something to enjoy about it. The love interest is likeable enough that I sure want him to be happy. And for a story that’s told over just one night, it’s definitely quite entertaining at some parts.
What’s bad: Clare, the main protagonist, is pretty self-centred, and I wasn’t impressed by how she makes everything about her. She gets called out for it later on but at that point it was a bit too late for me to fall in love with her. Additionally, the ending was unsatisfying and made the whole book just seem kind of pointless.
Verdict: Quick, easy read, but didn’t really leave much of an impression.
Skyscraping | Cordelia Jensen (2015)
Young Adult, Contemporary | 352 pages | ★★☆☆☆
What it’s about: A girl finds out that her parents have an open marriage and her dad is actually gay, and while she tries to cope with it, discovers that he is also HIV-positive. Told in verse.
What’s good: It tackles a very real, very important issue. It’s set in the 1990s, so it’s definitely not as contemporary as other contemporary YA books, but I like that it tried something different. Some parts of the book were really heartbreaking. There’s no real love interest, which is good because in this case, it personally would have distracted from the main message.
What’s bad: It’s told in verse, a decision I don’t see the point of. The main character, Mira, is a bit self-centred and immature, and I sometimes wish that her younger sister April was the main character instead. Some of the subplots weren’t necessary and just didn’t really add anything to the story.
Verdict: I would probably love this book if it was written in prose. I just didn’t really connect with the verse that much.