Let me start off by saying that I hadn’t read any of Jennifer E. Smith’s other books before I read this one. I saw it on NetGalley and it sounded adorable, and I fell in love with the cover. So when I got approved for it, needless to say, I was pretty excited to read it.
The idea for the book is a pretty good one – Clare and Aidan have graduated high school and are heading to college. Everything is ready – and they have one more night before they leave. They only need to figure out if they should stay together or if they should break up, because they are heading to schools on the opposite ends of the country, and they won’t get to see each other very often. They’ve been together for quite some time, and they’re practically inseparable. While Aidan thinks they should just “go with it and see what happens,” Clare isn’t so sure. She thinks that maybe they should call it quits and just move on. So she tries to make their last night special, so that she can decide what she wants to do for certain before they leave. She plans a special night for them, that starts off with all of the stops for the times that were special to them – the first time they met, the first conversation they had, and so on. Clare thinks it’s a romantic idea and it will give them an entire night to spend together before they have to make the decision, and she wants to spend every second of it with Aidan.
The night is full of interesting and unexpected twists, of course, and things happen that neither Clare nor Aidan plan on. But the question is – will they try to beat the odds and stay together, or will they make the decision to end their relationship and walk away from the amazing bond they share?
The story is told over the course of one night – the last night before Clare and Aidan leave for college. They decide to stay up all night and spend their remaining hours together, which I found incredibly sweet. In the course of that one night, we follow the two main characters around town, from the school, to their friend’s house, to a bowling alley – all in their quest to make the right decision that will change both of their lives. I can understand the fear that Clare had about the two of them growing apart and meeting other people when they were so far away and in college, but at the same time, it seemed like Clare didn’t even want to try and make things work. While her decision kind of went back and forth throughout this book, it just seemed to me that she lacked the motivation to work at a relationship with someone who she claimed to have such intense feelings for. In a way, this made me dislike her character just a little bit…I guess I just couldn’t understand why she had her mind made up and didn’t want to change it.
But all in all, this book is a great read (and a tearjerker…yeah, I’ll admit it, I needed some tissues for this one). It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me want to slap the main character sometimes, but I enjoyed it, and I would definitely read it again. I fell in love with Jennifer E. Smith’s writing style, and I instantly wanted to read more of her books. If you’re looking for a an emotional love story that really makes you feel every single emotion that the main characters are feeling, this is a great one.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.