Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Little, Brown 2016. 252 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780316334419 (paperback)
9780316334426 (hardcover)
9780316334440 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, dialogue, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

High school sweethearts Clare and Aidan are facing their last night together before heading to college at opposite ends of the country. Clare, who pragmatically thinks they should break up, though “she’s still waiting for her heart to get on board with the decision her head has made,” has planned a scavenger hunt around the small town, to commemorate their relationship. Aidan, who wants to give long-distance love a try, goes along with it, and his more easy-going attitude helps them adapt to the evening’s unforeseen events. Throughout the night, a number of discoveries are made, notably that Aidan never actually applied to his father’s alma mater of Harvard, even though it would have meant staying closer to Clare, and that their best friends, Stella and Scotty, who have been bickering for years, have recently fallen in love.

Written in the third person, and seen through Clare’s eyes, the novel considers the hypothetical situations and the fearsome unknowns that many young people in similar situations face. The two lovers are also aware of the influence of their parents’ relationships. Their misadventures throughout the night are touching, funny and believable: Scotty and Aidan get into a fight, Scotty winds up at the police station and covered in fingerprinting ink, and Aidan and his father argue and more or less reconcile. Clare is sufficiently self-aware to know that what they must do is “start a brand-new collection of adventures and memories, to keep them close like the best of all souvenirs, and then one day, if they’re really lucky, to find a way to bring them home again.”

  •  

    In small groups, discuss how you think high school friendships and romantic relationships change after graduation. Can the feelings and connections continue when people are in different places and situations?

  •  

    Discuss whether it is really necessary for Clare and Aidan to break up. What do you think would happen if they stayed together? What would you do? How would you convince your partner to agree with your choice?

  •  

    At the end, Clare gets a package from Aidan containing a special artifact with a note asking, “Is it later yet?” Write her response in the form of a letter or poem and choose an object to send along with Clare’s answer. Describe Aidan’s reaction when he receives Clare’s message.

  •  

    Do you believe long-distance relationships can work? In groups of three or four, discuss both sides of the issue and reach a consensus.

  •  As you read, look for clues about what Clare and Aidan will decide to do about their relationship at the end of their last night together.
  •  

    Write a new chapter that takes place three or four years later, when Clare and Aidan have completed their studies and returned home and must decide where their relationship will go. Be sure to refer to the “later” they discussed at the end.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences