Hello, Goodbye by Kate Stollenwerck (280 pages)
One Teenager’s Summer Is Filled With Unexpected Surprises in Hello,Goodbye
Hailey Rogers is certain her summer is ruined when her best friend is sent away to summer camp and her parents insist she helps out her grandmother Gigi a few days a week at her home. Despite living in the same town, she barely knows her grandmother and would rather be anywhere else but there. As they get to know each other, Hailey learns that her once estranged grandmother is full of surprises—her spunk and gripping tales about her past has Hailey hooked and coming back for more. That, and the fact that one of the most popular and gorgeous boys from her grade lives just down the street.
Just when her summer is looking up, tragedy strikes and Hailey’s life is turned upside down. Secrets about Gigi are revealed that conflict with everything she’s known about her grandmother. Determined to get to the bottom of the truth, Hailey sets out on a field trip to uncover details about her family’s past that will change everything.
Grandmas, Convertibles, and Summer Love
If you are a fan of the Beatles, classic convertibles, and grandmother/granddaughter relationships, then this novel is for you. I adored reading about the duo and their generational differences, especially when it came to introducing books, music, and picking the perfect Beatles song for every situation.
Author Kate Stollenwerck captures the naivety of a teenager so well that it takes me back to when I was a teenager and reminds me of how I viewed the world in a similar way. Stollenwerck gradually develops Hailey’s character as she experiences love and loss in all their forms. While at first, it feels as though Hailey and Gigi’s relationship develops too quickly to seem realistic, the story unfolds and the reader gets a better understanding of why that is.
The subplots and love story are welcome additions to this family saga, and I believe this is where Stollenwerck really excels—tying in all the side plots to the bigger picture. Even though this story is at its core about a girl and her grandmother, the readers get a holistic picture of what life is like for a modern teenage girl through her life experiences.
The Bottom Line: 3.5/5 stars
Fans of young adult (YA) novels and teenagers specifically will enjoy this book. Fifteen-year-old me would have loved it as it has elements of the perfect teen summer novel: romance, family, driving a cool car, and everything in between. It made me wish I spent more time with my own grandmother(s) and tried to understand my family history better. It also made me wonder if doing so would have altered the course of my life as it did with Hailey.
Hello, Goodbye does read very YA; the writing style and grammatical structure are not complex or “highbrow” which will not appeal to all readers. However, as an adult reader, I did adore the story despite that and some far-fetched events. I definitely would recommend this to all teenagers looking for that perfect summer book.
What young adult novel would you recommend for the summer? Send us a DM on Instagram @booknbrunch
Maiya Alismaili is a 34 year old bookacholic who currently resides in Ottawa. With a background in Human Resources and Psychology, you will often find her people watching. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she will likely be exploring the town for new bookstores, rewatching Gilmore Girls, or cleaning to 80s music.
Favorite Book: A Fine Balance By Rohinton Mistry
Favorite Brunch Spot: Cafe Cristal