Published August 2, 2022
About Hello, Goodbye
Fifteen-year-old Hailey Rogers is sure her summer is ruined when her parents force her to spend a few days a week helping her grandmother, Gigi. Although she only lives across town, she never sees her grandmother and knows little about her. But Gigi is full of surprises–and family secrets. Throw in the gorgeous boy down the street, and Hailey’s ruined summer might just be the best of her life.
Then tragedy strikes, lies are uncovered, and Hailey’s life suddenly falls apart. After unearthing clues in an old letter written by her great-grandfather, she takes off on a road trip to solve the family mystery with the only person she can trust. In a forgotten Texas town, the past and the present collide–and Hailey is forced to choose what she truly values in life.
I liked a lot of things about this book– most especially the relationship between Hailey and her grandmother, Gigi. One of my favorite things is all of the layering within that relationship and the things that it brings up for Hailey in her relationships with other people like her mom and even Blake.
I struggled with Hailey’s judgments about Bree, another girl in her grade, who, admittedly, isn’t very nice to her. Hailey sums her up with some cutting remarks about her being a busty, ditzy girl. I would have liked less of the cliché reasoning there and maybe more depth? Something that wasn’t judging the girl by her appearance and making some ugly assumptions.
One thing that I thought was cool about the story is that Hailey is a runner, but she runs cross country. I don’t really know much about running, but the only other books I can think of with a runner in them are runners who run track, and I didn’t even realize cross country was a totally different thing. So it was cool to learn more about that and what her training looked like.
On the whole, I liked the exploration of family relationships and Hailey’s exploration of new relationships and independence. I think readers who like books by Kasie West should check out HELLO, GOODBYE.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Hailey is Jewish (this comes as a surprise to her– her family attends a Baptist church). She learns that her great-grandmother was a Holocaust survivor. The “gorgeous boy down the street” is also Jewish.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.
Kissing between a boy and girl. References to other characters hooking up. Reference to a girl having sent nude photos of herself to a boy, which she gets in trouble for doing.
Hailey attends a Hanukkah celebration. References to attending Baptist church.
A man threatens others with a gun.
Hailey sees other teens drinking alcohol, but she sticks with Dr. Pepper. She helps clean up a girl who has had too much to drink and is sick.
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