Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Atria Books | Paperback, 336 pages
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Adult Fiction | Romance
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Hoover’s last two books had me conflicted. It was the type of read that could’ve gone either way. My feelings about them straddled a thin line. Fortunately, she’s managed to win me both times.

Sort of.

Admittedly, I’m a fool in love with Colleen’s books. She has this ability to make me forgive characters that normally wouldn’t be so lucky to receive my pardon. Case and point: Ridge, Sydney and the sordid love triangle of Maybe Someday. The culprit in this book is Tate; her offence? She was weak, weak, weak. And yes, a fool in lust love with Miles.

Colleen said not one of her characters had ever made her cry more than Miles. That alone was enough to send me into a nervous tizzy. But Miles didn’t make me cry. Sure, I felt sorry for him. The boy, however, was cooooold. He was determined to keep the status quo of walking around permanently slathered in Novocaine. And I understand, you know? I understand his need to put on 3-feet thick concrete around his heart. But his coldness was so severe, I felt the frost seeping out of the book. All the baleful staring would normally melt me into a puddle, but I’m sorry to say that Miles didn’t do it for me.

As for Tate. Sigh. I don’t know what to say. I am not a fan of female characters who forget who they are simply because a man makes their hearts palpitate and their other parts er, quiver. Ultimately, this is why Ugly Love didn’t do as well with me. Listen, I’m as liberal as they come. Feminist, yes. So I understand and commend Tate for agreeing to Miles’ sex only rule. Women can play the field as men could. But. Her constant acquiescence bordered on submissive behaviour (of which, I’m not a fan).  If she didn’t feel so much for Miles, perhaps it’d been a different matter. But she couldn’t leave her emotions out of the equation. And I couldn’t. I felt like I was that friend, you know? The one who wanted to douse her with a bucket of ice cold water just to wake her up. They used each other for their own reasons. Miles was up front about what he wants; Tate, on the other hand was hopeful that all the sex would make him fall in love with her someday. Really.

I did say she won me over (sort of) with this book. And yes, she most certainly did. See, the writer in me – the one who dabbles in poetry – couldn’t suppress the envious monster that reared its ugly head whilst reading this book. She gets right into the deepest, darkest recesses of her characters’ heads, hearts and souls. The result? The rawest feelings translated into words. Not a lot of writers can be so affective, but Colleen does it so well and seemingly without much effort. Consequently, this is why I’m giving this book – albeit, hesitantly – four stars. I can appreciate those writers who can move an otherwise, stalwart heart. She does it every time.


  • I don’t like it when women forget themselves over a man either! Its so sad that crap happens in real life too.

  • Great review Joy!, I´ve yet to read Maybe Someday and Ugly love from Colleen´s books.

  • I’d only read Maybe Someday before this one, and was worried CoHo would be a one hit wonder for me, but I really enjoyed Ugly Love! My Review:

  • Wow, Colleen must be amazing if she can turn a distasteful character like Miles and make the reader understand his point-of-view. I actually like the fact that she’s so upfront with what he wants, and doesn’t budge from it even for a girl. Tate does sound really weak though, but I feel like if she was as stoic and hardened as Miles, then they would clash too much. I still need to pick up a Colleen Hoover book and give it a go. Thanks for the wonderful review Joy xx

  • Alise (Readers in Wonderland)

    Very interesting! It seems like this is one of those books people either love or hate depending on how they interpret it because the characters sound like they could be a real challenge sometimes.

  • This book wasn’t originally on my radar, but I’m starting to feel like I’m the only blogger that hasn’t read it yet, and that simply will not fly! My curiosity is killing me, and all of the rave reviews certain help too. There’s nothing I love more than a good case of the FEELS, and Hoover sounds like she’s got it down to a science. I’m going to make Ugly Love a priority!

  • Zoe

    I feel like the only one in the entire bookish world who hasn’t read anything by Colleen Hoover, (*hides in corner*) but it sounds like this would probably be a good book to start with since it seemed to win you over more than any of her other books. I’m not sure what I’d think about Tate either – I too am not a fan of characters – or people in general – who fall in love and are oblivious to everything else, you know? I really like the sound of the writing though! Thanks for sharing Joy, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

  • I have not read Hoover yet, J. but I had her on my kindle and am just waiting until the mood is right. Lovely review, and I am curious if I enjo Miles more than you did 🙂 hm-m…

  • I’m torn about this book. I love Hoover too, but I didn’t read Maybe Someday b/c I hate cheating. Period. No exceptions. This one scares me, b/c I have a line. A line from which there is no return, if the characters of a book are forced to endure too much pain and misery. It doesn’t matter if there’s an HEA, b/c after that line gets crossed, too many bad things have happened for me to believe in HEA for those characters. I get numb, b/c I can’t handle anymore. So what do you think? Does that line get crossed here? Deepest, darkest recesses sounds ominous to me . . .

  • Hmm. This is the first of Colleen’s books I’ve felt kind of iffy on. The whole set-up just isn’t my kind of thing, but I also have loved everything I’ve read from her. I so agree that she manages to make me look past things I might not in other people’s books, and the bits and pieces I’ve read have been seriously good. I know I’ll read this no matter what, but I think I’ll keep my expectations lowered, because boo for being weak.

    On a side note, I am ALWAYS that friend waiting to throw cold water all over the situation. 🙂

  • Hmph. I LOVE broken boys. But boys being too cold? No thank you. I understand why you had some issues with that as well. But I’m glad you still enjoyed this book Joy. <3 I have yet to read any books by her, hah (A) But one day. <3 Amazing review sweetie 🙂 but hmph. I am unsure about this book. Not for me. But I do wonder how it ends 🙂

  • Oh I heard so many great things about this author and everyone is reading this book. I should really try one day!

  • Wow, what an insightful review!

    I have this on my ebook reader. But I haven’t touched it yet. I am fearful of what it will make me feel because I love all the Colleen Hoover books I’ve read so far. There’s just so much expectations when you love an author… And I’ve been seeing mixed reviews of this one. So I don’t know… your review intrigues me though. I will definitely read it, I just don’t know when. Hopefully before she visits the Philippines next year.

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    I didn’t read all your review, because I have to read Ugly Love, but 4 stars is still a good thing! I hope I get to it soon!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  • I feel like I haven’t visited forever!!! And I know I have cause I have bunch of your posts I need to catch up on!

    I’ve read a lot of positive reviews of this book and a few negatives and admittedly, I don’t think this is for me. I have no problem with purely physical relationship as long as both parties are on the same page. It seems to me that in this case, the heroine is clinging on to the hope that she will someday earn the heroes love. That is not a physical relationship. That’s martyrdom. And I also hate heroine’s who are this:

    ” I am not a fan of female characters who forget who they are simply because a man makes their hearts palpitate and their other parts er, quiver.”

    I totally agree!!! I know from the title that this book is angst-filled with broken characters but I hate it when a heroine gets herself used all for the sake of what she feels for the hero.

    I’ve actually not read a book by Hoover before and I do want to try the author’s beautiful writing, but I don’t think I’ll start with this one.

  • She gets right into the deepest, darkest recesses of her characters’ heads, hearts and souls. The result? The rawest feelings translated into words.

    I think those lines sums up her work perfectly. Even if you don’t love her characters you have to admire her talent to really bring out emotion in her words. 😉

  • I like how you can look at her work as a writer and not just a reader. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and start reading it hehe

  • I actually never picked up one of Colleen’s books! They looks really good, and I’m digging that New Adult genre. This one sounds interesting…

    Happy Reading!

  • After Maybe Someday I’m very hesitant to read Colleen’s books. I kind of feel that Ugly Love will have that same effect of rage I felt with the characters in Maybe Someday. I do agree that her writing is amazing. I just don’t know if I’m ready to read this one. Great review, Joy.

  • Yeah, this was so different from anything Colleen Hoover has written but still maintained that ability to punch you in the feels.
    I wasn’t a fan of Tate either, but I liked Miles, no matter how much of a thick head he had. The poetry part was hard for me to grasp, but it ended up growing on me.
    Lovely review, Joy!