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.