[602]: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

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November 9 / Colleen Hoover


Colleen Hoover’s novels are always sure money; I’ve rarely met one I didn’t like. She’s got a formula that works, and this is one of the few occasions when I hope an author would never ever “grow”, “experiment”, or deviate from what they know. New Adult novels tend to have a proven formula as well, but it’s a subgenre I don’t particularly like so they rarely grace my shelves. When I do, I’m even more selective. But I could never pass up on Ms. Hoover’s books. She’s got this thing where she’s able to thaw out my cold, cold heart and turn me into a puddle of barely recognizable goo.

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR

Have you ever seen this old movie starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn? It’s about these two people who had a tryst and decided that they enjoyed it enough to want to continue seeing each other on the same weekend every year. Throughout the movie, you’ll only see a couple of characters; they’d talk about their lives outside of their affair. They were married to other people with families of their own. There was even a year when Doris was so pregnant they couldn’t have sex; a year when they fought because George was pro-war and Doris was against it. A year when Doris lost her husband. And finally, a year when there was nothing left but to finally be together.

NINTH CIRCLE OF HELL

While I was reading this book, I was reminded of how frustrating it would’ve been for me to be in George and Doris’ situation. I thought that if I felt so strongly about someone, I don’t know how I could stand having to wait an entire year to see them again. Imagine the prospect of the person you love meeting another in your absence. It’s simply unfathomable, but not impossible. The thing about Colleen is that she takes your relationship nightmares and raise to a whole new level of hell. That’s always been a constant in her books. So if you think you can sort of see where things are going, you are most probably going to be wrong.

PERFECTLY FLAWED CHARACTERS

There’s never a shortage of broken characters in NA novels. I get sick of them so easily because everyone seems to have gone through a minute variation of the same past or another. And while CoHo’s novels are also littered with angst-y cast of characters, she gives them personalities and identities outside of their past. Us, readers can’t get enough! She’s also got a whole arsenal of sweet, boy next door characters who has just enough darkness to make them perfectly flawed. The ladies aren’t too far away either. Fallon is an insecure character with a good reason. She went from a promising young star to a scarred, vulnerable woman.

IN RETROSPECT

It’s getting tougher and tougher to write a review for her books. One of these days, I’m going to stop trying. Because regardless of how familiar I’ve become with her writing and plotting style, I find that hers are far from regimented. There’s always something to look forward to her stories: the characters, the romance and even, dare I say it, the angst. Whatever it is, she makes the few tears worth it.


ATRIA BOOKS | Trade Paperback | November 10th, 2015 | 4 out of 5 Stars


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[504]: Confess by Colleen Hoover

22609310 GOODREADS SUMMARY
Atria | Paperback, 320 pages
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Adult Fiction | Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


I didn’t think it would be possible to feel a little underwhelmed with a CoHo book, but there you have it. Don’t get me wrong, I would buy anything she’d sell, but that doesn’t mean I’ll always enjoy it. Such is the case for Confess.

While I wouldn’t be so quick to say that my problem with this one was the instant-love most have griped about, my disenchantment is rooted to the fact that it was lacking in romance, which she’s famously known for. Colleen also introduced some pretty convincing antagonists that I’ve rarely encountered in her previous works. I think my annoyance with these characters contributed to my not liking this book so much. On the other hand, it’s great to see Colleen exploring the kind of characters that add variety and depth to a novel. It shows her willingness to break the mould.

Auburn was a pushover character, but one that incites empathy instead of apathy. Without giving too much, readers would most likely find it in them to forgive her seemingly weak trait. Colleen has an arsenal of charismatic love interests, and Owen was no chopped liver. I have a deep love for artists in novels, and though Owen was not my preferred tortured soul, he’s still a good 7.

I’m always good for a tear or two when I read her novels, but this one fell short on the ‘feels’ scale, sadly. That’s not to say I wasn’t vested in the story. It’s one of those inexplicable things, when you know it’s a subpar version of what you’ve always expected from the author yet you’re still absolutely hooked. Thus is the power of her storytelling.

Colleen included another form of media in her last book to enhance her readers’ experience, and I’m happy to say the art work here are nothing short of perfection. I love the artist’s interpretation of the featured confessions – mostly vague, but somehow very fitting.

Overall, I think ardent fans of CoHo would love this. I guess I just expected more.

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