Wednesday, February 3, 2016

look at her go: reviewin' reviewin': November 9

November 9 by Colleen Hoover



blurb: Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

full review under the cut! 

Full disclosure here: this will probably be a shorter review, mostly because you guys do not want to read a review where I just say "I love this, I love this, I love this," a million times. BUT I had to write something, because I've been meaning to and being told to read Colleen Hoover for literally years, but this is the first time I've read something by her, and I could not let the event go by unheralded. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into Colleen Hoover's writing! This is her latest novel, published late in 2015, and I have to say, if *all* the rest of her books are as enjoyable and heart-wrenching as this one, I am in for a roller coaster of emotions and lots of tissues. If you haven't read Colleen Hoover before, she is a YA/NA sort of hybrid contemporary author. What I mean by that is: her books are widely read by many many people who read almost strictly YA, though her books themselves have more mature scenes and are sold in the "adult" section of the bookstore. Hence: NA. So if you are a young one, I would hold off on this novel for a couple years, because there are definitely some scenes that are not suitable for younger eyes. 

Basically, this book is about a girl named Fallon and a boy named Ben. Fallon is an actress turned normal-girl after a freak fire burned one entire side of her body two years before the start of this novel. Ben is a college student and aspiring novelist. They meet on- you guessed it!- November 9th, and from the first moment that they interact, sparks fly between them. However, because Fallon is sensible, because she is moving from Los Angeles to New York on November 10th, because starting anything would be impractical, the two agree to meet on the same day, at the same time, the next year. They agree to do this for the next five years, though, of course, everything does not go *quite* as planned. And there are a ton of things that happen in their lives that try and hinder this meeting, as well as a HUGE-ASS plot twist that I did *not* see coming, though in retrospect, maybe I should've. But we will get to that later. 

Based on the blurb, I went into this novel very distrustful of Ben. But he surprised me, and, against my own wishes, I started to really like him. At the end of the novel, yes, I had a few problems with him and the way he handled some things, but overall, I liked him way more than I thought I would. Number one: he is a writer, and therefore, has a way with words. I absolutely loved how he read the romance novels that Fallon recommended to him without shame, even going above and beyond and reading even more, on his own volition. Number two: the thing that I liked most about him was that he made Fallon feel beautiful, that he gave her a chance to build her confidence back up. I hesitate to say he gave her her confidence back, because I truly believe that no one can give you confidence but you, but he definitely played a huge part in bringing her out of her shell. Number 3: the boy is SMOOTH. I found myself getting so sucked into the things he was saying, I am surprised that Fallon was able to hold off communicating with him for a year at a time. Honestly was fanning myself a couple times at the things that Ben did and said. At the same time, I felt awful for him, with the loss of his mother before the start of the novel and another person very close to him over the course of it, I was amazed at how strong he actually was. 

I also felt bad for Fallon, but only for really the first part of the novel. After the first day that she and Ben meet, she really grows into herself, becoming more confident and strong, learning that she deserves respect and that other people sometimes deserve forgiveness. I really enjoyed reading from Fallon's perspective, especially because, with every passing year, I could see her getting stronger and stronger. I love those happy moments where Fallon realizes how deeply she cares about Ben, that he is the person that makes her feel beautiful and loved. Also, Fallon goes through hell in this book: from the fire and her awful relationship with her dad, to learning how to live with the scars that will never leave her, losing her career, trying to get it back, and then, learning a terrible truth about Ben that is inescapable. But, other than the first part of the novel, I didn't see her as a victim. She bounced back from everything and went on with her life. I also really liked how she wasn't going to college, but no one mentioned anything about it, because I definitely think that it is important to note that college isn't for everyone, and it shoudn't be forced on everyone! 

The romance is obviously a central part of this novel: and I loved it. Though, like Fallon, "insta-love" is something that I normally don't like, it somehow worked here. It didn't feel forced, it was like I could feel Fallon and Ben clicking and I didn't care that they had only known each other for a day. But, of course, there is more to that statement, a reason they might be connected, and maybe that's why I didn't mind the instant connection between the two of them. I just feel like, most of the time, they got each other, in a significant way. They were always pushing each other to do better, to be better, to go out and achieve their dreams, and although sometimes the messages got mixed, I just think they're so good for each other. Do I think that Ben could've handled his "secret" better? OF COURSE. But, everyone makes mistakes, and obviously his mishandling of it was the crux of the tension in the novel. So it all ended up okay. 

I was really pleased with my first venture into Colleen Hoover's novels! I really want to read more of her. I have Confess on my shelves, but I'm curious. To those of you who have read her, is there a consensus as to what her "best" novel is? which ones did you guys like best?


1 comment:

  1. I've been hearing this one is so good lately! I have yet to read a Colleen Hoover book, though your review has definitely pushed me to purchase a copy of this one. It sounds so unique!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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