November 9 by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

Synopsis from GoodreadsBeloved #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

Publisher:  Atria Books

Date Published: November 10, 2015

Date Read: October 19, 2016

Source/Format: Kindle edition

Setting: Los Angeles

REVIEW

NEVER HAVE I BEEN SO CONFLICTED OVER A BOOK UNTIL NOVEMBER 9.

It’s true, it was so hard to rate this one. It feels like I am still going to change my mind in the future, but for now, let’s settle with a 2- star rating. My mind and my heart are at war with each other right now, my feelings dictate to love this book despite its many flaws, but my mind knows logic. And this time I am choosing logic over feelings, because at this point I am after the substance of the book, rather than how it made me feel – this book made me feel plethora of emotions, alright, but I can’t go on basing my thoughts on feelings alone right? Past 50% of the book I was so sure to give it 5 stars, then came 75% and my excitement is waning down, then onto 82% and it lost me completely.

Let me first tell you what I loved about it, I don’t want this review to sound like a rant. There is definitely something I like about it, so let me discuss it before I go full rant mode. First, I loved the concept of Ben and Fallon meeting every November 9th. It was yes like One Day but as Ben puts it, theirs was unique one, and I have to give Colleen Hoover props for it. It was sure a great concept, I sure would love to read something more like this. And the writing style is good too, well I think that’s an established fact when it comes to Colleen Hoover books. She sure knows where to hit the right spot. Her writing style is addictive and many can attest to that, myself included. I always loved the concept of writers as characters in books, there’s always something comforting about it, and I sure as hell loved Ben The Writer the first half of the book, I mean what is not to love? He was funny, smart, adorable and just perfect. But I never learn with CoHo books.There is always a catch. Always.

This is the fourth book I have read by her. First was Hopeless, Maybe Someday, It Ends With Us and then November9. I’m not one to tell that this book was the least of what she has written, but it definitely didn’t quite match the three books I have read, I might be on the minority side on this one, but I’ll say my piece. What irked me was the fact that this book pushed it a little too far, so much so that it was almost cringe-worthy. I mean I know it is a work of fiction, but I longed for that modicum or element of reality in the books I read, something one could at least relate to. This book fell short in that category. If anything, reading November9 is like watching a daytime drama – yes it was that dramatic and too unrealistic, too over the top, but ultimately something people can’t get enough of. I guess it was trying to make an impact, that whoa factor, that gasp-inducing  moment, that smack-in-the-face-before-you-can-register-what-just-happened, it did. But it didn’t work for me, it was just too much. I fell in love hard and fast with the first few chapters and that same love was gone just as fast. Gone before I could acknowledge it, gone before I could savor it. It was easy to love this book, and I understand those who do, I really do, because at one point in this book I saw myself loving it too. Maybe if the book ended at 75% or without that terrible twist, I would have loved it. But no, there has to be this devastating twist, which ruined everything for me. The deception was painted in a romantic way, it is as if in doing so, it was justified. It was so wrong on so many levels. What Ben did, was just wrong and the explanation that came looked like a mere after-thought – again to justify the deception and manipulation (for lack of a better term). And how it was so easy for Fallon to just accept it, damn girl, your mother taught you better than that!

And did I mention how sooooo cheesy most of the parts were? If you know me long enough, you probably would know that I love cheesy and all that mushy things in a book, well November9 took it to the moon, like wayyyy up there, that it is not even sweet anymore it is bordering creepy and obsessive, which, no thanks, I’ll pass up. Plus this book was made for it to be liked by readers, you don’t get what I’m saying? Let me put it this way, Fallon is a wide romance-reader, which we all are here, if you have read Colleen Hoover books, then it is safe to assume you love the genre, right? Because what the hell are you doing here if you’re not into romance novels. Anyway, so she’s a sucker for romance novels, in romance novels, there are, book-boyfriends, book worthy kisses, angst, alpha-males, and all that jazz. This book tried to incorporate all these things here. It was trying to lure readers into liking it, at first it worked on me, but then it got old and nope, just stop it. I don’t know if I was able to explain that clearly, but I couldn’t give out spoilers okay. So I guess you have to see it for yourself.

So there, I have to stop now. If you want to give this book a try, go ahead, maybe you could appreciate it more than I did, and that’s really good. Maybe I missed out on the message the book was trying to send across, or maybe it was just a case of bad timing. I don’t know. I finished the book, so I think that’s good enough. Will this book tarnish the love I have for Colleen Hoover? Definitely not, we have our favorite authors, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that we have to love everything they have written. So which one should I read next?

Reviews are reviews, they are opinions of the readers, which more often than not are always at opposites with each other, I respect the ones who loved it, good for you. But also you have to respect those who didn’t. So let’s just enjoy reading and be nice to each other!

RATING: rating_2stars

“She “loved me” in quotations

She kissed me in bold

I TRIED TO KEEP HER in all caps

She left with an ellipsis . . .”
Colleen Hoover, November 9

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

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Synopsis: Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Setting: Boston, Massachusetts

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: August 2, 2016

Date Read: August 5, 2016

Source: Bought a copy at Fully Booked Alabang Town Center

 

REVIEW

powerful and evocative read. 

It has been a good 24 hours since I last read the book, and I still can’t get it out of my head. It’s pretty much plaguing my mind every chance it gets, pouncing its awful reality on my brain like a headache I could not easily get rid off. This book ended me. In the truest sense of the word. Colleen hoover bared her soul with this one. This is the Colleen Hoover I fell in love with. This is the Colleen hoover hitting it where it hurts the most. This is Colleen Hoover not just telling a story for entertainment but so much more. This is digging deeper. This is flaw and perfection. This book hits home.

When you literally drop everything you’re reading just to read this one book. That constant curiosity and want gnawing at you. That feeling when it is all you think about every goddamn hour waiting for a minute, just one fucking minute you could spend with it. Waiting for unadulterated time, and actually being thankful for traffic or for idle time because you can read a page or two. It is really hard to contain one’s emotions when you just wanted to explode and tell every single soul you come across with how erratic your heart is beating, how there’s this quesy feeling down the recesses of your being. The adrenaline rush., my heartbeat in 140/minute. Gahhh that was what happened to me, I was so attached to it, I practically couldn’t function well.

There are so many things going on inside my head, Im not even sure where do I get the energy to write this review because I feel like I am so emotionally exhausted. Boy I had to compose myself, I had to pace my room and contemplate about what I just read. It was as powerful as it was raw. It was as heartbreaking as it was real. Hats off to people who have read this and not one bit messed up, because I for one cannot deal with all the rush of emotions Im having all at once. I have so many things to say and I am afraid I may not be able to say everything there is to say. So let me just compose myself a little more. Give me 10 seconds more.

You still there?

Okay good.

You ready to talk about it?

To be completely honest, I’m not.

First off, I heard few friends who didn’t like it. Which I completely understand. There is no one book that is for everyone. I guess it is just a matter of how much of yourself can relate to the story. And to tell you, this book hits home. Like it really nailed it where the wound had been and let it bleed anew. Im not one to go into details how much I related to this book. But this book gives you that bigger perspective, that sense of maturity of having to make an intelligent choice. God I wish I could say so much without giving anything away. Since Im always the one to give spoiler free reviews, I will try my best to give the book justice by not delving too much about the details of the book.

Let’s talk about the characters. There is Lily, a character I was able to relate in more ways than one. I loved how Colleen Hoover made her character reach out to readers, they may not have experienced that same thing her character went through, but she portrayed every woman faced with a predicament but was able to make choices that are selfless and intelligent. Her character was the one that made the biggest impact, she was someone who may have made wrong decisions along the way just like most of us but had conviction to stand by what is right. She was resilient and courageous and I adored Colleen Hoover for sharing such an amazing character. Then there is Ryle Kincaid, a man who has everything but is deeper than what he let on. His character was not hard to love. in fact his character was the one you’ll immediately fall for, until something happens (gahhh I can’t tell). And then there is Atlas, that guy from the past, to me he was perfect, to me he was the guy I wished I met or have my own version of. It is pretty obvious that I am Team Atlas from the very beginning. And of course I can’t fail to mention Alyssa and Marshall, god I love those two!! So funny! They seriously make the book a little lighter. Colleen Hoover made flawed characters, she made characters that are relatable. She made her characters into this real individuals with demons they have to deal with day in and day out, this was the magic of this book, how it was able to transcend from the pages of a book into the real world. How you can very well imagine that there is someone who is actually just like them in this world. The only issue I had maybe was how every character looked gorgeous and perfect, maybe we could change that?

Now let’s tackle the whole story. I never read the blurb, I went to this book as blind as one could get. I have literally no idea what it was about when I started reading it, and again I am reminded that there is beauty in that. Not knowing what it was about, not knowing what to expect, not knowing where the story will take you. And I am so glad I didn’t read the blurb, I am so glad my judgment was not tainted by what others’ thought about it. It was as pure as it could get. The story was a powerful one. It tackles heavy topics, something we should be talking about more, something we should not be afraid to read about, something we should challenge ourselves to understand more, something we should not shy away from. This book sent a message, loud and clear. Breaking the pattern, before the pattern breaks you. I had goosebumps whilst reading this book. Not only because I was able to relate to some extent but also because this was a bold and brave move by Colleen Hoover. Not many can write what they’ve been through, but Colleen Hoover made this book so significant and relevant you cannot miss the message she was trying to send across.

It Ends With Us was different and mature. It was a sad book yet a satisfying one. It was as heartbreaking yet as surreal. It was real life magnified and detailed, it was real life painted in a different light. It was a book everyone should read, not just because it is loved by many but there is a very important message that you could learn from. This book is an emotional rollercoaster, something you thought you are ready for but as it progresses through its loops and big drops, you will realize why the hell did you even ride in the first place, but after all the scare and the heart-stopping moments you will learn how rewarding it is. That is exactly what I felt when I finished reading this book. Plethora of unwanted emotions came rushing in, and I could not contain it, it felt like my heart was going to burst, I literally had a hard time breathing, it touched sensitive topics that I would rather forget but I took the plunge, I was all in, and couldn’t be more glad that I did.

So Im gonna stop here, drop everything and read this. You can thank me later. And oh please read the Author’s Note.

Hands down to Colleen Hoover! Thank you for being BOLD and BRAVE!

Rating: images

“Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes. That was what Atlas was telling me when he said “I love you.” He was letting me know that I was the biggest wave he’d ever come across. And I brought so much with me that my impressions would always be there, even when the tide rolled out.” 
― Colleen HooverIt Ends with Us

 

Bookish Bucketlist: Meet Tarryn Fisher and Colleen Hoover

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It was my first time attending a signing event. Yes despite the fact that I love books so much and it would have been lovely to meet every author behind one of my favorite books, I didn’t have the chance to actually attend one before. It’s either because of time constraints or I had a prior commitment or all the unnecessary dramas in my life (*insert adult life here*). But when Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher announced last year that they will be going here in the Philippines, I just knew I could not miss it for the world.

When did it all start?

Let me tell you first how I came to know about Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher, it was 3 years ago I was itching to read something romantic and light to tide me over the day, if I remember it correctly we had a class suspension due to typhoon, I was in law school then. And when you are in law school, there is hardly a time for pleasure reading. We were bombarded with legal provisions and recent jurisprudence that we barely keep our eyes open. So whenever there will be class suspensions, we do everything non-law school related. Yes we don’t study all the freaking time, as opposed to what over-achievers portray haha. We do have some down time too, so we maximize it as much as we could while we could. And so because I wanted to read something non-law school related I chanced upon The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher. The blurb got me interested, I was hooked from the very first page until the last and boy did I bawl like a baby towards the end. The book shredded my heart into pieces. There is no exaggeration here, after I finished the book I was just staring at my wall contemplating about how unfair life is then, yes more crying. It was that one book that made me cry like that aside from This is A Love Story by Jessica Thompson. It was truly the ugliest cry. So what do you do when you love a book by an author? Read all the rest. Back then the only ones published were The Opportunist and Dirty Red. Oh boy, oh boy Dirty Red was quite a read and I hated Leah for the most part but I loved how Tarryn played Leah’s character, it was so effective you’ll hate her. Then after a year The Thief  the last book in the Love Me With Lies series was published. I read it immediately, I wanted answers of course I wanted Caleb and Olivia to end up together. It wasn’t the kind of happy ending everyone is accustomed to. It was more like a realistic ending which I really loved.

Now how did I discover Colleen Hoover? Again it was one of those days when we had a suspension of classes. She only had three  books published then Slammed, Point of Retreat and Hopeless. As I am not really into series those times I chose to read Hopeless which was a standalone then. My three roommates and I had a readalong. And ahhhh I was not prepared for that twist! Dean Holder was so dreamy and I cried buckets too. It was so dark and too sensitive a topic but Colleen did it justice. So from then on I knew Colleen Hoover will be a staple in my reading life.

The Signing

As I’ve mentioned it was my first time to attend a booksigning. I’ve heard the horrors and dos and donts. So I think I prepared for it. I met up with my bookish sisters Janna, Jovel, Arra and Lei then at the location met two new friends Tin and Angela. Of course met up with two fellow admins of Bookish Pinoys – Elena and Pam. I left my place around 5am since I was told there are many people already. I was there at the mall by 6am. Made it to no.98 on the list. So everything was smooth sailing. 10 am would be the official start of registration. And as hours pass commotions here and there sprung. Especially about the list and all. But everything worked out fine I guess.
Upon registration i got no.110 from 98 which obviously someone cut the line but we didn’t bother arguing about it since we are already there and what difference will it make, really?
At 2pm the event officially started. Also saw alot of bookstagrammers (Colleen, Be a, Abby and Ella) but was too shy to approach them.
When Christine, Tarryn and Colleen made their appearance, everyone, yes including myself, went batsh!t crazy! They talked about their writing style, what is the inspiration behind their stories. I nearly cried when Tarryn Fisher admitted that Olivia was her or at least a part of herself and he isn’t with the real Caleb now. I admired her even more for that. She portrayed all her characters in a flawed persona yet vulnerable and relatable just how it is supposed to be. I love how realistic it all was.
They were each asked love advice, and what stuck to me was what Colleen Hoover said “Never settle.” Ahhh everything was so surreal!!!
They also announced some exciting news. Tarryn is coming up with a new book with the title F*** Love I am sure that it will be a book that will rip my heart out. Also Never Never 3 will be out January of next year! Also the newest book of Colleen Hoover November 9 will be out this November, it is about two persons who meet up every 9th of November and the story kind of revolve around it. It sounds exciting as it is. I can hardly wait.

Talking to them and giving them hugs
So it was my turn to actually get my books signed and have a mini chitchat with them. I first met Colleen Hoover who immediately asked how I was which I promptly answered good and excited. We didn’t talk much. I was tongue tied, but had the guts to ask for a hug in which she immediately obliged. Ahhh I was fangirling so much.
Then it was my turn to talk to Tarryn. Ahhhh she is my spirit animal, my unicorn – my person. I was literally shaking. I mentioned that I will be taking the bar exams and wanted to be a badass lawyer like Olivia, this made her smile. She said it is great and wished me luck. And even asked what would I specialize on, I immediately answered Civil and Criminal. And she said those are great choices. Ahh I could talk to her forever!! I asked if I could hug her and without even second thinking she hugged me tight. It was such a wonderful experience. I cannot explain it!!! Ticked off an item on my bucketlist!!!

The whole event was tiring yet so worth it. I wouldnt have it any other way.

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Here are some pics with the beautiful and friendly bookstagrammers I met there.

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L-R (Elena @thequeenreads, Pam @phamtasticreads, me, Lei @lei_reads, Jovel @travelthrubooks, Arra @arrabelreads and Janna @bibliophile.mom) It was really fun seeing them

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L-R Arra, Janna, Jovel, Angela @angelareads_ and Tin @thebookmaiden. Enjoyed their company, making the whole ordeal bearable 🙂

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Till next signing girls! I miss you all already!

Can’t wait for the next signing and experience it all over again! Everything was so worth it. My fangirl self is beyond happy!

Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher: Book Review

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Synopsis: Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning.
He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget

Date Published: January 8, 2015

Date Read: January 13, 2015

Publisher: Hoover Ink

REVIEW

The ending gave me the chills.

Being a big fan of Tarryn Fisher and Colleen Hoover, of course I could not pass this one up. I knew I had to read this book as if my life depends on it. I just knew it would be nothing short of amazing. I have to be honest, that when I learned that it will only be 140 pages long (or short for that matter), I was a tad bit disappointed, but I overlooked that fact and proceeded to read the book. The blurb was so vague, kind of reminded me of We Were Liars and that was what intrigued me the most. I played out too many different scenarios as to how the story will unfold and none of it matched what transpired in the book. The book was very odd – good odd. I loved that I was as clueless as Silas and Charlie and all throughout the book I had this default expression of “What.The.Fck.Is.Going.On.”. I had all these crackpot theories as to why something like that happened to them, alien invasion, or they were drugged the night before or their fathers did it to them, or they were cursed and the long ridiculous list goes on. Nearing the end I was hoping the book would shine some light on what was happening, but it ended into a freaking cliffhanger and we have to wait until May to find out what actually happened. It somehow gave me the Mara Dyer feel to it, I liked it and hated it at the same time. Why must Colleen and Tarryn do something so wicked??

It is the book that you should read not knowing anything about it and if anyone asks you what it is about, say something else. Let them suffer the way you did. 🙂

Rating: 4 stars

“How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Synopsis: At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter’s cheating on her–and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Date Published: March 18, 2014

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Read:  January 2015

Number of Pages: 367

Source: I bought it, so glad I did!

REVIEW

Beautiful and Realistic. You can never go wrong with a Colleen Hoover book.

This is my second Colleen Hoover read, that first one being Hopeless, after reading Hopeless, I just knew I had to buy and read all of her works. So I followed Hopeless, with yet another stellar book – Maybe Someday. (I am actually staring at my screen for a good five minutes now concocting the perfect words fitting this beautiful book, hoping I could at least give it justice. I know saying I loved it a million times will not suffice, I hope whatever I put in this review can somehow influence another soul into reading this book.) Maybe Someday wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, I had this different story inside my head, thinking I have predicted everything after I have read the blurb, because, even if we admit it or not, most New Adults run through the same theme, that it becomes too predictable to a fault. I forgot that this is Colleen Hoover, and yes it may seem that this is yet another predictable book, but I am completely mistaken. I can say that it is somewhat unconventional, it presents a predicament that is, yes, we have seen too many times before, but there is something different presented by the author. Different flow to a once very familiar story, which to be honest, at first didn’t sit well with me, towards the middle of the book, I was kind of blinded where it was leading, I knew Sydney and Ridge will eventually end up together (well, this is not a spoiler, since hello this is their story) but the actual progress of the story or the events that transpired leading to the end was somewhat different. There was the element of newness to it, not the mediocre story we are all tired of hearing. This book actually presented believable characters, realistic events and even too spot-on predicaments, that the readers may relate to it one way or another. I found my heart breaking as I read the book, but as to who it was breaking for – it was that part that I was so confused about. It was insane. One moment I feel for Sydney, at another for Ridge and his pressing problem and then at one moment for Maggie, who had to go through all that. My emotions were all over the place, to say the least. And I love the fact that this book was able to draw out such unwarranted feelings from me. I keep pulling my hair out while blurting “why does it have to be this complicated” – then I am reminded, that all great love never comes without complication. And that is what makes it beautiful, the complexity of it all.

I also loved the fact that, Ridge is not portrayed as that one gorgeous hell of a guy, with perfect smile and to-die-for abs, that we are again too tired of seeing in New Adult books, he was imperfect, and that made the story even more appealing. The author find a way to bring a beautiful story despite the fact that there was this barrier, and she made it as if it is no barrier at all. It added that sense of uniqueness to it, it is what sets it apart from all the mediocre books. I also liked the fact that Sydney is not that whiny little brat, she was one hell of a woman, vulnerable yes, but stronger as opposed to what she lets on. I also commend the fact that the book is not one sided, it doesn’t demand a reader to pick a side. It presented the story as it is, no unnecessary drama, just what is required.

Few chapters left when I was so sure I will never get the ending I have hoped for, again I am mistaken, because I was beyond satisfied with that ending – ahhh it was just so beautiful. This book toyed with my emotions, it made me cry more than it made me laugh, but despite the emotional train-wreck I was having, I can say this is already a favorite book and I can see myself rereading it over and over and over.

And oh, I loved reading it whilst listening to the playlist. Griffin Peterson made the book alive, as if I was Sydney and I get to hear what Ridge and I had made, it was yet another amazing reading experience. I loved that this book, is not only just a book, it is a journey – an experience. All I can say now is, I wish I have read it sooner. I bought it a month after its release, and I can’t understand myself for waiting too long to finally get around to it.

So all I’m saying is please read this, include this book into you ever-growing to be read list, because, if you are a hopeless romantic like I am – you will never be disappointed with this one.Oh what a way to start my year! Colleen Hoover, never disappoints!

RATING:5 stars

“How ever, I’ve learned that the heart can’t be told when and who and how it should love. The heart does whatever the hell it wants to do. The only thing we can control is whether we give our lives and our minds the chance to catch up to our hearts.”