“Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…
That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.” (description from Goodreads)
I’d like to make a comment on my rating before anything else. This book is the first book which I haven’t been able to give a clear rating. I really wanted to give it a full 4 stars at times, but there were enough things to make me question that. Also, this in no way means that I didn’t enjoy reading this book. A 3 star is great in my opinion.
I’d like to start off by saying that Colleen Hoover is a great writer. She’s proven this in both Slammed and its sequel Point of Retreat. Hopeless is another well written novel from one of the great writers to come out of the Indie world. Yet, it’s not the only thing that makes a book. There are a few aspects to “great writing” and while a lot of it was great for this book, some things fell flat.
I know all books can’t be the fast reads that make reading almost effortless and the story unfold before the reader’s eyes. It’s just that the flow of Hopeless didn’t go all that smoothly at times. I enjoyed having the flashback chapters. I enjoyed the fact that Sky’s younger voice was used for most of these. Despite this, I feel it disrupted me as I was reading along. It wasn’t just the flashbacks either. Overall I feel the book was a bit sluggish for at least the first half, if not until around 60%. Again, books don’t already have to excite the reader right away, I get that. But once the story picked up, it seems like too much of what was established in the first half was just tossed aside. Due to the nature of the events of this book, it’s understandable to move on with the plot, (I’ll be a bit vague here as to avoid spoilers as much as I can) but there were two characters that had barely a mention after certain point. When they were brought up again, it only seemed out of minor consideration that they’d be worried, then they go away again.
There were also a few more things that irked me; things that seemed to be forgotten and left unsolved. Again, I won’t say too much. It’s really hard not to add spoilers this time around so I just won’t attempt to skirt around things. Bottom line, I still had questions about various aspects of the book. And some other things just hit me the wrong way…and I’m very liberal when it comes to what’s in books. Nothing really can get to me.
With all that said about what I didn’t really care for in the book, there were many great things to mention. There are issues brought up in this book that might be hard to stomach for some readers, especially women (men, as well; don’t get me wrong). Yet, while it might be hard to read about it, I think it’s great that someone might be able to find some help by seeing how a character deals with a similar situation. While the events were played out in a slightly unrealistic fashion, ways to cope could be taken away from the story. So in that sense the book was great.
The book also set up most of the characters very well, and took a good amount of time to do so. I feel this lead to the sluggish start of the book, as well. The setting and description put me in each and every moment of the story. As I said in the beginning, Hoover is a great writer. She knows her stuff. This is the reason why I DID enjoy the story. It’s also the reason why I’m torn between full enjoyment and questioning more things than I’d like to.
Do I recommend this book to other readers? Absolutely. Already, the day after I’ve finished it, it has sparked discussion with some friends of mine. I’ve been able to talk to them and pick it apart piece by piece and find understanding of a few more questions here and there. In the end, that is what a great book should do. A book should make readers think and come back to the book later on in discussion.
So did I have issues with Hopeless? Well, yes, yes I did. But did I throw it in a fire like some readers might just for disagreeing with some stuff? No. It wasn’t a bad book in any sense or the word.
I’d really like to see where Hoover goes from here.
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About this author
I love music. LOVE music. Namely The Avett Brothers, Lumineers, Pink, Eminem. I have eclectic taste? If you have any recommendations, send them my way!
I’m addicted to diet pepsi and could tell you in a taste-test which restaurant it came from. It’s a serious addiction, I tell you.
I get stoked whenever I get a message from goodreads saying I have a new friend request…so request me, dangit!
If you want to know when I have new books out or just want to be inundated by random, pointless blog posts, follow me at www.colleenhoover.com
Avoid my Twitter at all cost. It’s propaganda.
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