NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Goodreads Summary:

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

Review:

DEBUT. NOVEL.

How the heck is this Hoover’s debut novel. It’s so freaking good. *dead*

Many of you that have been following this blog for a while now know how big of a fan I am of Colleen Hoover. That woman writes masterpiece after masterpiece, making the book community talk about tough topics no one wants to talk about (Ex: It Ends With Us and Ugly Love). In my book this lady is boss!

Alright, I’m going on a tangent… let’s go back to Slammed.

We have Layken (aka Lake) and Will.

Did I mention Will?

Y’all I’m thankful I never had a teacher like him in High School because I would have been a goner like Lake. *Swoons*

The book starts of as Lake is making the move from Texas to Michigan. Her father recently died and her mom is moving everyone to Michigan to begin anew. Then enters Will, the hot boy-next-door who not so long after meeting her asks her out on a date, and of course she says yes. The rest of the book is their journey navigating the discovery of him being her poetry teacher in high school once she finally makes it to school, and many other challenges that come along the way. As I try to keep this as non-spoilery as possible, I appreciate the fact that Hoover kept this as PG 13 as possible, which I’m assuming relates to the sensitive issue of a possible romance between a teacher and a student. Lake is 18, so she is an adult, but the fine print that keeps them apart is that she is still a student… at least for the next year.

My only “ehhh” feelings about Slammed is that the secondary characters didn’t come to life for me except for Eddie. She was amazing and her story is one I hope Hoover expands on one day. And as a last note, I want to talk about the poems within the story. They are profound and moving. I only WISH I could write poetry like Hoover. It even makes me want to go to a poetry slam session. As a writer, I am very jealous of Hoover’s ability, but I do tip my hat to her. Talent like that needs to be recognized.

Slammed is Hoover’s metaphorical mic drop in the publishing world and one can only keep expecting great stories from her.

Rating: 5/5

Check out Colleen Hoover’s other books here:

My Reviews:

Maybe Someday, Maybe Someday (Re-read review), Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Confess, Ugly Love

Liz’s Review:

Hopeless, November 9

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Contemporary Conversations, NA Contemporary, NA Romance, Reviews

ContempConvos: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

GoodReads Summary:

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.

My Review:

Hopless is a roller coaster of emotion. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this book. All of Colleen Hoover’s novels deal with some kind of serious issue throughout the story, and Hopeless was no exception.

I do have to say that this book and the theme’s represented hit very close to home for. I don’t want to say too much about what happens because that basically gives away the entire plot of the book.

I can say that Holder is a very caring and concerned person. He truly only wants what is best for Sky and that basically means telling her the truth, which has been locked away for a long time, and exploding her world apart. Sky is very much a simple girl who wants to go to school, love her mother, and live her file. Unfortunately, that just isn’t possible. When events take place they put a lot of pressure on Sky. But, with Holder by her side, even though he turned her world inside out,  she is able to face a past that was  suppressed. She came out on the other side stronger and more understanding of why her mother home schooled her and kept her in the dark.

Definitely know that if you have triggers for certain themes, this book may not be for you. But if you can handle serious life situations and learn from them, then read Hopeless.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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NA Romance, Reviews

ContempConvos: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9

GoodReads Summary:

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.

My Review:

I’d first like to thank Veronica for starting me reading Colleen Hoover. I have fallen in love with her writing and story telling, and November 9 is no exception. Also, November is my favorite month…

This story is magical, with heartbreak, and lots of character growth since it take place over the course of five years. Fallon and Ben meet once a year, on November 9th, to update each other on what has happened in their lives in the past year. It’s adorable how they come together, and tragic, due to the circumstances that follow their initial meeting. Fallon and Ben are both extremely complicated characters with pasts that haunt their present. Ben helps Fallon through her confidence issues; Fallon helps Ben through his writing.

Hoover provides many quotable moments, but my favorite is in the beginning, when Ben and Fallon meet on the first November 9th: “Goals are achieved through discomfort and hard work. They aren’t achieved when you hide out in a place where you are nice and cozy.” I think that quote sets the mood for the book. In order to understand yourself, sometimes you have to go through discomfort and pain to truly know, not only yourself, but what you are capable of. Fallon’s mother states, “You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.” And I wholeheartedly agree with her. Before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary:

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

Review:

It’s been a good two weeks since I read this book and I think I can finally write the review. The entire time I was reading Confess, I was at the edge of my seat. It is INTENSE. It is THRILLING. And it will leave you with an immense BOOK HANGOVER.

Let’s get the not so good stuff out-of-the-way first. Sadly, this isn’t my favorite Colleen Hoover Book. Also, I needed more of Auburn’s first boyfriend. I needed more of his story. Ahhhhh. It is not FAIR. MY FEELS. *cries* LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

Owen is also not my favorite male protagonist. The other book boyfriends have been better, but man did he have a good reason to be messed up like he was. Both Auburn and Owen have such depressing and sad backstories, your feels will be getting punched again and again and again. I did like that he always supported Auburn and was never a burden. He didn’t give her his messed up mess. He supported her, encouraged her, and was there for her. Four for you Owen, You go Owen!

Putting all the kidding aside, this book really makes you look inward and see what your reactions and decisions would be if you were in that situation. In a way, you do some soul-searching while reading this book.

The impression Confess has left me after several weeks have passed is this: Never Settle. Always Fight For What You Want. and lastly, Never Give Up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Contemporary Conversations

ContempConvos: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

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Introduction:

Yes, I have reviewed this book before. If you want to read my original review click here. I almost didn’t re-read it because Kayla reviewed it for Disabilities week, but then I said the heck with it! I want to review it for reread week because I want to reread it. So here I go!

Goodreads Summary:

At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying 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 that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.

Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. 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. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

Review:

Dear Lord have mercy on my soul, heart, everything. This book destroyed me and built me up. I texted both Anjie and Kayla right after I finished it… Guys I’m floating…

I seemed to have picked the perfect books to reread because both ORS and now Maybe Someday seemed to be better than I remembered them to be. Maybe Someday is perfection. I know not everyone likes the story because they have an issue with a certain part of it, but I just think that the journey makes it okay.

The characters are so honest and raw that it feels as if I know these characters personally. That I am their friend and I am first-hand seeing them go through all of this chaos. My heart broke, clenched, sped up, and beat along with Sydney and Ridge.

I can’t get over my fangirling right now. I want this review to be comprehendible, but I think I will just unleash the fangirl I can’t seem to hold back. *cracks knuckles*

Just like ORS, I love that this centers around music as well. Like I said before, sucker for music influenced books, and a sucker for musicians. It can’t get any better than this.

Is it horrible of me to say that I kind of aspire to be Sydney, not what happens to her of course, but the qualities she possesses, she is so selfless… it’s amazing!

Ridge and Sydney (about 95% of the time) handled everything with such maturity that I only wish if I was ever in any type of difficult situation I would be as mature as them.

I first read this book when I was younger than the characters and I saw them all grown up and independent, but this time around, I’m older than the characters and I was not only able to relate to them, but I also felt older. Crazy really. I’m probably a little more sensitive to age right now because I turned 24 two weeks ago.

My concluding thoughts are these. I am so happy I reread Maybe Someday. It makes me happy and warms me on the inside. Rereading is the best!

Rating: 5 out of 5

NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Review:

First review of 2015! Woo! *throws confetti* 

Yes, I am on a Colleen Hoover binge this holiday season and I am absolutely not ashamed. I really wanted to read Ugly Love when I heard it involved pilots. I currently work in the Aviation Industry so I am always up for reading anything that involves that industry (and to see if they actually get it right).

First, I want to say that Ms. Hoover wrote about pilots in a stereotypical way that is actually true… most of the time. But not always. The first part of the pilot stereotype is that married pilots can be big douchebags, and want to bang any pretty girl they see. I’ve seen it. Once they get onboard, some take their ring off and “forget” they are married. Honestly, it disgusts me. But there are also those few that are like Miles. Those that are not sleeping around and are not complete douchebags. Which is probably why I’m still in that industry because those few make it better in a way. (We also have pilots like Tate’s brother, they’re nice, but also sleep around. Sigh. I’m nice to those, but I also make sure I put some distance between us.)

If you’ve read at least two Colleen Hoover books you know there is always some tragedy that will break your little heart. It could be because I’ve read 4 Hoover books by now that even though this tragedy was pretty bad, I didn’t feel as heartbroken as the first time [when I read Hopeless]. I absolutely loved that we have both Mile’s and Tate’s point of view, and that it alternates through the book. This is not your average split POV book though. Ms. Hoover had Mile’s POV telling us the story of the past, and we have Tate telling us the story present day. It was very easy to follow both storylines, and the way she did it added to the anticipation to the climax of the story. I was actually okay with how the story ended, probably because of that amazing epilogue that just made the world better.

(I wouldn’t mind a novella about Tate’s brother though)

Overall, Ugly Love shows how much Colleen Hoover has grown as a writer and storyteller. She keeps making characters we can relate to and I hope she doesn’t stop writing anytime soon.

(Warning: This book is the most mature book I’ve read of Colleen Hoover. There are some sex scenes and thankfully are not very explicit, but if you still want to read it and you dislike books that have sex scenes, you can just skip ahead and not read those sections. 🙂 )

Rating: 5 out of 5

NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Finding Cinderella (Hopeless #2.5) by Colleen Hoover

Finding-Cinderella

Goodreads Summary:

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

Review:

Dear Lord, Oh My Gosh, this book was amazing (and it’s just a novella, not even a full novel *mind blown*). I always had a soft spot for Holder’s jerky friend Daniel. I knew he wasn’t a complete jerk, especially because he had Holder’s back. (Also I LOVE the name Daniel so that also made me a bit biased… hehe >_<)

I put this on my gift list and Anjie was nice enough to buy this for me for christmas, and Oh man am I ever thankful. I didn’t even know what it was about, just that Colleen Hoover wrote it and that was all I needed to know. Once I started reading it, I figured out that this was a novella sequel to Losing Hope and I was so freaking excited that I was able to see the whole gang again.

In Finding Cinderella we are blessed with Daniel and Six being in the spotlight. Honestly, this was the cutest thing that could have happened to both of them. You don’t even know how happy this makes me, that Six and Daniel were able to find that someone special in each other and the whole gang are like BFFs for life.

Finding Cinderella was funny, touching, a little heart wrenching, but overall a perfect double chocolate chip cookie in book form. Gosh I want another one like this. Ms. Hoover can we get more of the gang in our lives? Pretty please!!!??? *puppy eyes*

Rating: 5 out of freaking 5