Although I haven't done one in a while, book reviews have been a pretty regular occurrence around ye olde blogge since it was started back in 2012. I know reviews will continue to be a "series." For that reason, I wanted to give this series a title. So, to go alone with the new(ish) re-brand to My Restless Soul, here is the first edition of...
I have a little secret to tell you...I've only read 4 books towards my 2017 goal of 40. That puts me about 4 books behind where I should actually be, but...I shall persevere. Today's review is about the 4th book in question, because...it's the first book of the year that I haven't loved.
In a nutshell:
November 9 is a love story of sorts, in which said love occurs between a girl named Fallon and a guy named Ben. The two meet each other on the day (November 9th, obviously y'all) that Fallon is set to move across the country, and after spending some time together, they decide to meet up on the same date for the next five years. Both Ben and Fallon have pretty shaky pasts, and as the plot thickens, you learn that those pasts are actually very interconnected.
Bad news first:
This is the second one of Hoover's books that I have read. (The first was Hopeless, and there is a short review of that here.) I had the same issue with both of these books...the first half of each one was super disappointing. I fully understand that plot twists and excitement often take time to build, but all I saw in the first 50% of November 9 was generic "ruined girl meets rough-around-the-edges boy" bull malarkey. (It's weird that I just used that phrase, because I don't think it has ever come out of my mouth in real life.)
I also have a huge issue with some of the sexual messages in this book. I am by no means a prude when it comes to sexual situations in novels, but when these situations seem to normalize lack of consent/demeaning women/etc...it's a different story. Ben's first thoughts about Fallon involve fantasizing about her boobs and wondering what color panties she has on. There is also a scene that involves Ben touching Fallon's body without her consent, while she is obviously having some form of a panic attack. (However, I did read in a Goodreads review that Hoover apologized and altered this scene, and it is now different in newer versions/e-versions of the book.)
Now for the good:
The second half of the book placed my opinions back on a more positive track. Overall, I think the concept is really creative. A bit unrealistic...but creative nonetheless. (Besides, aren't we usually looking for something unrealistic to escape to?) In the second half of the book, you begin to learn and understand more about why both Ben and Fallon have some of the issues that they do. They have this bumpy relationship, but yet they still slowly find themselves...and improve as human beings.
Something I really do appreciate about Hoover's books is the fact that while each counterpart of the romantic relationship has their issues, they are still good for each other in the end. There are so many novels about troubled characters who force themselves to be together because of "passion," when they actually have no business being together at all. This isn't the case with Hoover's novels, and I like that a lot.
So...yay or nay?
Final consensus...yay. I like Colleen Hoover's writing style...it's easy and enjoyable and perfect for when you are looking for something a bit lighter to read in between heavier pieces of literature. I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads. (Let's be friends there!)
Have you read November 9? How about anything else from Colleen Hoover? What did you think?