Tuesday, October 27, 2015

ARC Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: November 10th 2015
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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 of 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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)

My thoughts:

This is the first Colleen Hoover book I read after 3 years so I dove into this one erring in the side of caution. And it was a good thing I did because nothing has changed from CoHo's writing, nothing. I believe that there are two basic components that make up a CoHo book: simplistic writing and a crazy, crazy twist; and she delivered precisely on both accounts... but at the expense of what?

November 9 was written as a reflection of your average and typical romance novel, this is mainly because 1) Fallon is a major Romance fan and wanted the perfect "love" scene 2) Ben is a writer so of course he'd be appealingly pretentious, tortured (aka a drunken vagrant... jk), and writing a book about the two of them. I'm going to be honest and say that I enjoyed reading the few chapters of Ben's book more than I liked reading 70% of the actual novel. There was a depth and heart to his writing that I felt that CoHo's lacked, which is obviously ironic since she technically wrote his book... but still, I found myself wanting to read the dark complexity of his words as opposed to the slightly upbeat, angsty November 9 CoHo wrote.

Between the two main characters, I found Ben's chapters much more fascinating to read than Fallon's. I felt that Fallon lacked personality, which Ben ended up giving her. It was like Ben was the writer and every time they saw each other, he would somehow write more of her character for her to mature and accept herself. Sure, it was interesting to see Fallon develop and truly find herself but I liked how Ben was an unreliable narrator when it came to his chapters. He mostly focused on his relationship with and feelings for Fallon that you sort of get sidetracked from his issues. It makes you all the more curious about what he's hiding and where his character is really going while Fallon is literally just an open book whose storyline is clear and headed in one direction.

In regards to the plot twist, I will say that the major plot twist in the book actually caught me by surprise. I seriously did not expect it, I did not even notice that the story was going in that direction. I was impressed so CoHo gets extra brownie points for that. However, there were subplots that I felt were a bit too cliche and I was disappointed when I read them. I felt like CoHo just wasted one November 9th on that event. But oh well, to each his own.

Two of the things that really appealed to me in this book were 1) the wit of the characters and the fun back and forth between the characters and 2) the emotions that November 9 evoked in me. I have always loved humour in my books, especially witty dialogues and I was glad to see that in this novel. I found myself smiling as I was reading certain lines and even outright laughing at Fallon and Ben's banter (I won't deny that they have amazing chemistry). And the feelz? Don't even get me started. I cannot even count the times pieces of my heart chipped off. CoHo is definitely the master manipulator of emotions, she just knows the way to everyone's hearts.

While there were certain aspects of November 9 that I did not particularly love, I will say that I overall enjoyed this book. It was a quick and simple read that didn't take me too long to finish. One thing I do know about Colleen Hoover is that she has a magic touch that shifts a simple, not too special book into something more. November 9 was not an astounding nor impressive book but it was a good read and I just hope that I will enjoy the next CoHo book I read as much or even more than I did this one.


1 comment:

  1. I've only ever read one Colleen Hoover novel, but I do find myself interested in some of her other stuff! November 9 has such a striking cover and an interesting premise, but I'm definitely taking your thoughts to heart. There are things you've mentioned (particularly about character and plot) that I don't know how I'm going to feel about, so I guess I'll proceed with caution now? Thanks for the honest review, L!