Doing it at: 51%
Catnip: Star Crossed Lovers, Plot Twists, Deep Dark Secret, Sadistic Author, Dual Narrative
Shame Scale: Zero shame, this is one you could give out for Christmas.
Fantasy Cast: Max Irons & Emily Browning
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 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.
Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?
Mary: It doesn’t matter what it is, if Colleen Hoover puts something out there, just order it. I’ve preordered some of her books before they even had descriptions posted. Epic romances with original plots, solid twists, and loads of emotion – but with enough quality writing and plot for them to qualify as Books. You’ll probably cry. They’re usually* light on the sex, but there’s enough for her books to not feel like YA nonsense. We even created the CoHo exception on our Scientific and Mathy Ratings Matrix, for when a book is good enough to make us not care that we’re not getting that D. You could recommend them to your 16 year old cousin or your acquaintance mom friend who you don’t want to scare off by revealing how much of a gigantic perv you are.
(*Ugly Love was a delightful exception)
Cleone: Ugly Love continues to be my whole life. Like I can’t even drink orange juice without thinking of Miles. Hoover has a way of sucking in the reader within a few pages, and I’ve read all of her books so quickly that I’ve given them almost immediate rereads so that I could slow down and enjoy the story. Blame it on the twists, blame it on her dreamy leading men and realistic dialog, blame it on my lack of patience. Whatever the reason, her books are addictive. I can’t stop turning pages like I can’t stop eating my kid’s Halloween candy
M: At the risk of being obnoxious, we don’t want to tell you anything about the plot of this book ahead of time that you can’t learn from the description. These books are more fun when you go into them blind. So go back up and read it again if you want, or I’ll paraphrase it, but you’re not getting anything out of us.
C: The more I go into books and movies blind, the more I like them, and this book has A LOT of twists. Mary and I always like to speculate on what the twist will be, she’s a way better guesser than I am, historically.
M: Fallon meets Ben on her last day in LA, right before she moves across the country to NYC, where she wants to take a shot at Broadway. It’s romantic and touching and Ben is dreamy, but 18 year old Fallon is a realist and knows that turning this into a long distance relationship is a Bad Idea.
C: Her mom told her that a woman doesn’t really become who she’ll become until she’s 23, so Fallon is determined to hold off on falling in love until then. Even if she and Ben had a movie-worthy meet cute and insta-sparks in all ways. There might be some truth to the 23 theory, but from the ripe old age of older than 23, I can say that growth is forever! And its possible we may never feel like grown ups (sorry Fallon’s mom).
M: She’s kind of brilliant when it comes to her philosophies on young love and growing up. I legit wish I had been this smart when I was 18 and became a cliche and turned down several scholarships and followed my high school boyfriend to an expensive-but-mediocre private Catholic college for a degree I didn’t really care about. It was a surprise to literally no one when we broke up sophomore year, and I learned the World’s Most Expensive Lesson about not being an idiot, that I will be carrying around as a reminder for most of my natural life, probably. Unless Bernie Sanders? #HelpMe #FeelTheBern
They decide not to exchange numbers and block each other on social media, and make plans to meet up at the same time on the same day in the same place for the next five years, and Fallon makes Ben promise to use their story as inspiration for a novel. And Sigh. This is the most romantic story premise of all time.
C: There’s an airport scene that had me grinning, and sighing, and wanting the first Nov. 9 to never ever end. Ben is only 18 when the book starts, but is dreamy enough that an old lady can’t help but feel swoony over him. CoHo has a way of making her book boys say all the right things without it seeming trite.
M: It’s a CoHo, and all of that happens right at the very beginning, so you know you should buckle up and clear your schedule because you’re about to get on the Flying Freewheeling Feelings Express, and your life will be ruined if you have to actually do anything like parent your children or go to work. ALSO – let me be Braggy McBraggor Pants and announce that for once in my goddamn life, I guessed the CoHo twist at the very beginning of the story. Cleone was all, “LOL nope, that’s ridiculous.” HA.
C: I also almost never guess who the murderer is in horror movies, I’m not dumb just bad at clues!
M: I was reading ahead of Cleone, who was sick and crabby, and I think she wanted to kill me.
C: I obviously knew that my heart was going to be crushed, because that’s what CoHo does, because she’s pure evil, but Mary was making it really hard for me to live in the happy moments and enjoy the sweetness and light and the not wanting to vomit.
M: But then later she’s all, “Whaaaaah my life is over”:
M: I promise you guys, it gets better. It might feel like when you were reading A Storm of Swords and you got to the Red Wedding and you thought that was the worst that could possibly happen but then things got exponentially worse forever and everyone you loved died and you lost your ability to trust. This is not like that. When you get to the point where you want to die, just hang in there. Push through it. You can do this. (Doesn’t this sound like such a great book???)
C: It really DOES get better, but I reiterate that Chance Carter would never break my heart like that. Clearly we can’t tell you what happened, and we really want you to read and find out for yourself. But maybe get a drink? And a Valium? But only if that Valium is legally prescribed by a doctor (wink wink).
M: We were still reeling the next day.
C: If only you could spell the shoes! We might be Harry Potter nerds on top of being romance nerds. Harry Potter has some romantic parts itself :always: and you should read all of them if you’re an infidel who hasn’t. Back on topic you should also read November 9.
Like all of CoHo’s catalog, this is a book that will destroy your heart and then put it back together again. She creates characters that the reader feels deeply invested in, and who we want desperately to be happy. Fallon and Ben grow up on the page and even when they’re infuriating you, you’ll still root for them. Just clear off a big chunk of time so you can inhale this book in one sitting.
Check it out: