Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

My Thoughts

Brave and bold, raw and intimate
a Colleen Hoover story like you’ve never read before.

5stars

Synopsis

Aug-02 ★Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

Review

With It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover delivers what could be her boldest, most ambitious and evocative work to date. Brave, intimate and simultaneously hopeful and heartbreaking, Hoover imparts a story about choices. The bad ones good people sometimes make. The ones that leave scars no one can see. The ones we muster courage to make so that we can break free from a life we never intended.

And while It Ends With Us is certainly a story shaped by choices, it’s also one which embodies courage, strength and resilience.

For Hoover, this book is intensely personal, and as a reader, I felt it. Felt the heart and honesty of it. Every moment trembled with a vulnerability that echoed deeply, effectively driving home the true and sweeping devastation of the circumstances we often must endure.

“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

As a teenager, Lily met Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy who’d grown up in a similar situation, and they clung to each other during the worst times of their lives. Atlas was thoughtful, caring, bright, and so when he moves away to reach for a better life, Lily was crushed.

“I’m going to make a promise to you… When my life is good enough for you to be a part of it, I’ll come find you.”

Years later, on the day of her father’s funeral, Lily meets Ryle Kinkaid atop a Boston roof in the middle of the night. A charming and talented neurosurgeon, Ryle quickly gets under her skin. And while Lily learns Ryle doesn’t do relationships, and she, in turn, doesn’t do one-night stands, she can’t seem to forget that single night, that string of shared moments. She never thought she’d see him again, but fate had other plans.

Despite Ryle’s relationship avoidance, he can’t seem to deny the growing connection between them.

“Oh, I want you, Lily. Make no mistake about that. I just don’t want to want you.”

Just as Ryle and Lily’s relationship takes flight, Atlas is back, dredging up all the love and longing she’d once felt for him.

But when Lily finds herself thrust into a life that resembles her ugly past, she learns just how difficult it can be to walk away. Both of these men shape Lily’s life in ways unforeseen, both of them love her deeply, one of them becomes her life raft.

“I love you, Lily. Everything you are. I love you.”

Beyond what I’ve told you, you should go into the story blind, braced for a story that is raw and heart wrenching. You’ll feel Lily’s experiences in your heart, in your soul, in your gut. She’s a fierce example of courage and resilience. And of course, despite the heavier topics it explores, it wouldn’t be a Colleen Hoover novel without her singular kind of magic making it all the more special.

Brave and bold, emotive and edgy, intimate and irresistible—It Ends With Us will leave its mark.

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Exclusive Spotlight + Interview + Giveaway: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

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It’s no secret I’m a BIG Colleen Hoover fan. She is what prompted me to travel to my first book event, by myself, just months after starting my blog. Her books have always been amongst my favorite… unique romances enlivened by a one-of-a-kind, recognizable sense of humor. And her style and creativity make her a leader in the book community as she continues to find ways to differentiate her unforgettable stories. I had the pleasure of reading November 9 early on and let me tell you guys, YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!!! This is an amazing novel full of heart and healing, love and heartbreak. It may be my favorite CoHo book to date!

Today, I’m thrilled to be able to chat (in our usual way) with Colleen, as we discuss November 9… which will be out soon on November 10th!!!!!

Pre-order: Amazon | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google
Read my 5-star review ✦

Synopsis

Nov-10Beloved #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?

“November 9 is yet another breathtaking novel by Colleen Hoover that’s full of blushing, gushing, and heartache. I loved every page and breathed in every beautiful word.”

—Anna Todd, Author of the After series

Interview

Vilma: Hey…

Colleen: Hey…

Vilma: Do you have your Diet Pepsi? I have my glass of wine. We need to talk shop.

Colleen: I have my Diet Pepsi in a wine glass. It’s the closest I’ll get to fancy.

Vilma: Ok, so NOVEMBER 9. You know just how much I love this book. I think it’s your best work to date. Weeelllll… mostly, anyway. It may be a deficit that I didn’t convince you to have a Mexican-American girl named Vilma in the story, but I have hope for your next book.

Colleen: First, thank you! I feel really proud of this book. Second, I never said she wasn’t Mexican-American, and we don’t know her middle name, so…she’s totally you. November 9 is you. Secret’s out.

Vilma: Fallon Vilma. It has a nice ring to it. 😉
But really, let’s go to the beginning. How did the inspiration for this story come?

Colleen: I’ve been wanting to write this book since right after I wrote Slammed. It’s one of those ideas I had jotted down, but never got around to until now. I can honestly say I don’t remember if it was inspired by anything in particular or if I just liked the date as a title and wanted to build a story around it. But I sat on this for two years, sometimes going back to it and making notes. I knew I wanted the characters to interact on that date only. I knew I wanted them to have a great instant connection, like they’d been lifelong friends. But other than that, I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go. I usually don’t until I actually sit down to write and get to know the characters. And I was shocked where the story went. This was supposed to be my sweet, funny book. But it veered off course and I went with it. Glad I did!

Vilma: It’s sort of a book, within a book, or perhaps more accurately, a book in the making as art imitates life. I know it wasn’t easy to work through the structure of story. Can you talk about your writing process for NOVEMBER 9?

Colleen: This one went fairly well compared to most of my books. I think it helped that I had thought about it for so long before actually writing it. I felt like I already knew Ben and Fallon as people, so developing their characters was pretty easy. Sometimes I write chapters out of order, but this one I wrote from the first chapter to the last. Of course I always go back once I’m finished and add things that tie scenes together and fluff the story, but I knew exactly where I was going with it. That doesn’t happen a lot.

Vilma: Tell us a little bit about Fallon.

Colleen: Other than her middle name being Vilma? 😉 When we meet Fallon, she’s in transition. Her life, her career, her measure of self-worth. She peeked (career-wise) at an early age, so by the time she turns eighteen, she feels like the best parts of her life are over. Eighteen is when most of us are just starting to figure out the world, but Fallon is at a been-there-done-that period, so now she’s having to rework her life goals.

Vilma: And Ben. I lovvve Ben…

Colleen: I love Ben, too. Like…a lot. Mostly because he’s funny, but also because of how much he wants to help Fallon learn to love herself.

Ben is a writer and we really learn a lot about him once we get into the book within a book. He’s been through a lot in his life and we don’t learn about most of it until later in the book. But we know enough about him in the beginning to see that he’s a good person and that he truly wants Fallon to be happy. Of course he makes a few stupid decisions, and so does Fallon, but we all make decisions that aren’t the best for us in our lives. It’s how you correct those mistakes that matter.

Vilma: Do you have a favorite scene in the book? Perhaps you can reference it without being too spoilery?

Colleen: One of my favorite scenes is the first night Fallon spends with Ben. Here’s a small peek at that:

——

I walk to the lamp and switch it off and then pick his covers up off the floor. I gently sit on the bed and cover us both as I lie down next to him with my back to his chest. I try not to wake him as I adjust my pillow.

“Shit.”

I roll over at the sound of his voice. It’s dark in the room, so I can’t tell if he was talking in his sleep or if he’s awake. “What is it?” I whisper.

I feel an arm go around my waist, and he pulls me closer. “I left the light on so I could see you walk out of the bathroom wearing my shirt, but you take really long showers. I think I fell asleep.”

I smile. “I’m still wearing it. You want me to turn the lamp on?”

“Fuck yes, please.”

I laugh and roll over toward the lamp. I switch it on and then face him again. His eyes are unmoving, yet somehow all over me.

“Stand up,” he says, lifting up onto his elbow. I stand up and his eyes never meet mine. They’re roaming over my thighs, my hips, my breasts. I don’t mind that he isn’t looking at my face. I don’t mind at all.

The hem of his shirt falls several inches above my knees. It’s just long enough to where he can’t tell that I’m not wearing underwear right now. It’s also just short enough to where he’s probably praying I’m not wearing underwear right now.

His eyes drop to my legs again and he begins to speak slowly, as if he’s reciting poetry. “The only sea I saw, Was the seesaw sea, With you riding on it. Lie down, lie easy. Let me shipwreck in your thighs.” His eyes drag up my body until they meet mine. “Dylan Thomas,” he says.

I release a slow breath. “Wow,” I say. “Poetry porn. Who knew?”

Ben smiles at me lazily. He lifts a finger and points at me. “I’d like to have my shirt back now.”

“Now?”

He nods. “Right now. Before you turn off the lamp. Take it off, it’s mine.”

—–

Vilma: Well, we know you’ve outlined ideas for your next book. You’ve also thrown away those outlines. Multiple times. Is there anything you can share with us?

Colleen: Ha! I’m the worst at second-guessing myself. I think it has to do with the fact that I want my books to each be so different from the last, so I become my own worst critic. But yes, I’m 99% sure my next book (after the Never Never series, of course) will be called It Ends With Us. It’s a book from two male point of views. Both of these guys are in love with the same girl, but at different points in their lives. And before people who hate love triangles run in the other direction, let me just say that it isn’t a love triangle. It’s more of a … love perpendicular. If that makes any sense at all. I’m really passionate about it because there are some elements of this book that hit close to home for me, so I want to do it justice. And that just makes me even more critical. So we’ll see. I have a feeling this is going to be the hardest thing I’ve written so far.

Vilma: Anything else you want to say?

Colleen: Because cucumbers.

Vilma: LOL. Because cucumbers. #Squad.

Thanks! Later?

Colleen: You say “later” like it’s a question? So…maybe? Is that because I might not survive writing this next book?

Vilma: Nah, you totally will. Because #boss.

—–

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Visit www.November9.com for teasers, tour dates and more.

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Review + Giveaway: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

The perfect blend of sexiness, emotion, humor and intrigue.
It’s Colleen’s best, most exciting book to date.

5stars

Synopsis

Nov-10Beloved #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.

My Review

Colleen Hoover’s one-of-a-kind style of storytelling shines with November 9—a story about a boy and a girl who fall in love, one day at a time. But it’s also so much more. It’s lines of words that tell the story of a girl scarred by an event that made her feel less, made her feel abandoned. A girl whose dreams vanquished with the flames that ravaged her. It’s about a boy, a writer—Benton Kessler—who searches for inspiration and finds it the day that fate pushed him to meet Fallon O’ Neil.

Fallon and Ben meet on her last day in L.A., before she moves to New York City. Ben’s unexpected, easygoing and entirely charming demeanor unnerves Fallon… in the best possible way.

For Fallon, he turns a day marred with frustration and bad memories to a day marked by laughter and surprises.

“When I woke up this morning, I thought today was going to be one of the toughest days I’ve had in two years. Who knew the anniversary of the worst day of my life might possibly end on a good note.”

For Ben, he begins to fall for a girl who hides behind the cards she’s been dealt, but whose feistiness, verve and beauty, win him over all the same. Fallon becomes the muse he’s been hoping for, and a story begins to write itself with each moment they experience.

“You can’t leave yet. I’m not finished falling in love with you.”

Before the day is over, they’re not ready to say goodbye. So they agree to meet once a year, for five years, on November 9th. No contact whatsoever… leaving destiny to play out as it will.

“November 9th or nothing.”

They come together and come apart each year as circumstances change. Their story arcs and morphs into a once-in-a-lifetime romance, but not before plot twists threaten everything they’ve held on to so dearly.

“When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it.”

Ben and Fallon’s story is irresistible—I couldn’t help but fall in love with them from the very beginning. Their chemistry leaps of the page with humor, passion and an endearing realness. Moreover, Hoover enlivens the story with her intangible magic where every moment feels larger than life, meaningful, and somehow entirely novel in its approach. With November 9, she once again proves that New Adult remains in the game with fresh and exciting stories impossible to forget. I dare you not to fall in love with Ben and Fallon.

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Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover

My Thoughts

Compelling, fresh, heart wrenching and entirely unforgettable.

5stars

Synopsis

confess coverFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies. 

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…

My Review

“I’m struggling for more air than I even need, but my panic is setting in, burying itself in my soul and making it hard to think. The sadness feels like warmth creeping its way up my chest, creating an insurmountable pressure the closer it gets to my heart.”

Bestselling author Colleen Hoover does it again. She delivers a compelling story with the power to evoke tears and laughs alike. Her trademark style emanates—both intense and effervescent, heartbreaking and heartswelling. Confess is a story that starts with a chance encounter and then twines in a way that seems destined and significant. Words hide secrets and confessions bleed off pages as Owen and Auburn find their way to each other, but not before loss furtively yields to new beginnings.

“I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.”

Auburn’s life didn’t turn out quite as planned. By the time she was 20 years old, she had already been through more than most. But she needed to remain focused. So when by happenstance, she walks past a studio with a help wanted sign, she had to stop. She needed the money. But it was more than that, the windows beckoned her attention. They were covered in intimate and shocking confessions. The studio’s owner, Owen Gentry, is desperate for help, and when Auburn walks into the studio, Owen is immediately taken by this girl who is smart, sassy and somehow a little sad too.

“Are you here to save me?”

Both Auburn and Owen have secrets they bear, confessions they bury. As the story unfurls, the undercurrent of these unsaid words are felt, especially as Auburn’s heart-wrenching story comes to light, while Owen’s remains largely a mystery.

“Some secrets should never turn into confessions. I know that better than anyone.”

There are so many things I loved about this story. Colleen Hoover’s trademark mix of humor and heart. Real and striking confessions which came from readers. The art that brought the story to life in a beautifully abstract, yet emotionally acute way.

So many things.

Deception and pain, love and loss, secrets and truths, hope and redemption—they all twist and tangle together creating another unforgettable novel from one of the freshest and most trusted voices in romance. This book is not to be missed.

“I don’t feel lost in him at all, because it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like someone truly found me.”

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