SPOILER ALERT: I have finished Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Wow. I am exhausted from reading this book. I feel like I need a shower and about 8 hours of solid, mindless TV to wash it all away.
I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I'm a bit confused at all the 5 star ratings and wonder if all the bloggers in the acknowledgments are really giving their honest opinion?
Why only 3 stars? Certainly not because of Colleen Hoover's writing; I enjoyed that immensely. And not because of her characters; I found them to be well thought-out and likable. Holder is a character you want to spend time with...although he gets a little too sweet toward the end and doesn't seem as real. Sky is just like so many of us who question ourselves and those around us...but don't necessarily want to know the answers. She's very endearing in that way.
So what's my deal? Well...I felt like it was two different stories; two different books. The first half is laden with googley eyes about each other when you're in high school. Don't get me wrong - I usually enjoy the sappy first love stuff...but it's a slippery slope. You can overdo it and end up rubbing your readers the wrong way. (Pun intended; nice grinding scene! Wow.) I liked the angst when it came to things like Holder getting upset over the bracelet...or leaving her house and not coming back...etc etc...but then things would seem to draw out a bit too long and I'd start losing interest until the next crisis.
One absolute joy in this book? Breckin. More, more, give me more. I'd like a series just about him. I totally want to go back to high school and look for the guy wearing bright pink shoes. Only I went to Catholic school and you got demerits for that sort of thing. I should know, I once got demerits for wearing a yellow sweater in homeroom. But I digress.
OK - so - on to the 2nd half (or last third, I should say). All the sudden you find yourself on this roller coaster ride and it's truly compelling...but you're thinking "Wait - wasn't I reading a lovely little story about young love? How does child rape fit into this?" And don't get me wrong - the last 3rd is truly interesting and riveting and upsetting...all at once. All things that make for an outstanding story. But I felt like I was a bit shell shocked and had a hard time switching gears.
Now...please don't misunderstand me. I think Colleen Hoover is a damn good writer in that she's perfectly worded (no bad comparisons of someone's eyes to a rooftop...lordddddd) and her words flow exceptionally well. I am looking forward to reading her New York Times Bestsellers, "Slammed
" and "Point of Retreat
" (aka girlfriend knows what she's doing.)
So - my overall synopsis? I wish Hopeless were two books. That way, I could recommend the first to my nieces in high school...and the 2nd to my book club. If I had a book club, that is. I used to, but I left because they only read horribly sad stories about things like child rape. So you get my drift. Maybe I just didn't like the subject matter of the last third of the story - even though it was thoroughly engaging and told with an abundance of tact and grace.
Really looking forward to a (friendly) discussion on this...so by all means, comment away!!