Synopsis from Good Reads:
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.
This book was kind of meta and I liked that. The book is about characters who meet once a year and one of them is going to write a book about it. So basically it’s like Ben is writing the book we’re reading. The characters bring up a lot of common book tropes – and then utilizes them. There is even a point in the story where the idea is compared to similar books and Ben defends it and makes sure everyone knows it’s different. As a book nerd I could really appreciate all the references.
I liked the plotline of only seeing the characters once a year, but I wish the story would’ve involved a little bit more than just their relationship and how they thought about each other non-stop every single day of the year. It didn’t really feel like there was that much character growth between November 9ths. We would get just a couple details to prove that some time had passed and then it was picking right back up where we left off with the romance. However, toward the end we did get a lot more character background on Ben and I appreciated that.
While I was a fan of Ben and Fallon’s relationship, it did make me a little uncomfortable at times. They are super intense about each other when they haven’t known each other very long at all. And though I did love Ben, he gave off a bit of a creeper vibe to me at times. And even though I did like many of the meta book references, it kind of annoyed me when it came to him. He would talk about how he was nothing like the alpha-male book boyfriends he read about and then act EXACTLY like every other guy ever written in this genre. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the norm for a reason, but I wish he either would’ve been a little different, or they would’ve really played up the comparisons a little more. All that said, I did think the romance was enjoyable and I liked their bantering a lot.
As I was finishing up this book I read another review that pointed out that the plot twist is basically the same as two other CoHo books. I hadn’t made the connection before that, but once I realized it, it was kind of all I could think about. Not being a rabid CoHo fan, I’d only read one of those books and since I liked this one much better than Confess, I can kind of overlook it, but do feel like I need to point it out, as well.
Though this book still did not convert me into a CoHo fangirl, I did end up really enjoying it. While there was a certain level of melodrama, I felt like it wasn’t as forced as the other books I’ve read by her. I found the characters more likable, as well, and especially enjoyed some of their banter. Overall, I think that fans of Hoover will eat it up and even the non-converts like me would enjoy it.
Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars