Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us

It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: August 2, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

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.

my thoughts new

“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”

(I buddyread this book together with my sissy Bea. Click her name to read her beautiful review!)

It Ends with Us proved to be a big surprise in the best sense possible. I’m telling you guys, this book is Colleen Hoover at her very best!

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I have read Colleen Hoover books in the past and they really have such a huge impact to me, but nothing compares to this novel. It’s a different take on sensitive issues. And somewhat personal. Colleen Hoover did an amazing job in giving us a glimpse of what it is to have a different outlook in life, family, and relationship. To live in constant struggle. To hate someone dear to your heart and to even feel an ounce of compassion to that person despite your remorse. It very much pucks an emotional punch.

“I fell like everyone fakes who they really are, when deep down we’re all equal amounts of screwed up. Some of us are just better at hiding than others.”

Lily’s character amazed me the most here. What she’s been through in her childhood… it was awful. But I can say that she grew up as a strong person despite it all. I was awed by her determination to live a life far away from her mom where there are so many painful memories that correspond. She didn’t want to experience a life similar to her mom’s so she kept reminding herself never to become like her in the future.

This book delivered such a deep and sensible message that particularly targets women. I thought this is a very important book and everyone should read it because it has a say on something so personal. I fell into the story so easily and at times, I found myself taking a break in the middle of some chapters to reflect and… sob. There were just so many different kinds of emotions emanating from the pages which is of course, typical Colleen Hoover’s magic.

“You make me want to be a different person, but what if I don’t know how to be what you need?”

And when I learned in Colleen Hoover’s note that this story is inspired from her mom’s experience, I fell harder and I wept. I haven’t read as good and as personal as this book and this is really remarkable for me. It’s something special.

“Not everyone is homeless because they chhoose to be. They’re homeless because there isn’t enough to help to go around.”

Atlas’s character was also unforgettable here. I loved him. Every time I think about him my heart squeezes up so bad I feel like crying. And Ryle… I thought he’s also a character that felt real to me. I especially loved his naked truths. I also thought Lily’s write-ups in her journal are one hell of an emotional ride.

“No one is exclusively bad, nor is anyone exclusively good. Some are just forced to work harder at suppressing the bad.”

There are so many things that I wish to say in this review but I’m afraid they will serve as spoilers so to wrap it all up,I’m in love with this book. It’s everything and then some. The plot was fairly unpredictable and there were so many lessons entwined that will shake you emotionally and ruin you and turn you into a mess. Another spectacular job, Colleen. Thank you for sharing to us this wonderful piece of journey!

“And when I whisper, ‘I love you, too,’ it’s the most naked truth I’ve ever spoken to him.”

 

Rating:

5 stars new

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Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Making Faces

Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Published: October 12, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Drama

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Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beastwhere we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Talk about an amazing book at its most extreme! This book is a rare gem. You know it’s crafted to tear your heart into a million pieces but you still read it anyways ‘coz it’s beautifully written and heartfelt!

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“Maybe everyone represents a piece of the puzzle. We all fit together to create this experience we call life. None of us can see the part we play or the way we see are just the tip of the iceberg. And maybe we just don’t recognize the blessings that come as a result of terrible things.”

Making Faces is a story about a girl named Fern Taylor. She’s one of those protagonists people call an ‘ugly duckling’ because of her frizzy wild red hair, crooked teeth, a million freckles on her face, and huge eyeglasses. But even though she grew up with a knowledge that she’s not physically attractive like the rest of the girls in Hannah Lake, she was well-loved by her parents and her cousin and best friend Bailey. While in high school, she developed this infatuation to Ambrose Young, Hannah Lake’s golden boy and the most popular guy and most looked-up to. Ambrose has all the things young girls will fall in love with. He’s beautiful, strong, smart, talented, athletic, perfect. But when 9/11 happened in the U.S. which urged him to sign up for military together with his close friends, his life changed and he returned home with a tortured soul and a ruined physicality.

I can’t believe I haven’t read it sooner. Amy Harmon is such a genius and a talented author and I knew it just by reading the first few paragraphs of the book. She did a wonderful job in this novel because of the way she chose words that absolutely hit home. All throughout the book I found myself hanging on to every word because I’m afraid I’ll be missing out a tiny detail.

What struck me most about this book was how the author inspired everything based on real life. The characters she featured were so raw and without any pretense. The main setting she chose was also peaceful and quiet and in a way, very comforting. I also loved the fact that the book tackled some inspiring and religious concepts which made me ponder my own reality. It also gave us the glimpse about the experiences military men face outside the country and what it would be like to work in those areas away from home and from loved ones.

I cried a lot of times all throughout the book because of the deep and meaningful messages it instilled and how it portrayed the importance of being close to God as much as being close to your family and friends. I also learned from this book that inner beauty is more important than physical beauty and what matters most is the good things you impact to someone’s life.

“I think sometines a beautiful face is false advertising too, and too many of us don’t take the time to look beneath the lid.”

The book also has a good romance in it. Ambrose and Fern’s romantic development– from childhood strangers to friends to lovers– was so remarkable. It developed naturally and beautifully. Their love was so inspiring I don’t think I would ever forget it. I am forever thankful that authors like Amy Harmon exist. An incredible book like this deserves the spotlight. It’s one that I wouldn’t trade for any book.

In Making Faces, the emotions emanating from the pages and the overall impact was truly worth the ride. So if you’re looking for a book that will provide you a good cry, do yourself a favor and put this on top of your tbr! :’)

“Thank you for making even ugly things beautiful.”

Rating:

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Review: Feel Me Break by Tara R.

Feel me Break

Feel Me Break
Author: Tara R.
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published: May 10, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

Chloe Reed and Nick Grayson couldn’t have more different lives. Where Chloe had a bleak future and was trying to deal with a loss that had left a hole in her heart, Nick was a happy-go-lucky guy, leading a carefree life with a path set.

Until one fateful night, they met and everything changed. The night that gave Chloe hope for the future, left Nick scarred for life. Was their meeting a one-off tryst or was their story just beginning?

my thoughts new

“There are some things in life you aren’t supposed to move past. They become a part of you, they define you, and you just have to learn how to live with it.”

It’s always great to read a book that evokes different emotions and introspection. When I finished reading this novella, it kind of blew me away. The story was very absorbing, from the sudden events in the beginning to the internal struggling both characters faced as they tried to make difficult decisions.

Feel Me Break falls into the heartbreaking and sad category. It’s a prequel story about two characters named Chloe Reed and Nick Grayson. When Chloe’s brother died and her parents separated, her world fell apart which made her become indifferent and self-destructive. For a brief moment, Nick came into her life and prevented her to end her misery and instead gave her hope. But in a sudden twist of fate Nick met an accident and ruined a person’s life which scarred him emotionally.

What I especially loved about this novella was the beautiful writing. It was easy, comfortable, and engaging which moved along at a good pace. The characters were also well thought-out. They’re not difficult to connect and I cared about them deeply. I also found the romance very promising. The ending kind of wrecked me, though. I wished both characters didn’t go through that situation wherein (view spoiler). It was kind of unbelievable and distressing when it all happened at the same time. 😦

This novella, as a whole, was a great start to a series. It was a quick and easy read but it didn’t fail to move me. I am thrilled for the first full-length novel to come. I hope to find a lot more surprises!

“You saved me that night, Nick. So let me save you.”

(A copy was provided by the author, Tara R., in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

4

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xo pearl

Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Whatever Life Throws at You

Whatever Life Throws at You
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: October 7, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

4 stars

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Synopsis new

Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas’s life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she’s living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals’ super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn’t just a game. It’s life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

my thoughts new

This book makes me want to read more sports romance books. It’s a Young-Adult-slash-New-Adult read that is all kinds of cute and adorable. I enjoyed every bit of it not just because everything was swoony but because the book also depicts life lessons and narrates a touching family drama that will make your heart melt. It wasn’t just all about falling in love with someone but it also deals with family issues and morals.

When 17 year-old Annie Lucas met the gorgeous 19 year-old baseball pitcher Jason Brody, she didn’t expect herself to get infatuated with him after their series of encounters. Annie’s dad is Jason’s and his teammate’s new coach, and she’s just a high school student. Thus, falling in love with him meant she’s on her way towards forbidden love.

I had a very great time diving into this book. The connection I had with the cute characters, the beautiful settings, the drama aside from the romance, and the sporty theme was so unexpected. It didn’t fail to hold my attention and got me all wrapped up more than I thought I could. In the end, it put a smile on my face.

I especially felt connected to the characters. Both Annie and Jason Brody are likable characters. Annie is one responsible girl. Her attitude is typical 17 year-old but I like her because everything she says and does are on-point and the way she cares for her dad makes me want to hug her. Jason, on the other hand, is amazing. Apart from the fact that he’s seriously a hot athlete, he’s very different compared to some dudes in sports romance books that act like they own the world. Although Jason was every girl’s target in this book, still, he doesn’t abuse his popularity and play around women. He’s just… so perfect! And very ideal.

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When it comes to the romantic aspect, well…. I really loved the fact that there was NO INSTA-LOVE. The romance was developed naturally. Annie and Jason’s chemistry here was off the charts as well. I was literally rooting for them all throughout the book!

What I also loved was how Julie Cross described the dynamics of baseball game here. I was impressed. I mean, I’m not a baseball fan and I only know a few basic rules about this sport but it felt like I was watching a real live baseball game because of the way the action in the field was being described. Bravo to that!!!

All in all, Whatever Life Throws at You is a great sports romance book that I will highly recommend to everyone. It’s quickly engaging and with likable characters and side characters (Lenny London included).

“Life is funny sometimes… the worst possible things can get you to the best possible places. If you just enjoy the game.”

Rating:

4 stars

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xo pearl

ARC Review: Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven

Wicked Heart (Starcrossed, #3)

Wicked Heart
(Starcrossed #3)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Expected Publication: May 3, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

4 stars new

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Synopsis new

Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that echoes around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

my thoughts new

(I buddyread this book with sis Bea. Click her name to read her review) 🙂

Wicked Heart, for me, was like a tornado of emotions! Ever read a book where you find yourself swooning yet you feel scared at the same time because you know your heart’s going to break at the later part? That’s exactly what I felt while reading this book. Gratefully, it ended with a perfect HEA, so no complaints at all from my satisfied heart!

Leisa Rayven has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the New Adult genre. This author really has the gift of hooking her readers and making them feel drawn because of her awesomely attractive and well-defined characters and of course, her brilliant writing style and beautiful romantic plot. Once again, I’m awed. I loved Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet and I also loved this book!

Wicked Heart focuses on Elissa and Liam’s story. Elissa, an aspiring stage manager, met Liam one day. Having been broken-hearted a few times by her ex-boyfriends who happened to be actors, she swore she will never ever date and fall in love with one ever again. But when she learned that Liam was aspiring to become an actor, her heart became confused whether to continue her romantic affair with him or not. An opportunity that offered a promising future to Liam’s career eventually came to him which led him to abandon Elissa and go to New York. This changed their relationship to a whole new level and Elissa ended up broken-hearted. After years of being apart, they met and sparks once again flew.

“Love in an asshole. It doesn’t care about people’s plans. It’s never convenient. It crawls inside of you at the most ridiculous times and makes you feel, whether you like it or not. And even after the time when you should have learned to stop loving someone, it just keeps holding on to them.”

I fell in love with the way the author plotted the scenarios here. It made me miss Ethan and Cassie when they were still working together as actors at The Grove because of the stage works done by the characters. What made me even fall in love with this book was LIAM effin’ QUINN. Darn, why do book Gods continue to shower us with such oozing hot male characters? Liam is definitely one of them!

The only thing that quite bothered me (maybe it was just me) was Elissa’s character. It’s ironic how I find the jolly, naughty Cassie in her character. Like no difference at all. When I’ve read Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet last year, I saw Elissa as someone who’s a bit demure or if I’m not wrong, a woman with a sense of fashion and sophistication. In this book, however, I thought her character changed… or my perception with her character changed, either ways.

Also, I find Liam (most of the time) an a-hole. What he did to Elissa during the first half of the book was really frustrating and unforgivable. However, he was able to redeem himself in the end and yes, I forgave him and loved him for that.

The journey that both Liam and Elissa went through in this book was really beautiful. How they were able to come back to each other after years of being apart– that was so heart-warming. It made me cry and want to simultaneously punch things just because. ALL THE FEELS!

“In the words of Ancient Chinese proverb, it’s all very well for the bird and the fish to fall in love, but where will they make their home?”

All in all, Wicked Heart is wickedly and heart-breakingly beautiful. Definitely a must-read if you are into romantic NA reads with broken and gorgeous heroes. I am excited to find out what Leisa Rayven has in store for us in the future. 🙂

(Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for generously sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! :))

Rating:

4 stars new

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xo pearl

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: November 10, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

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.

my thoughts new

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

“You left with my soul in your fists and my heart in your teeth, and I don’t want either of them back.”

Colleen Hoover, what did you just do to my heart? You just turned me into a crying mess! Now I’m in a full on sob fest.

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I don’t think this review of mine can give justice to this amazing novel but let me just tell you that November 9 is simply beautiful! And beautiful does not even begin to describe it. It’s BOOK-WORTHY. The kind of book that will hook you, consume you, and OWN you from the very beginning up to end.

November 9 begins when Fallon O’Neil and Ben Kessler met at a restaurant in Los Angeles on the 9th of November. Despite having an instant connection with each other, Fallon thought that she’s not yet ready to fall in love and commit herself into a relationship, thus she told Ben that she’ll start dating him only when she reach the age of 23– which will be five years after their first meeting. Before she moved to New York, they both decided to meet once a year– same place, same date– November 9.

So I thought that was just all about it. And I was wrong. Because there were too many things that happened in this book and the PLOT was done in an outrageous and intricate manner. That’s how I know that Colleen Hoover once again did a great job– when she was able to make me pause and contemplate about the series of events in the story.

“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.

What especially made me love the book were the main characters. Ben and Fallon are well fleshed-out characters. Ben especially. This man. I appreciate Ben’s character because it’s so easy to connect with him. He has a way words that can melt one’s heart. Not to mention what a damn hot writer he is. And Fallon– although I had some issues with her inconsistency, I grew to love her as I began to see how she became a fairly strong and well-developed character from being weak. And well, she’s a book lover and that makes her still a likeable character.

“One of the things I always try to remind myself is that everyone has scars. A lot of them even worse than mine. The only difference is that mine are visible and most people’s aren’t.”

The romance is one of the book’s greatest strengths. Ben and Fallon’s story was poignant and heart-wrenching. All throughout the story I found myself getting scared as to what was going to happen. I got so into the book and I became really nervous because anything could happen. And wow, just when you think it can’t get anymore emotional or heartbreaking, the greatest PLOT TWIST OF ALL PLOT TWISTS happened and then that’s it. I was destroyed. My heart was shattered into a million different pieces. You did it all over again, Colleen Hoover!

It took four years for me to fall in love with him. It only took four pages to stop.

Colleen Hoover’s writing style once again dumbfounded me. It never really gets old to be honest. But I guess I appreciate her more in this book. Her writing here separates November 9 from all the contemporary books I’ve read and even from her previous books, because the concept is unique and amazing. The whole premise and the story itself completely stole my heart, made me smile, fall in love, drown in tears, and reflect the messages behind. I LOVE NOVEMBER 9!Simply one of a kind. It’s now a new favorite of mine– one I will never forget for a very long time!

She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for.

P.S. Listen to “High Hopes” by Kodaline when you read this book. The feels!

Rating:

5 stars new

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xo pearl

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

Hopeless
(Hopeless #1)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication: October 8, 2013
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

3 stars new

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Synopsis new

Sky Davis is starting sixth form having always been home-schooled, and wants to keep a low profile. But then she runs into Dean Holder – messy brown hair, smouldering blue eyes, and a temper straight out of Fight Club, someone who Sky is determined to avoid.

There is something about Holder that sparks memories of Sky’s troubled past, those which she would rather stay buried. Little does she know that the mysterious Dean Holder is harbouring secrets of his own . . .

When the truth unravels, Sky must piece her life back together and learn to trust again. Only by facing the revelations together can the two of them begin to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live without boundaries.

my thoughts new

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Another gut-puncher novel written by the one and only Colleen Hoover.

This was a very difficult book to rate for me. I enjoyed Colleen Hoover’s books– mainly Confess which until these days, remains my favorite. After reading Hopeless, I was torn whether I should rate it 3 or 4 stars. In the end though, I chose the former because I have more issues with this book than I’ve ever thought.

But first, let me give you the good traits about this book. I found this book outstanding because:

* Colleen Hoover writes beautifully. She always has a way with words that will leave you feeling awed. And just when you think it can’t get anymore emotional and heartbreaking, her writing goes and outdoes itself.

* The ending is heartbreakingly spectacular. So much that it can either make you smile or cry or both, like Confess’ ending. And only Colleen Hoover can make such a brilliant conclusion like that.

However, this book, for me, has some flaws which include:

*The slow pacing. Almost half of the book, in my opinion, was a waste since nothing really happened. It picked up during the second half when finally, some revelation came and that was the time when I felt so relieved and was able to breathe because… the book was really slow-paced. It dragged on and on and on.

*The predictable plot. At some point, I felt a bit frustrated because I already had an idea what’s about to come. I already visualized what happened to Sky because the idea was instantly introduced during her earlier flashback nightmare. And because of this, I found the book quite lacking when it comes to the plot twist. There were actually lots of twists in this book. Unfortunately, I already saw them coming.

*The romance seemed off. Maybe it’s just me or something, but I could not find myself fully invested with the characters’ romantic involvement. It was a little too instant. I couldn’t even understand why their relationship progressed into a whole new level after their first meeting. There was instant attraction and the way they immediately connected was kind of unbelievable.

It’s my first time rating CoHo’s books 3 stars and it seriously breaks my heart. I badly wanted to rate it at least 4 but I’ve got issues with this book that I can’t overlook. But despite these issues, I can assure that this one is a beautiful novel. CoHo’s way of writing is gripping and extraordinary. No surprise there.

Overall, I would describe Hopeless as one heavy, intense, and emotionally-driven book with an extraordinary level of angst. It’s a bit painful to read but it’s remarkable in a way because it tackles sensitive subject matters that actually happen in a real, non-fictional world. This book may not be my personal favorite among CoHo’s books, but I enjoyed the emotional aspect of it.

Rating:

3 stars new

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xo pearl