Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review | Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

“Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones.  You just have to choose which wrong choice feels the least wrong.”

Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover 

Published by Atria Publishing
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Pages: 406
Other Books By Colleen Hoover: Slammed, Maybe Someday 

My Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 17+


Teisha's Review

All of the preconceived notions I had about Hopeless were completely blown out of the water once I started reading.  Literally, everything I thought I knew about this book was wrong.

I thought this would be a fun romance.  Wrong.

I thought it would be just okay.  Wrong again.

Hoover's novel was so much more than I expected.  It was heart wrenching, insightful, gripping, and inspirational.  Hopeless is a book that will give many struggling young women out there the hope to carry on.

Here are the five reasons why I gave Hopeless 5 out of 5 stars:



★ Plot

I love that feeling when you pick up a book that seems mildly interesting, and then you start reading it and you're like, "Wow!  This is 10x better than I ever thought it would be".  That was the feeling I got with Hopeless.

I had just bought my Kindle, and I was browsing around aimlessly for cheap books.  I came across Hopeless, and I remembered having added it to my GoodReads 'To-Read' list sometime back.  I read the synopsis again and I thought "Eh, interesting enough".  So, I bought it and read it.

'Interesting enough' is the understatement of the century.

Initially, I got the impression that Hopeless would be just another New Adult contemporary romance where girl meets boy, they fall in love, yada yada yada.  But, this book is so much more.  It is about falling in love for the first time, but it is also about grief, loss, family, and the journey of self-discovery.  There is also serious subject matter in this book, such as suicide, sexual abuse, and violence.

I fear that if I say anything about the story line that isn't about Holder and Sky's romance, I'll be giving something away.  I mean, the synopsis is vague for good reason--to say too much about this plot would be to spoil everything.  So, I'll just say this:  Hopeless is a very unique story, and it is not just interesting; it's captivating.




★ Plot Twists

First off, I should tell you that the prologue of Hopeless, which is an excerpt of the novel, is entirely misleading.  It will make you think that you know what this book is about, but you, like me, will be wrong.  

I am a sucker for plot twists.  What's the fun in reading a book that's predictable and has no surprises?  That's like riding a roller coaster that doesn't go up or down.  Boring, right?  I know.

Luckily, Hopeless is not boring.  It is far from that.   Colleen Hoover is quite a sneaky little fox, and I love it!

I started putting a lot of the pieces of the puzzle that is Hopeless together near the end of the book.  But, the plot twists still had a startling effect on me seeing that they were so twisted.  I'm not going to say that this book is crazy, but it's definitely on some next level stuff.  



★ Perfect Fictional Boyfriend

If you'd asked me before I read this book: "Teisha, who, out of all the books you've read, would you consider to be the perfect fictional boyfriend?" I probably would have answered "No one."  I'd always thought the idea of the perfect fictional boyfriend was so silly and trivial.  That was until I read Hopeless.

That was until I was introduced to Dean Holder.

Holder is handsome (in my mind), well-mannered, funny, understanding, caring, and he has a great personality.  What more could anyone ask for?

And yet, even with all of those admirable characteristics, he is flawed.  He has secrets, and he's got a short temper, too.

The fact that Dean is not perfect is what makes him perfect.  Does that even make sense?

Someone just please find me a real life Dean Holder, stat!



★ Characters

Dean Holder is amazing, but the other characters of Hopeless are pretty awesome, too.

I especially loved Sky, the protagonist of the novel.  One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from author Nora Ephron, and she says: "Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim".  And, I think Sky embodies this quote perfectly.  It's always refreshing to read a story with a female heroine who is average and relatable, especially in the midst of a flood of dystopian heroines who live in fantasy worlds and have special powers.

What I appreciated the most about Hoover's characters is how real they are.  And, I'm sure that that is something that is said about a lot of fictional characters, but Hoover's characters are vulnerable and flawed and they persevere in the face of adversity--they're just like us.  They are true examples of the human condition.



★ Message

As I stated earlier, this book deals with a lot of heavy subject matter, but Hoover handles it well and doesn't make readers feel too overwhelmed.  And, though that subject matter is an important part of the story line, it does not make the story.  Rather, the effects certain situations have on the characters are what is important to this novel, and that is where we find the messages of this book buried.

There are a lot of insightful messages to be found in Hopeless, messages about truth, perseverance, love, and strength.  And, of course there is the message of hope, of having hope even when your entire world has been turned upside down.  Even when you feel as if you can't possibly make it another day.

I think that, despite the title, the message of hope is the most important aspect of Hopeless.


***

Hopeless is the first book I read by Colleen Hoover, and I will definitely be reading more of her novels.

I love this story.  And, I'm sure you will, too.  I highly recommend this read!

Also, I wanted to do something a little different.  Below, you'll find what I call the 'Hopeless Challenge'.  Who knows?  If this catches on, I might make it a regular thing.  If not...oh, well.

Hopeless Challenge

The instructions for this challenge are as follows:

1) Read the prologue of Hopeless.
2) Write down what you think just happened in that scene.
3) Finish the novel, write down your reaction to what really happened.
4) Share your prediction and reaction in the comments!

If you've already read the novel, feel free to post your predictions and reactions as well!

Tell Me Your Thoughts

--Have you read Hopeless?  If so, what did you think?  If not, do you plan to?
--Have you read any of Colleen Hoovers other novels?  Do you have any recommendations for me of which one I should read next?



2 comments:

  1. I read this book a few months ago and like you I was completely blown out of the water. I was just looking for a cheap but somewhat interesting book and thought it looked alright and it was so much better than alright. Colleen Hoover knows how to surprise her readers; I was not prepared for the plot twist at all! I generally don't read books about normal everyday scenarios but after this book I went on a normal book binge! Dean Holder was just so real, which like you said made him perfect! I also liked Sky's character, she stayed strong throughout the many crisises she has to deal with but still let Dean be there for her. This book just really makes you take a step back and think about life a bit more than usual, which is partly why I love it!

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    1. Wow! You summed this book up in a lot fewer words than I did:) I agree with everything you said, especially that last bit. Hopeless is one of the most thought-provoking contemporary romances I've read other than The Fault In Our Stars. Great way to sum it up! Thanks for dropping by:)

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