Book Review – ‘Losing Hope’ by Colleen Hoover

There are two sides to every story…

Losing Hope Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance

No. of pages: 337

From Goodreads:

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

For a companion novel, I thought it did well – You have to expect some repetition, but Losing Hope also introduced new characters, and revealed an entirely other dimension to  the storyline providing a different perspective to Hopeless.

I think I enjoyed this more than Hopeless. The writing was better, you got a strong masculine sense from the writing style, as opposed to the feminine of Hope in Hopeless. And for that I have to applaud Colleen Hoover.

The book is predictable – we already know the story from the previous installment, but the inclusion of Les’ own narrative really sold me on this novel. And the glimpse of something extra at the end…

It was great to revisit the story again, almost like re-reading your favorite book and finding new things to like. This novel was a little too angsty for my general pallet, but nonetheless an engaging read.

One point that I felt could have been improved upon was thatHolden’s narrative began to sound quite like Hope’s toward the end – and you could either put it down to the fact they were getting close and began to think like one another; or, that Hoover was slipping with her inner voice and Holden morphed into the overly dramatic and sensitive guy all girls swoon over. It wasn’t a bad thing, it was just something that jumped out at me at one point… I remember thinking ‘Maybe Holden does have a hairy burger – when did that happen?’ But jokes aside, the guy does have to have some compassion. The issues dealt with in this book are pretty intense.

Losing Hope Book Review Pic 05 by Casey Carlisle

I have experienced loss, and abuse. And while the story is a bit overly dramatic and angsty, Colleen pretty much nailed it! The fear, the numbness, the shock and the repressed memories. Best written representation I’ve come across so far. Bravo!

Overall reaction: pleasantly satisfied

Losing Hope Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Losing Hope Book Review Pic 06 by Casey Carlisle

Losing Hope Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – ‘Hopeless’ by Colleen Hoover … written by Casey Carlisle.

A damaged person can have a beautiful story…

Image

 

Hopeless’ by Colleen Hoover is a gem in the rough for me in the world of YA Fiction. It managed to keep me engaged throughout, and, as a mature reader, still managed to reveal unexpected twists.

I loved that all the characters in the book were flawed. It is so refreshing to see real life ooze from the page. I don’t think there was a single character that was cookie-cutter perfect. If I had to pick my favourite aspect of ‘Hopeless,’ this would be it. The complexities of the characters were so well written that their failings made them who they were. Not, this is [so-and-so] and she likes clothes; it was more like, [so-and-so] never had any money to buy new clothes and was ridiculed at school for wearing cast-offs – each foible had a motivation. I feel this is important because of the subject matter this novel deals with. What the characters have lived through lets the reader identify easily with them, even though their decisions may be vastly different to their own.

 

ImageWith that said, I did get a little annoyed at how the main protagonist, Sky, ran away from the story… probably to build suspense in the plot, but nonetheless it was irksome. She was such a strong character and her retreat from the knowledge that she craved distracted me from the story. At one point I had to put the book down and walk away in frustration.

The overall plot and storyline was a little predictable, but still managed to surprise me. The pace and cadence to the writing kept me up all night to finish the book. Although I felt like Sky had been dragged through so much, that by the end, it lost that punch of realism. Additionally the way Sky was raised didn’t sit quite so well with me (even though justifiable to the storyline). I felt, given her strength as a character, she would have rebelled much earlier, or at least had some close calls with the reveal in her past, piquing her curiosity when she had that instinct that things weren’t quite right.

 

 

ImageI’m not a big fan of flashbacks or amnesia as a plot twist. I feel they can be too convenient and have been overdone. And although both are present in this story, the flashbacks are few and far between and the memory loss is realistic. We forget and block out parts of our early childhood, until prompted with a photo or someone’s re-telling, which is how it presents in ‘Hopeless.’ And it is executed brilliantly!

On a personal note, having shared much of Sky’s experiences in my own life, the way everyone was portrayed as a little bit broken was perfection. Had it been told any other way would not have done it any justice.

 

 

It was a very satisfying read and it gets 4 out or 5 kisses from me.

   
ImageImageImageImage

Image

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.