I finally caved in and read a Colleen Hoover book the other day, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. Well-written chick lit has always been one of my guilty pleasures. I finished it in two nights, 1.) because I was waiting for a story to appear and 2.) because I couldn’t put it down. I was really 50/50 about it the entire time, because I couldn’t (and still can’t) decide if I love it or hate it. I understand the hype though, because it was a fun read. But I just couldn’t bring myself to like the characters or the story that much, perhaps it’s the feminist in me. It made me angry half the time. I gave this book 3.5 stars though, because it did make me giggle in some parts, if only for Tate’s sometimes-hilarious internal monologues, and because I respect writers who can make me feel things that I don’t expect or want to feel.
While I did like the first person narrative style in each chapter and how it always switched from one character to another, I didn’t like the actual story. I liked the fact that it felt real and that I could experience it through Hoover’s writing style, but it was just so depressing and infuriating to live through. I realize that that was the entire point of the book, to show the ugly side of love, but it was just too much ugliness and too little story. Nothing really happens, except the slow, glacial evolution of Tate and Miles’s skewed relationship.
The twisted love story between Tate and Miles actually pissed me off and both characters were slightly annoying. Tate comes off as such a weak female figure who is so obsessed with Miles that she is willing to take his callous and horrid behavior, submit herself to emotional torture, and mitigate herself to a sexual doormat. And he comes off as a stoic asshole who is so traumatized by his past that he thinks it’s perfectly okay to treat a woman like a pretty turd.
This book just irked me. However, I do praise Hoover for her ability to evoke such emotions in her readers through her great writing. And it was great writing, I just disagree with the story, Tate’s whole “I want you, so I’ll let you treat me like a worthless piece of shit” routine and Miles’ “I want you, but I’m hurt, so I’m going to treat you like a piece of shit” routine. Ugh, it made me so angry, which is why I couldn’t put it down. Despite the lack of an actual plot, it was fun to read. I like Hoover’s combination of good writing and chick lit, but I haven’t read any of her other books yet, so the jury is still out on whether I’m officially a fan or not.