***Note to the reader – I place the only possible spoiler alert quotes at the bottom and referenced them in the correct location of my review if you want to read them scroll down. If you want to read the book for yourself and not have it spoiled please avoid scrolling all the way down.
I experience this type of thing quite often I’m not going to lie. I get so engrossed in the story or characters of a book that I stay up till 2:00 a.m. because I don’t want to put it down without the happily ever after.
Last night I read November 9 by Coleen Hoover. I started it at 8:30 p.m. and didn’t set it down until 4:04 a.m. except to put my kids to bed and take an occasional bathroom break. It was amazing from start to finish.
It wasn’t that I wanted to keep reading this story until a ridiculous hour. It was that I had to keep reading it. It was that good.
It is an absolute must read for romance lovers and worth the temporary genre switch for folks who don’t normally read romance.
It’s the most original story line I’ve come in across in the last two years and I’ve read over 500 romance novels in that time, many of which were phenomenal in their own way.
The story revolves around a tragically scarred young woman and a quirky young man she meets randomly on the last day that she lives in L.A. (November 9). They end up spending the remaining hours of her time in California together. He’s an aspiring writer and before their time is up that first day she suggests that he write an epic love story about them and how they meet up every November 9 again for the next five years. They aren’t allowed to have contact in between visits and before they leave each other each year they arrange the meeting time and place for their next time.
It starts out low-key and fun and you find yourself rooting for them to reconnect every year. Then before you know it you realize that you were lured in head first to their lives with no escape route, as tragedy, deceit, and the heart pounding excitement of love unfolds. There are portions of this story where I laughed out loud the dialogue was so witty and to contrast that portions where it was so painful my chest had a physical ache for these two. Hoover certainly knows how to elicit a wide array of emotions from her readers.
This isn’t the first book of hers I’ve read nor the first book that she has an element of death and it’s aftermath to trudge through, but the woman can cover the emotions of mourning like no one I’ve ever experienced. For a little taste see quote A below if you don’t mind a possible spoiler.
Colleen Hoover is a master with words and plot line but in this particular story the quotes are spectacular throughout, without even meaning to be I think. I’m sure if I went back through the book I’d find more quotes that explained a situation or a feeling with such clarity it seemed you were the one experiencing it but I only included two so as not to ruin the read for anyone.
To me, the mark of a truly amazing romantic story is not having a perfect hero and heroine. It’s drawing feeling out of your reader through tangible characters. And not just the frolicking through the meadow feelings but also the gut wrenching angst that allows the highs of a story to be higher and the lows so much lower. The dialogue is key in many cases and this was no different. If you don’t mind the spoiler for an example see (Quote B)The visual I got while reading that scene and the feeling of heartbreak that I felt for both characters was so real it was a physical ache.
If you read no other romance novel this year I suggest that you read this one, but make sure that you start in the morning on a day that you have nothing else to do because I promise you that you will not want to put this book down.
Spoiler Alert ********* (Quote A)
“It feels like my heart explodes into millions of tiny tears, and I want to wrap myself around him while he mourns. But his cry is so quiet, I can tell he doesn’t want me to acknowledge it. He just needs me to let him cry, so that’s exactly what I do.”
Spoiler Alert********** (Quote B)
“Please,” I whisper. “Not again. We can’t make it through this is you walk away again.” She looks at up at me vexed. “You didn’t give me a choice this time, Ben. You showed up here in love with someone else. You share another woman’s bed. Your hands touch someone who isn’t me. Your lips make promises against skin that isn’t mine. And not matter who is at fault for that, whether it’s mine for walking away last year or yours for not knowing I did it for your own good, none of it changes things. It is what it is.”