Guest Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

I’m happy to have Shelly back with another guest review. She reads a lot in the New Adult genre and wanted to share her review of Hopeless. As I was looking through Goodreads and scanning the internet for other reviews of this book I found it quite intriguing that it either got 5-stars or 1-star reviews. Nothing in the middle. There was either immense love (as Shelly has for it) or immense dislike. One person who really disliked this book is Brie from Romance Around the Corner. I encourage you to read her review as well to get a totally different perspective.

Have you read Hopeless? What side do you fall on?

hopelessHopeless by Colleen Hoover
New Adult Contemporary Romance
December 17, 2012

Guest Reviewed by Shelly

This is likely one of the hardest reviews I have ever had to write about a book. I almost don’t know where to start. It is hard to really paint the full picture of how awesome this book is, without giving away pieces of the plot meant to be discovered one page at a time. One small victory at a time. One finely placed puzzle piece at a time. To truly understand how wonderful this book is, you only have to pick it up and begin reading. Colleen Hoover starts the book off right around the end. That’s correct, right where you will eventually look back and think, “How on earth did we get here” but at the beginning…you won’t. You won’t even be able to begin to understand what you are reading, or what you eventually will be feeling when you get here again. All you will know is this is deep, dark and painful; and that you have a true rollercoaster of a ride ahead of you. Then bam, chapter 1 … two months earlier; and the ride begins.

This is the story of one girl’s life and how each moment of her existence has affected another moment of every life around her. How she is only one puzzle piece in the world of jigsaw puzzles and yet her puzzle changed everything for everyone around her. Meet Sky. She is a confident young lady who is starting her senior year, in a real school for the first time ever. She has always been home schooled by her over protective, yet very loving mother. She has a best friend who is likely not the best influence in her life, yet loves her very much.

“Sky, you are beautiful. You are possibly the most exquisite creature in the universe and if anyone tells you otherwise, I’ll cut a bitch.”

She has a devil may care attitude towards life. She isn’t bitter, angry or negative; she is just a very emotionally neutral person. She is realistic and logical. She is strong; and she is a fighter.

“Not everything is going to go my way and not everyone gets a happily ever after. Life is real and sometimes it’s ugly and you just have to learn how to cope.”

She is your great combination of a literary heroine. You feel her pain and suffering but yet you respect of strength and resolve.

“The things that knock you down in life are tests, forcing you to make a choice between giving in and remaining on the ground or wiping the dirt off and standing up even taller than you did before you were knocked down.”

She is a smart girl who doesn’t have a clue how to really be a part of the world, yet she is about to get a crash course in the most emotional and devastating way.

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

Ms. Hoover also proves in the book that she know how write us a Hero; and boy does she ever. Dean Holder is sexy, mysterious, angry, loving, dark, beautiful; he is your walking contradiction. And when he meets Sky; worlds collide.

“I can already tell he isn’t the kind of guy a girl gets a simple crush on. He’s the kind of guy you fall hard for, and the thought of that terrifies me.”

“Dean Holder? Messy brown hair? Smoldering blue eyes? A temper straight out of Fight Club?”

"He reacts the way he does because there’s only one side to Dean Holder. Passionate."

As these two begin to find themselves on a collision course headed straight for the big L-word…live…or should I say love….they soon begin to realize life has other plans. Real life has a way of sneaking in, when you think everything is going perfectly, and stabbing you in the back.

“You have to let it go. You can hold on to the hate and the love and even the bitterness, but you have to let go of the blame. The blame is what’s tearing you down, babe."

“Just because you blocked the memory of me out of your mind doesn’t mean you blocked the memory of me out of your heart”

“My eyes trail from his hand to the tattoo written in small script across his forearm. Hopeless”

But they find strength in one another to face their own demons. They find a way to face the dark secrets they both have, the type of secrets that destroy people.

“And once again in my new world full of heartache and lies, this hopeless boy somehow finds a way to make me smile.”

“It’s what happens when two people become one: they no longer only share love. They also share all of the pain, heartache, sorrow, and grief.”

Some of the secrets are already known by certain characters and some even they don’t know exist. This is when we, as a reader, become blown away. As I read each page, I found some of these secrets were like, “Well okay, I kind of saw that coming”. Sometimes I was like, “Oh, hmmm, I didn’t see that coming but that really clears things up”. Some things I thought I had figured out (and was kind of pissed about) only to find out, “Nope, I was so wrong about that and could have totally enjoyed the last 50 pages if I had not jumped to conclusions and spent that time pissed off at this book”. And then there were the, “HOLY CRAP, NO WAY DID THAT JUST HAPPEN. THAT IS NOT AT ALL WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN” revelations. And through each new discovery, through each pain and loss, through every tear and every smile; these two wonderful characters fall in love…and they take us with them.

“When I touch you, I’m touching you because I want to make you happy. When I kiss you, I’m kissing you because you have the most incredible mouth I’ve ever seen and you know I can’t not kiss it. And when I make love to you—I’m doing exactly that. I’m making love to you because I’m in love with you.”

“I want you to keep them open…because I need you to watch me give you the very last piece of my heart.”

“I swear I will spend every last breath thanking you for allowing yourself to love me.”

This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a journey, an emotional epiphany or better yet a realistic view of how life can take so much from you but with the right person, the right love and plenty of emotional maturity; you can come out stronger and more beautiful on the other side of any darkness. Come enjoy Sky and Holder’s story. Come let Ms Hoover shock and awe you. Come let love move you and make you a little less Hopeless…

Rating: A


Author Website

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  1. says

    Fab review Shelly. I have this one but haven’t rebuilt my shields from the last heartbreaking “OMG Im a puddle of emo goo” book. When I do, I shall read. :P

    • says

      I completely understand that feeling. I try to space those out myself. Right now I am still trying to recover from my last emotional rollercoaster of a read, “Undeniable” before doing another heartbreaker because that one got me.

  2. says

    Wow, this sounds fascinating. I’m not usually one who likes my guts turned inside out when I’m reading (I like happy reads that let me escape the angst of real life)…but I may have to give this one a try. Thanks!

  3. Jen says

    Coincidentally, I just read this book last week. It was an amazing read — and I’m not typically drawn to the late-teenager YA type of book. It was cleverly written and emotionally taxing but worth it. Would encourage anyone to read it with a “keep a box of tissues nearby” warning.

  4. says

    I can’t work out why I agree with your review Shelly, yet still see prefectly well the opposing viewpoint from Brie? I loved Slammed and enjoyed Point of Retreat. Amongst the first specifically YAs I’ve read. Reading Hopeless I was conscious of the contextual issues and risks, but it seemed to fall into the ‘I forgive’ category because it was so very, very engaging, despite the flaws. Go Colleen.

    • says

      I agree Ainslie. I understood why some hated it and some loved it, when I went into reading the book. I usually read several of the good review and several of the bad reviews before I ever start reading the book; to kind of prepare mentally for what to expect. I found that while I could understand that some people did not enjoy the way Ms Hoover had Sky and Holder deal with the tragic events they both experienced, due to her childhood trauma; I felt like she was right in her view of how their reaction would play out. I actually have a degree in psychology myself and I find that one can NEVER judge how anyone will cope or deal with life altering traumas nor eye opening revelations. I dont think Ms Hoover was at all trying to make light of the tragedy, quite opposite in fact. I just believe this book is how her mind perceived the way these two young people would cope with the issues and move forward. I dont think the book was really meant to completely deal w/the fallout these two would have to face in the foreseeable; but more the experience of Sky’s revelation of what her life really has been. The lies that she has lived. And in the end, I believe Ms Hoover probably saw her heroine more as a stronger no nonsense kind of girl, who while she will have to come to grips with her pain and suffering from the truth, still actually had a decent life because someone chose to save her early on. Sometimes in psych you find that people’s ability to cope, bounce back, and deal with trauma straight on, is directly linked to how long ago the trauma took place and how long it lasted. For Sky, there had been a lot of decent years of healthy psych development that allowed her mentally to be strong enough to likely overcome and face this head on. At least that is what I felt Ms Hoover was trying to paint in her heroine and loved her for it. So while I understood how some might not like how the book unfolds and deals with such serious issues (in the same way that many dont even like to read books w/rape or child molestation in them); I can look past that and see the story from a different angle. From Ms Hoover’s angle. And that made me see a story I found very intriguing and enjoyable, as you did Ainslie. Thank you for pointing this out.

  5. Courtney says

    I don’t read, ever. I’ve had assignments after assignments in school and have gotten away with not reading or skimming, etc. But the moment I picked up this book I was hooked. The way that everything falls together piece by piece is what kept me interested. It left me wondering what was really going on, since I could sense uneasiness through out the book. I didn’t want it to end, and now that it has, I have to go search for another amazing book to find because I never knew how much potential I had to actually read and enjoy every moment of it. I hope anyone who reads this review will pick up the book and get the same experience I had, because it was amazing.

    • says

      News for Courtney and anyone else who loved this book…Losing Hope comes out July 9th. This is Hopeless from Holder’s POV. So if you like that role reversal story telling of books you love or just want a little more time with Holder and Sky then this will be just for you. I personally cant wait. :)

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