Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Hopeless (Hoover)

AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
SERIES: Hopeless, book 1
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: December 17, 2012
ISBN: 9781301949823
PAGES: 486
SOURCE: purchased ebook
GENRE: contemporary romance
SETTING: present-day Texas
GIVE IT TO: upper-HS, adult
SUMMARY: 17-year old Sky Davis just ran into the rudest boy ever outside a convenience store. But for the first time in her life, she feels really drawn to someone. When she sees him again the next day while jogging, she feels it again. But Dean Holder runs hot and cold. He also seems to be keeping something important from Sky.

REVIEW: This is one of those books with extremely high Goodreads ratings that left me scratching my head. Was it good? Meh. It's extremely emotional, with lots of crying and declaring of feelings and drama, drama, drama. The first half, the romance between Sky and Holder, was better for me than the second half, where Sky and Holder's connected past comes to light. Some of it is predictable; some comes as a surprise. It was all just too over-the-top for me.

I did like Sky and Holder as characters, but they became so wrapped up in each other so quickly. This "lust at first sight" thing is explained later, but at first, I thought the book was going to go in a very different direction. I had seen that Hopeless was tagged as "abuse" on Goodreads, and I for awhile there, I thought the abuse would be at the hands of Holder. His behavior for the first third of the book is so strange. He's loving and sweet one minute and punching lockers or cars the next minute. He glares at Sky all day at school. He supposedly beat up a boy so badly that he got a year in Juvie. And says he'd do it again. He stalks. He ignores Sky for FOUR WEEKS, then just shows up at her window one night. In real life, those are serious red flags.

This is yet another New Adult book where nearly every major character has an unconventional name--Sky, Holder (he goes by his last name), Lesslie, Breckin, Six (who is supposed to be Seven but changed her name to spite her parents after the family moved years ago). Only the parents--Beth, Karen, John--have normal names.

THE BOTTOM LINE: For me, the whole thing reads like a Lifetime Movie of the Week. If you like emotion-saturated drama with lots of uncontrolled crying, you'll love Hopeless. Skip it if you are cold and prickly like me.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I don't plan to get it. The sexual content is pretty mature, and there are far better abuse stories than this one.

READALIKES: Ten Tiny Breaths series (Tucker); Living Dead Girl (Scott)

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 2/5
  • Creativity: 3/5
  • Characters: 3/5
  • Engrossing: 3/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Appeal to teens: 3/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 2/5--486 pages is WAY too long--I skimmed some

CONTENT:
  • Language: medium-high; does contain F-bomb and sh**, but it isn't gratuitous
  • Sexuality: high; sexual abuse, intercourse, slut-shaming, casual sex--described in some detail
  • Violence: high; sexual abuse, suicide
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; teens described as "drunk"; adult alcoholism
  • Other: one of Sky's best friends is gay
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