Ugly Love - Summer Reads #1

Happy Summer everyone!

Doesn't summer sound like the perfect time to culr up with a good book by the pool, the sun warming your toes, little kids giggling in the distance, a cool lemonade sweating in the table next to you?
Well, right now, for me at least, this is what summer looks like: eight to ten hours daily in front of my laptop, editing the heck out of my new novel, the airconditioning on full blast, a mug of black coffee to get me properly woken up and 'Pumping Blood' blasting on youtube to get me in the mood.

Still, it doesn't mean we can't indulge ourselves with a few excellent books, right?
This is what brings us to Colleen Hoover
Not that her books are excellent or perfect or anything, but I've been craving them a lot lately, and the truth is, if you're looking for a good story with strong, relatable characters that leap out of the page, real as life, and a strong, tight plot that tugs on your heartstrings, you can't do better than her.

First, I read Hopeless. And, promptly, I fell in love with it.

This is a story of a girl who meets a boy. As simple and innocent as that.
But then the secrets start to emerge. 
It ends up being so much more than a romancey-relationshipy book. It's a story of redemption, of facing one's demons, of finding what was lost. It's a story that melted my heart and stomped all over it, changed everything I thought I knew about the characters many times, and ended up wowing me to the point where I had to turn over and start reading it from the start, non-stop. 

As for the main protagonists, Sky and Dean... swoon.

I don't think I can say much more than that without spoiling this beautiful, amazing story. This is one of the books that changes your life, and makes you think differently about a lot of things -yourself, your past, what's happened to you before and how it defines you now.
Months after reading it, I still can't get it out of my head. 
It's by no means a light, summer read, but it is perfect escapism and a little bit of a tear-jreker, although I ended up cheering the characters on with all my might. And a book that makes you do a thing like that is a treasure. 

Secrets, and past links, and a bit of amnesia with a good dose of romance -but not cheesy stuff, we are talking about serious issues and the deep love and caring that it takes to save someone from the abyss... Have I convinced you yet?

Just read it.

And now for Ugly Love.

Although some of the same elements of Hopeless are present in this book, this is a much different, darker story. To be honest I found it a little depressing at times, but that's the whole point of it.

We are told in cryptic flashbacks the backstory of the main character, Miles Archer, until at the very end of the book, his story is perfectly pieced together. Colleen Hoover is a master at that. There is a bit of suspence there, and although it's done in no way that can compare to the mastery of Hopeless, it's done quite well. 

Miles is depressed -that kind of brooding, tormented and secretive guy that looks really attractive in books -not so much in life, but who cares? What's more he hasn't been in a relationship for a really long time. So when he meets Tate, a colleague's sister, there is an instant attraction, but they both (Tate has reasons of her own) decide just to start sleeping together, nothing else.
Doesn't sound very appealing I know.
Yet that's just the back cover description, the story doesn't focus so much on the physical aspect of their attraction, as much as it does on their issues. Their failures, their disappointments and their saddness.

I loved this book because these subjects are so relevant to my life, and I think they touch many people's lives out there. It's not uncommon for a person, no matter how young, to struggle with failure and feel as though his or her life is over before it has had a change to begin properly. I myself am in this exact position, and that's why this book helped me so much and filled me with hope.

Not to mention the hotness factor, but that's a given with Colleen Hoover's books.
This is a story I immersed myself into, and when I finished it I felt like I'd known the characters for years. Not to mention that I felt as though, if there had been a way out of the darkness for Miles, there certainly could be one for me. Now, that's what I call a good book.

found this here
credit to yasminwithane

The most recent book I read by Colleen Hoover was Confess

Now this is a really complex, hauntingly beautiful book, very hard to describe. It's part mystery, part romance, part sadness.
It's the story of Auburn who is trying to rebuild her life after infinite loss and Owen, an enigmatic painter who owns an art gallery named 'Confess', where he creates works of art based on anonymous confessions people send him -by the way, some of his creations are featured in the book.
Sounds brilliant, right? It is. It's also one of the most well-written books I've ever read.
Sometimes it's a tiny bit over the top, or that's how it seems, but when the secrets and the truth starts to be revealed, you'll be left with your mouth hanging open all the way to the end of the book. It's that good.

I loved the confessions, the suspence and the sweet friendship that blossomed into a romance. I loved the theme of redemption which is once more prominent, in many shapes and forms in this book, and I loved the hidden meaning of almost every word or act of the characters, when it was finally revealed.
This book was like a small treasure trove, and I kept digging up more brilliance with every page.

Not an easy book, but definitely one worth reading. There were some ethical conundrums there that set me on edge as I was reading, and made me either angry or frustrated, but after I finished the book, I realized that I appreciated the characters so much more for making mistakes and being weak sometimes -and that's why their developement was so realistic and important.

I think I want to try the rest of Colleen Hoover's books, until I've read them all. 
Except for Slammed and its sequel, which I read online and it was just tripe. But she seems to have matured as an author and these three books at least, have been three of my top realistic fiction books ever since I read them. 
Good stuff.

What are you reading this summer? Anything good? Share in the comments!
Please let me know if you've read these books and what you thought of them.
And be sure not to miss my 3 giveaways, on the sidebar.
Also, don't miss my Swoon Reads novel while it's available for free.

Happy start of summer everyone and stay positive!

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