Title: Hopeless (2013 book)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
(Read the synopsis at Goodreads if you haven’t read the book!)
Hoover knows how to hook you right away, if you’re a YA fan.
The whole plot revolves around these two people living in this small town, and the idea of being a small part of a larger whole, yet closely connected, is what made me as a reader feel connected to the characters. Because the book is written from the protagonist Sky’s perspective, as a girl I couldn’t help but feel identified to what she was going through at times, which was appealing.
Right before the start of the first chapter, the author input one of the later chapters beforehand so the reader could have a taste of what was going to come. Reading that part of the later chapter (in which Sky breaks into her father’s house and starts remembering what he did to her) got me all confused and curious – which I assume was exactly the author’s intention. Thus, I had to continue reading to see what happens.
Though I felt the beginning of the first few chapters was a bit rocky, when Holder is finally introduced in the picture, Hoover doesn’t let go of that string of suspense at all – until the end, obviously. As a hopeless romantic, my guilty pleasure is reading YA books of romance, coming-to-age, you know – the relatable stuff. Of course, my life has never been as chaotic and mind-blowing as Sky’s, but I have to admit that it was nice to be distracted by an idealistic, romantic-but-way-too-cheesy life, at least for a while.
As someone who’s on the edge of leaving the YA era and moving towards more 18+ (aka adult-oriented) books, I found this book really unrealistic on so many levels, and that kind of took away the veracity of the plot and characters.
The first scenes when Sky and Holder are just getting to know each other was quite stalk-ish from Holder’s part, which is later explained, but which also reminded me of Twilight – not a good sign: Holder being interested in Sky’s identity right from the moment they met, being way too caring towards Sky’s actions, climbing to her room from her window in the middle of the night? I got like mini-flashes from Twilight scenes when I read about that. There’s nothing wrong about these things, except the fact that it’s using realistic situations and embellishing it with unrealistic romantic notions.
Also, the way the story unravels at the climax, which is near the end of the book, was way too fast if you ask me. Yes, it was unpredictable and *shocking*, but I was not impressed by the way the characters reacted in some of the scenes. For instance, when Sky and Holder eventually meet Sky’s father (accidentally) and he ends up shooting himself with all the guilt that has built up on him, I couldn’t understand how the police didn’t suspect a thing when they got to the house. I mean, the small but notorious confrontation that occurred outside Sky’s father’s house would have attracted at least one neighbor’s attention, and the blood splattered on both Sky and Holder when the father shot himself are massive clues that would have led the police to think twice about the “suicide”. Even though that part of the story was not as important as the rest of the happily-ever-after ending, I do feel that this was one of the slips that weakened the story overall.
Who would I recommend it to? It’s definitely a very enthralling and idealistic book to read, if you’re willing to overlook the minor details that weakened the plot. As this is a YA book, I would definitely recommend to those who are looking for a good read, and I suppose any age 14+ up to about 25. I feel that after that age, the book becomes too.. unrealistic for someone older to be able to enjoy the book.