Title: November 9 (2015 book)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genres: YA, Romance, Love, Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating: 4 stars
“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”
Plot and characters (Goodreads) *SPOILER ALERT*
As the title suggests, November 9 is the day, so every narration that takes place occurs in this date for 6 consecutive years. I enjoyed the Fallon and Ben’s back-and-forth in-depth narration, as Hoover ensured that both character’s innermost feelings and thoughts are shared. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I loved reading the frustration of each character towards the other, to then understand the reason behind that when the narration was changed to the other person. The twists and double-twists came crashing down beautifully, and I love that, because at the end, everything somehow always fell into place.
Both Fallon and Ben are witty, deep and compassionate. One can easily step into the shoes of either and take their position. I loved how Hoover made Fallon’s acting life and Broadway ambitions seem more down-to-earth and humble than the media makes it look. As for Ben, I hope there’s no film adaptation of this book because in my mind, he is incomparably drop-dead gorgeous.
However, I did find it so unrealistic that everything was set only in November 9. Sure, the first few November 9’s were quite comprehensible, and I could see how the characters developed their own lives. But in those 6 years it seemed like both Fallon and Ben stayed static – not much about them have changed; especially in the last 2 years. Ages 18-23 are huge transition moments in an individual’s life (well, I don’t really know actually – I’m just entering that stage) and I expected something richer and more dynamic in their characters.
I mean, how could Ben let Fallon go without giving her his manuscript? How the hell could he wait one whole year before he gave his freaking book where everything was explained? If I had been Fallon, I would have either 1) moved on, or 2) become wrecked. It’s just highly unrealistic that so much time could have passed by without neither of them losing a touch of their feelings. If it had been up to me, I would have given it one week in between the 5th and 6th November 9’s.
I get it. It’s fiction. But the lack of credibility slightly ruined my enjoyment of the book towards the end. Just slightly.
The prose was beautiful in every imaginable way. Maybe Hoover could have portrayed Fallon and Ben as more distinct characters, instead of 2 soul mates that loved each other unconditionally from the moment they set their eyes on each other. But it’s meant to be starry-eyed, so I guess they were meant to so… complementary to each other.
The other Hoover book I’ve read is “Hopeless”, and I couldn’t help but compare November 9 with this book. I enjoyed November 9 the most, actually, but they are both similar in more ways than I thought of:
- Plot: Both plots hit it off with the spotlight on the main protagonists, revealing the characters’ dysfunctional families along the way. However, plot twist #1: guy lover has a dark secret, one he doesn’t reveal until it’s “too late”. Plot twist #2: the guy lover is forgiven once the whole truth is unveiled, BUT plot twist #3: it’s a tragedy that occurs on either side of the family.
- Characters: I feel, by these 2 books, that Hoover was either inspired from personal family issues, or she’s a ‘misandrist’. I don’t want to claim something I don’t know about, but in both books the guys are always responsible for something. In November 9, Ben is the one that keeps the deep dark secret from Fallon and holds the guilt, and Fallon’s dad is an insensible, promiscuous and immature person. In Hopeless, Holder feels remorsed from keeping what he knows about Sky a secret, and Sky’s father is a perverted man who can’t own up to his actions. Meanwhile, the girls are always lost in some tragic past accident, and the mommies are supportive and loving as always.
BUT, they make a wonderful YA romance book, one that you would want to read by the fireside for hours, sipping on your drink, without anyone disturbing you. That is, if you decide to ignore some of the slight flaws the author makes in developing the plot.
I know I sound horribly critical of Hoover’s work, but I feel that most people have done the job complimenting the work. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book though, because I did – hence the 4 star rating.
Who would I recommend it to?
Teenagers to young adults dying for crazy romance novels with book-worthy kisses and love at first sight. Cheesy, but deep. I’m a girl, so I kind of see this as a chick literature book, but I don’t think why hopelessly romantic guys wouldn’t enjoy this book too ;).