Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: August 2016 (Atria)
Pages: 376
Genre: Romance
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. [Goodreads]

A heartbreaking novel that delivers on everything that Hoover said she wanted it to reflect in her acknowledgements. I’m always unsure about how to books with serious topics but I’ll try my best, reviewing it as a piece of fiction.

The blurb itself sells the novel as a love triangle, which is what I found most troubling.I had no idea of the themes in this book and I wonder now if that would have had an affect on my reading experience. It makes Atlas seem like a huge part of the novel when he’s not. It’s not about Atlas, but Lily and Ryle and their relationship development.

Lily  falls, bends and breaks for Ryle. And I hated it. Everything that she did for Ryle and what she let slide because it was Ryle. I didn’t understand any of it. She wants to run from her past and never go through what her mother went through with her father, yet when she finds herself in the same situation, she does nothing.

I found myself watching Lily from a distance rather than really connecting with her. I was mostly angry with her because of what she allowed herself to go through. The worst part is that she knew and did nothing, as if she wouldn’t have the support from those around her.

The thing that made me keep going was that small bit of hope. I wanted and needed her to do the right thing.

And being a helpless reader, all I could really do was read on ’til the end.

My rating:

I liked it

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TV Review: Confess

As a huge fan of Colleen Hoover’s work, I was excited to see the TV adaptation of her ninth novel, Confess.

For a refresh, and for those who haven’t read the book, here’s the summary:

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it? [Goodreads]

I tend to tread lightly into adaptations of books, mostly because they are a disappointment. Confess wasn’t my favourite Hoover novel, so I was less worried about them ‘ruining’ the book and more excited to see how it’s adapted.

The series is made up of seven episodes, each lasting 20 minutes. I am super impressed that Elissa Down, the writer and director, managed to jam the major events in the book into the series. So of course, that’s great and the story arc remains very much the same. The actors also did a fabulous job with the script.

I really didn’t like the book version of Auburn. She was a bit flat and nothing made her stick. What Katie Leclerc, who plays Auburn Reed in the show, brought forward was better than in the book. She’s awkward and unsure about herself, especially when it comes to Owen. She is also always with food, which I love more than I should but awkarward+food is also me. Auburn’s always being told what she needs to do and you can really feel how alone she is  because of this. She’s got the pressure of everyone around her but seeking the company of Owen Gentry is her first personal choice.

But of course, this creates conflict in what she’s really moved for and her internal battle is shown through unsent text messages. This was a very awkward, especially when it came to the end of the first episode when AJ is introduced. It made the end of that episode anticlimactic and wasn’t as a big moment as I would have liked.

It was still very true to the book in the case of Trey and Linda. Once a villain, always a villain. I don’t think there is anything that could make me feel anything but hate for the duo. Rock Myers plays the bastard cop, Trey, pretending he’s doing Auburn favours when he’s disturbingly creepy and greedy with his social power as a police officer. Linda (Sherilynn Fenn), acts coolly as she brushes Auburn off several times, refusing to let her see AJ, and scorning Auburn throughout. I do feel like Auburn should have been a bit more sassier with Linda, just because I found many of Auburn’s reactions to Linda annoying and like a child. Though maybe this was to show her helplessness with their relationship.

Ryan Cooper, or as I like to call him ‘fifty shades look alike guy’, also exceeded my expectations. The whole looks thing bugs me, although I’ve read many trailer comments and no one else seems to have a problem with the similarity. I honestly just don’t want people to buy into the TV series as another Fifty Shades! Owen is one of the more complex main characters in the book and although there were touches of his relationship with his father (played by Kyle Secor,), I wish there was more, especially when it comes to his gallery. Secor was a brilliant as Callahan Gentry, calm collected in the presence of other people and nothing like a father when with Owen alone. Even though Callahan pulls through at the end, it isn’t enough to redeem himself from being a shitty father.

I would have liked to seen and hear about Owen’s past relationships. In the book, Owen has always had relationship problems because he’s so focused on his work. But his art doesn’t seem to be too time consuming… we hardly see him do any work!

Inevitably, due to the short series, there are some things that had to be compromised. The most disjointing thing about the series was the time frame that it was given.  It goes from Auburn and Owen meeting to three months later.

Auburn and Owen’s romance becomes an insta-love story instead of the slow build in the book. It was definitely up several notches, including too many ‘steamy’ scenes that just felt like a bit too much. The bar scene after the gallery show was cut. I loved that scene because it was the part of the book where we first read about Owen trying to impress Auburn, as she tries to keep him at arms length. Compromising, they did however they include the ten seconds of dancing, which I did appreciate and found super cute.

Sadly, no shell soaps but they have a variation of the blue tent.

They also seemed to have a really odd backing music throughout many of the scenes and music transitions that were noticeably awkward. Sometimes I felt like the scenes could have done with no music in the background as it took away the moments that were happening on screen.

Overall, I really enjoyed it – I think the first episode is my favourite!

My rating
I really liked it

4 cup

 

There’s a bunch of things that I’ve definitely left out so I’d love to hear what everyone else’s thoughts are about the series!

Even more interesting, I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts about it if you haven’t read the book.

Comment below and leave your thoughts about the series! Let’s discuss!

Watch the Confess trailer below!

All seven episodes are streamable on Go90. They are also slowly releasing the series on YouTube for those who can’t watch it on Go90!

Read my review of the novel Confess here.

Books and Boyfriends

I’ve had this post on my drafts for a while and after my previous post, I thought it was finally time to bring this post into the sunshine.

I actually had difficulties coming up with my fictional boyfriends list. I don’t know if it’s something common to other people and please let me know if this is the case for you! But when there’s a couple I love so much I feel bad ‘taking’ the male character and placing them into my fictional boyfriend list because their relationship is so individual and special… I just feel bad!

(I will also admit that it was actually surprisingly really hard to write this post. All my reasons are ‘because they just are’ and ‘because they are amazing’ and that doesn’t make the best of reads.)

Will Cooper from Slammed
Will Cooper is definitely on the list of ‘I-love-you-but-you-are-so-cute-with-your-girlfriend-that-i-don’t-want-you’ list. My love for him increased when I read Point of Retreat, where we see more of his thoughts and feelings, and then to push it that extra bit further he kept certain objects and items that links to events between him and Lake… some of those moments were as simple as a receipt, but it meant something to him… so he kept it. Creeper or cute? Cute – I’m swooning.

Matt Watkins from Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
Me and my friend absolutely love Matt. He has the kindest heart and is a complete nerd..in the best of ways. Everything he does in this book – oh bless him – even though they aren’t the conventional way of getting a girl, it adds to why I love him so much more. He also has a great sense of humour and that’s a yes yes from me.

Alex Sheathes from Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Somewhat of a superhero showing the ‘impossible’. Alex is caring and incredibly and heartbreakingly selfless. He takes care of Lena, especially when it comes down to something so new to her. I think I love that aspect of this novel because of the huge amount of trust between one another after a few interactions.

Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth
Do I really need to explain myself for Four? I mean, do I? Do I? Do I really? No.

Lucas Maxfield from Easy by Tammara Webber
Okay, so Lucas has the mysterious bad boy thing going on. I can say that straight away and with that comes the confident personality. He also hands out free Starbucks drinks so, I mean, there’s that huge advantage 😉

This definitely won’t be the only Books and Boyfriends post, because there are a lot I have stored up.

 

But who are some of your fictional boyfriends? Share and comment below!

 

Auto Buy Authors

I’ve been hovering around YouTube to see if I could find anything that could inspire a post. Oddly enough, this post idea came quite quickly when I saw two booktubers post a video, one after the other on my sub page, to do with their auto buy authors. Why not?

Auto buy authors are, simply, those authors who’s book you’ll buy no matter what. Doesn’t matter what the novel is about, you’ll buy it because it’s this author and you know it’ll be great anyway. I’ve got quite a few auto-buy authors, which is both a good and bad thing: good because I know what I’m getting and bad because I don’t stretch out to find many other authors.

But anyway, here’s a list of five authors who are on my auto buy list!

1. With no surprise, my first auto buy author is  Sarah Dessen. As my all time favourite author, Dessen can release any crazy (but obviously amazing) novel and I will buy it. I don’t even read the blurb for her books before I buy them now! She started everything off for me and I don’t know if I can ever thank her enough. The thought of meeting her one day is not even a thought I can imagine.

2. I can always count on a Colleen Hoover novel to give me an amazing romance story. No clichés but a hell of a lot of twists and gut ripping turns. Hoover is classed as an NA author, and she fits in that category more and more today with her new releases, but I call the Slammed series and Hopeless series more YA (or NA without the sex? Is there such thing?). And those are where her best works lie. Yet that doesn’t discourage me from buying and reading her novels. I have never been able to guess a twist that’s happened so far!

3. James Dawson. I don’t even feel like I need to explain why Dawson is a auto buy for me, but lets try. We start with a few crime books, moving on to a horror novel and then a bit of a thriller and now romance. Sounds a bit dodgey. Sounds like it could be a bit shaky because he’s messing around with styles, but it’s far from that. His books also pick up on many things in life now, tumblr and the whole idea of fangirling/fanboying over TV shows and stars, which is what I find really refreshing.

4. For Holly Bourne, I only had to read one book to know. Soulmates freaked out all my emotions to make me want more of her writing. I cannot praise that book enough, it was such a great read and it doesn’t have the typical romance storyline. Her second book The Manifesto to How To Be Interesting had this rawness to it that held my attention until the end. The contrast between them is crazy – how is she able to flip just like that? But through this it shows her true and awesome talent.

5. For my final auto buy author, I am giving it to Stephanie Perkins. Something interesting about Perkins, and something that I just thought of whilst typing this up, is that her book released so far have been a sort of series. This doesn’t stop her from being my auto buy author but I think it’d be interesting to read about characters who aren’t in the world of Anna and Étienne (as much as I love them) I think it’ll be exciting to read something outside of them.

I have a feeling this won’t be my last post about auto buy authors…

Who are your auto-buy authors and why? Comment and share below!

 

Books and Food

There are two things I love: books and food. So what’s better when you read a book that talks about food that you want to go out and eat? Just like some of my other ‘Book and..’ posts, I have compiled a small list of places or food that I want to try having read about them in particular novels!

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols – Varsity
(Gemma, Addison, Max and Carter take a break at Varsity to grab something to eat. Gemma, the main protagonist, orders a chicken sandwich.)
I’ve actually been to Atlanta. I’ve been to Atlanta and my relatives told us about Varsity but for some crazy reason we never went. What. A. Mistake. Varsity is a real place in Atlanta, known for their ‘ultra greasey food’ – the greasier the better though right? Take me back!

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen – Waffle House
(Eli takes Auden to eat waffles!! And according to the description, they are amazing!!)
Along For The Ride is probably my second favourite Dessen book. Although they don’t go to The Waffle House, I’ve wanted to go to a waffle place in America since reading this book. Moreover, eat a waffle with something salty (ie with bacon or chicken etc). I remember when my family were driving down the motorway to Florida, we’d pass a waffle house sitting at the side of the road. I won’t lie, it totally crushed me when my family wouldn’t pull over so we could go in.

Divergent by Veronica Roth – Dauntless cake
Chocolate cake? How can I refuse!

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen – Twizzlers
(When Auden takes a stop at the Gas/Gro)
Ah. Twizzlers. They’re basically like Red Vines aren’t they? Or can I assume that? I don’t know but Twizzlers are on the list. A character goes to the gas-gro and meets two people. One of which picks up a packet of Twizzlers. That’s it. I want.

Split By a Kiss by Luisa Plaja – Banana Split
(On a date, Josie orders a Banna split. It’s supposedly huge!)
I have never tried a banana split. It’s one of those things that I know of, but have never tried. I think the enormity of this specific banana split is the reason why I remember it so much!

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols – Peach Cobbler
(Gemma speaks about how her mum would make peach cobbler for her to eat)
Guilty! Another food item from the same author and the same book but I can’t help it!! Firstly, I’ve never heard of a cobbler before reading this book but after I googled it, I became obsessed. I want to try one! Preferably a sweet cobbler, but if it’s peach, well then, that’s just a bonus!

Slammed by Colleen Hoover – Bolognase
(When there is family news that needs to be shared, bolognase is made)
Essentially, what we have here is a lasagne. That’s it. Lasagne. I want to eat lasagne…. No, but seriously, this dish is spoken about throughout the Slammed series and I want to try their version of it. Maybe it’s the name of it that changes it from lasagne, I don’t know, but I hope that when I (fictionally) eat it, nothing terrible happens.

Are there any meals in novels that you’ve ever wanted to try? Real or fictional – comment below!