Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

4 Stars
“That’s how it is when a person develops an attraction toward someone. He’s nowhere, then suddenly he’s everywhere, whether you want him to be or not.”

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Is this what a midlife crisis looks like??? WTF is happening to me?!?!?!?! Did CoHo slip some quaaludes into this book????

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Where do I even begin? Let’s start with how I don’t put any weight on the Goodreads ratings of a book before I decide to read it. Especially when said book falls in the NA/romance/erotica category. There are so many fangirls who follow the authors in these genres who begin 5 Starring books as soon as they are announced, but are barely more than an idea that the rating is always padded. (I won’t get into the bumping of these non-reviews for months on end before the final product is actually released – do people get paid to be professional fans?) I do, however, glance at the ratings of my friends/people I follow – and this one didn’t do so great. LOTS of 1 Stars. Zoinks! However, the thousand degree temperatures were going to break for a day, I wanted to sit outside with a frosty beverage and read fluff, CoHo writes well (even when it’s a book I end up hating), and Ugly Love was available in paperbook format for immediate checkout from the library so it was the winner.

I’m gonna go ahead and get the bad stuff out of the way. I realize that it has become a CoHo calling card of sorts to write her stories with chapters that alternate between both the female and male MC’s perspectives. I also understand that Miles’ story needed to be told somehow. I just HATED the way he told it! His narration style that began as soon as the name “Rachel” was announced was all very “the most beautiful sound I ever heard” . . . .

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and it made me want to puke. I’m not opposed to free association style or writing in verse, but this was just like . . . centered on the page paragraphs. What was the point? To give definitive, identifiable proof that he was the angstiest star-crossed lover who ever loved? Blech! Not to mention the fact that “Flashback Miles” was sooooo one-dimensional. His backstory could have easily been revealed without those horrible chapters at all. (I’m telling you, this could have received all 5 Stars from me if my fantasies of making much of the sexy with Miles Archer wouldn’t have kept getting interrupted by the boner killer version of Miles Archer.)

Alright. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll move on to what I loved (and what everyone else hated – whoops). Like nearly all romance books Ugly Love featured a tired trope. This time it was one of my faves . . . .

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I know many people hate the “friends with benefits” storyline with a passion, but I dig it. The only thing I didn’t like? Tate’s initial reaction:

“He just admitted that he wants to have sex with me; he just doesn’t want it to lead to anything. I don’t know why this flatters me. It should make me want to punch him.”

Why? Why isn’t it okay for two people who find each other attractive to have sex? I mean, I know in a romance novel things will get convoluted and yada yada yada before the big happily ever after, but in real life? Why not? Hell, if I was the one who moved across the hall from Miles Archer????

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The bit of self-doubt aside, I loved Tate and she made me chortle several times . . .

“You want to have sex with me? I’ll totally let you. A lot.”

Speaking of sex. This was my first encounter with actual sex scenes rather than the fade-to-black kind I have found in all of the other New Adult books I’ve read. Let me tell you CoHo can write some sex. Holy hell – did someone turn the heat up???? I squick out sooooo easily with talk about the various “C” describing words and “climate control” problems of a lady’s nether-yay-ya. Ugly Love had none of that. It was just H.O.T. . . . .

“He loses his smile and takes three deliberately slow steps toward me. I stop smiling, because he is seriously intimidating. When he reaches me, he places his hands on either side of me, then leans in close to my neck. ‘It’s been six years, Tate. Believe me when I tell you . . . I’m ready.’”

After that I was all like . . .

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Maybe this was just the right place/right time for me. Maybe I finally drank some of that CoHo Kool-Aid. Who knows? All I know is I’m glad I kept giving Hoover’s books a shot and Miles Archer most definitely got me ready for take-off ; )

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(Oh, and also because of this review Mitchell isn't speaking to me at the moment. I'm trying to win him back by reading about a 13-year old rapey prince who also enjoys the stabby-stabby. Wish me luck!)

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