Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless, book #1
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Source: PB won from author via The Autumn Review
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Let me preface this review by saying that I loved this book. In fact, I loved it so much that I felt compelled to stay up all hours of the night reading and even risked sneaking in some reading time at work. The story, though dark and emotionally draining at times, was extremely addictive. And though I finished it over a week ago, it took me a little time to decompress before I could write this review. Sooooo many feelings! Even now, I don't feel like I can discuss this book coherently, but I'll give it a shot.
I try not to read reviews until after I've read a book so that I don't allow someone else's feelings to influence my own, but that doesn't mean I didn't see a fair amount of gushing for this book prior to picking it up. However, I didn't know that this story was going to be such a realistic portrayal of abuse and neglect, ingrained with such raw emotion that I myself felt every emotion on the spectrum before all was said and done. Well, I did say I wanted to read grittier contemporaries this year, didn't I?
Hopeless is such a powerful story. Through the power of suggestion, it made me take a second look at the people around me, wondering what deep, dark secrets they might be hiding under their seemingly normal lives. The fact that Sky remembers little to nothing about what happened to her is both a blessing and a burden. But the fact that it has all been kept secret from her is far worse, in my opinion.
Sky's had a great life, as far as she's concerned...and as far as she knows. She's been home-schooled all her life. Her adoptive mother is a little overprotective and despises technology, which means Sky is terribly inexperienced with any sort of gadget. I wanted to believe that this inexperience was a bit heavy-handed for this day and age, but without the existence of the internet or television in one's home and very little social interaction, I have to admit that it might be entirely realistic. I wouldn't know, though...I love my gadgets and would likely fall into conniptions if they were taken from me.
I wouldn't necessarily say that Sky is shy or awkward because of her upbringing, but she is when it comes to the mysterious Holder with the piercing stare. Despite having many romantic interludes prior to their meeting, no one has ever unsettled Sky quite like Dean Holder. He comes on strong and quickly proves himself a man of many moods, moods that seem to shift with the winds. Their romance, as ill-fated as it might seem, was actually probably my favorite aspect of the story. Though their attraction develops very quickly, there seems to be genuine affection from both sides...something much more than puppy love. Much more.
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that although the characters are of high school age, the situations in the story are of a very adult nature at times. The circumstances are sometimes very evocative and emotionally charged, and though I would be okay with my daughter reading this at some point, I have to admit that some of the situations were intense and even made me uncomfortable. But as they were the heart of the story, they were necessary and not simply included for a higher emotional impact, in my opinion.
Prepare to laugh, swoon, gasp, and cry the ugly tears. This book is full of the feels and it does not hold back. I felt this book on every level: as a young(ish) woman, as a mother, and as a daughter. I'm already ready to read it again, despite knowing what's coming, but I think, instead, I'll just wait for the second book, which is apparently Hopeless told from Holder's point-of-view. Yes, please!
Favorite Quotes: (another one where I just want to quote the whole book)
"And once again in my new world full of heartache and lies, this hopeless boy somehow finds a way to make me smile."
"Its real, Six. You can't get mad at a real ending. Some of them are ugly. Its the fake happily ever afters that should piss you off."
"You don't deserve words, Sky. You deserve actions."
"I live you, Sky," he says against my lips. "I live you so much."
"My lack of access to the real world has been replaced completely by books, and it can’t be healthy to live in a land of happily ever afters."
"Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choices feels the least wrong."
"Sky, I'm not kissing you tonight but believe me when I tell you, I've never wanted to kiss a girl more. So stop thinking I'm not attracted to you because you have no idea just how much I am. You can hold my hand, you can run your fingers through my hair, you can straddle me while I feed you spaghetti, but you are not getting kissed tonight. And probably not tomorrow, either. I need this. I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours. Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses."
"The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss. Because if you've never felt anything when someone's kissed you, then no one's ever really kissed you. Not the way I plan on kissing you."
"He drops his hands and keeps his eyes locked on mine while he backs up to the stove. He turns around to tend to the pasta like he didn't just ruin me for any other guy for the rest of my life."
My good friend April loves to create Sims-based book trailers of her favorite reads, and they're pretty freaking awesome. Here's the one she created for Hopeless: