C– Okay, I am going to start this out by saying there may be things in here that would be considered by some spoilers. There may be also things written here that some may not want to exactly hear. But please remember this is simply my own personal feelings and opinions.
I am also going to say, as a former victim of abuse, if you have been put into a situation that is beyond your control (and situations of abuse no matter how big or small you feel they are beyond your control) please reach out for help. There are those out there that want to help you. That love you no matter how much or little you love yourself.
Before I go into how I felt about this book; I want to give you a little background on how I perceive things, in the best way I know how to. I saw the movie The Butterfly Effect, starring Asxhton Kutcher. It was a visually stunning movie, about how even if you change just one little thing, everything in the world changes. It was haunting and stunning and made me feel in a way I hadn’t felt before. I cried and vomited and my soul hurt afterward. I loved it. I will never watch that movie again.
I saw the movie Monster, starring Charlize Theron. It was about the serial killer Aileen Wuornos. It was how a victim of abuse and mental disease can become something that her life never had to be. It was also about how inside could may not have had the worst intentions all the times. At the end of the movie I didn’t know whether to clap, or laugh or cry or what to do. I sat there and stared at the screen for a good ten minutes before I moved, put the tape back in its case, returned it to the video store and never watched it again and never will.
I had heard all the buzz last year about a movie called Black Swan starring Natalie Portman. As a movie enthusiast that loves films but notoriously dislikes Natalie Portman I was hesitant but after the buzz and the awards I gave it a shot, I rented it and watched it. A stunningly brilliant, intelligent sexy and royally fucked (yes I just cussed) movie about ballet and a mentally unstable ballerina. It was incredible; I have so much more faith in the actors in the movie. I cried, I sat there with my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. I will NEVER watch that movie again…and with that, is how I felt about Colleen Hoovers Hopeless.
The story opens up with a teenage girl who is numb inside. Her refuge is her best-friend, her only means to the outside world, boys and technology as she has been home schooled by her technophobe, holistic adopted mother. She doesn’t remember life before her mother adopted her even though she was not young enough to forget her early childhood. Sky (the lead) finally joins the outside world senior year of high school as Six (her next door neighbor best friend) heads off to Italy on an exchange program. At High school we meet Breckin (the Mormon), Holder (the intense hottie) and an odd cast of characters that seem to know that Sky has boys crawl in and out of her bedroom window all the time. As we progress through the book. We learn of child abuse, suicide, molestation, rape, kidnapping and various other degrees of horrific things that tie the main two characters together. All is tied together in a love story.
I can’t write too much or else I will end up writing out the whole story and Colleen has done a wonderful job of writing it herself. So here was my take on it. I love the love story, just Sky and Holder had a beautiful intense romance. I love the kiss without kissing. I love how intense they felt. I remember the first guy I felt that much for, granted it didn’t work out in the end. I love the interesting take on Sky’s background (how excited she was about books) and how Colleen managed to effortlessly weave together various factors that may not have flowed by anyone else’s pen. I love Breckin and Six. I wish there had been more of the two of them. In fact I wish the two them had met and gone on fabulous shopping sprees. Breckin made me miss my Mormon. I wish there had been more of Leselie. Even though I understand why there wasn’t, I thought the reactions because of what happened were so realistic. I loved the characters…except Sky. I don’t know why, I just. I really wanted more from her.
It was a really intense story. It was a really intense love. It was a really intense situation. It was really intense. And I loved it. And I don’t know how I feel about it. And I am happy that I read it. But I don’t think I could read it again. Thank you Colleen for touching on this very important subject matter. It needed to be put out there.
D – Thanks C. I have to say this book was a difficult read for me. Based purely on personal things and my own personality. This being said I ask you to remember that these are the musings of our own minds and mustn’t be construed as fact or in any way influence your decision to read. Everyone perceives and enjoys different book for different reasons. No two people ever read the same book. Most of what we feel as a reader comes from our own experience, history, personality and ability to relate. So please keep this in mind when reading. I should also point out that I don’t read much YA recently. But this may fall in to NA. I’m undecided.
I liked this book. I did. I won’t go in to details on the story as many may have not read the book and I hate when I see spoilers on blogs. It was a very touching story about the struggles with some very important issues. Issues that I myself, have some experience of. I feel this is where I became lost.
I began to read the book through my own experiences and not those of the characters. Some things touched me deeply where others made me squint and wince a little. Some were memories and flashbacks of Sky’s and others were simply little things. Like the line “I live you” Just isn’t a me thing I’m afraid. But I know others will adore it and that’s just me and my feelings.
The actual story itself was epic. It was certainly different to the mainstream romance you generally read these days. But for me, the love was a little too much hearts and flowers. I know, why are you moaning that someone loves someone so much? It just didn’t sit right for me. I like there to be a little cat and mouse, difference of opinion and unknown territory. Maybe there was and I just missed it. I was so caught up in the angst of the book I maybe missed the underlining difficulties with falling in love at eighteen.
I did feel the main characters acted and spoke in a way that was beyond their years but I guess, if you go through what they do, it can force a person to mature quickly.
I love the character Six. But I couldn’t help but picture the same girl I watched in Blossom (showing my age) all those years ago. I loved that show and Six was Blossom’s best friend. They also used to climb in and out of windows. But that was a little thing I did through the book. I pictured this feisty brunette with a shoulder length bob. I liked it. And the Six in hopeless was fun, funny, to the point and generally well grounded. I like her. I would have liked to have had more of her in the last half of the book though. She and Breckin sort of faded out due to the heavy issues being addressed in the last half. The pair of them provided humor, witty and lighthearted banter and I felt the book needed that due to the emotional content surrounding the main story.
Sky. Oh Sky. She was a well-developed and compelling character but we just couldn’t mesh. I could sympathize with her, I could hurt for her but I couldn’t connect to her. I also raised an eyebrow at all those guys she had in and out of her window. You do that these days in high school and you certainly get a name for yourself. I know lots of girls who did when I was in school. But that was a long time ago. Well, not too long! I found myself wishing the Sky I had met at the beginning of the book would return in the second half. She was all fire and brimstone on your ass and she sort of disappeared. I understand that finding out some very difficult things about her past was hard and would undoubtedly change a person. But I really did want her to come back even just a little.
Holder. I wanted him to be my new bad boy book boyfriend but alas. He did not fulfill this role for me. And that’s okay. Not every book guy will instantly melt me or make my panties bust. I liked him a lot but I think I just wanted…more of him. I felt like there was so much more to him that I wasn’t getting. I found myself reading and hoping to get a better idea of who he was and why he was. I was all “I know there’s got to be more to him than this.” But I never got my answer. But it wasn’t a big drawback at all. I still liked him as character.
I think I really had a hard time with this book because of my own history and experience with mental health, abuse and suicide. It tainted my reading of something that has the makings of an amazing story. I kind of resented my past for that.
All in all I really liked the book. It was wonderfully written and Colleen is a fantastic storyteller. She has highlighted an important issue for people these days but I just feel concerned that this is the message we are sending out to our eighteen year olds. That love and being with someone is the most important thing in the world no matter how they treat you. I wasn’t okay with that. I wanted to see feisty Sky stand up for herself with Holder and challenge him on things a little more. I understand she loved him, but some things you cannot allow to go by without addressing them. She needed to give him a little ass kicking sometimes. Equally, he needed to stop being a little whipped by her too. You’re a man now Holder…man up. But it was also sweet and endearing how they held each other through the hard times and revelations. I thought that was sweet and nice about their relationship. They could rely on each other.
I liked Sky’s struggle with coming to terms with her trauma and Holder’s equal struggle with guilt. It felt real and was well written that way. I could see many people feeling the same in their positions. There were a lot of coincidences in the book but I didn’t feel it altered the plot or damaged the story. It was just something I noted.
I love Colleen’s writing style. The woman is a genius. I enjoyed the book and it was truly respectful and handled the issues in a dignified manner. I would certainly not hesitate to read more of her wonderful writing and if Six and Breckin could get their own books…I would snap them up in a heartbeat! Colleen does a great job with this novel and it deserves the success and exposure it’s getting. I hope it encourages more people to speak out about abuse and raises awareness about an issue I hold very close to me. Very well done Colleen. Compelling and respectful throughout.
If you have been personally affected by the issues raised in this book, please seek support. We have listed some links below.