4 Thoughts after reading my first Colleen Hoover novel — November 9

4 Thoughts after reading my first Colleen Hoover novel — November 9November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on November 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, NA, Romance
Pages: 310
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Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

1. A different take on insta-love

Many of us aren’t too fond of insta-love. Well, this novel takes a very different approach to it. While, if we’re being honest, it’s still insta-love, it was unique, so I’ll give it that. However, the deep emotional connection between Fallon and Ben was just a little hard to actually imagine. Don’t get me wrong, Hoover knew how to write some really swoon-worthy and addicting scenes, but I wasn’t actually sold on the actual connection between the two of them.

However, I’ll give it to Hoover for admitting (within the story) that it was insta-love. But that admission wasn’t enough for me to be convinced of it.

tswift lost

In fact, a lot of the novel is spent trying to convince the reader to not fall for it. And that brings me to my next thought while reading this:

2. The anti-young love feeling I got

The first half of the book felt like it was telling me that falling in love at a young age is absolutely ridiculous. Fallon had this mindset of “I can’t fall in love until after 23” and while Ben addressed how ridiculous this was, it still felt like it was a major, and supported, part of the book.

My issue with this is that I met my husband when I was 17. We are now married and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything in my life and I don’t feel like I gave up any of my dreams to be with him. The whole “can’t fall in love until later” part of this book just reminded me of my feminism post I wrote a while ago about how sometimes I feel like books look down on housewives, stay-at-home moms, and women who marry young in general.

Falling in love and becoming a housewife worked out for me and I hate reading books that look down on it.

tswift princess

*Maybe T. Swift ain’t the best example to use, but hey, she’s T. Swift 😛

3. “Bookworm” references galore

tswift bookgeek

I was so excited at first about this aspect. There were so many references to us bookworms. Things like the use of the word TBR, the use of the word insta-love, just generally talking about bookshelves, writing and books. I loved that it was more modern instead of only talking about classics (if you know what I mean). It was refreshing.

Then I got annoyed. This is probably just me, so I don’t know how important it is to you guys, but it actually got really annoying. It started to feel a little forced, considering you never actually got to see Fallon read a book. Hmmm…..

tswift confused

4. Ben’s story & how I got distracted by it

The big reveal. From the beginning, you get the feeling that Ben is hiding something so you know that at some point there will be some sort of big reveal. But his reveal just seemed too convenient and out of the blue. Also, the way Hoover went about revealing it was a major issue for me. It completely took me away from the main story. Literally, I felt like I was reading a completely different novel and kind of forgot about the first 75% of the book (and not in a good way). By the time the reveal was done, I felt like I lost the connection I had and the rest of the book just didn’t feel the same to me.

I kind of felt like this:

tswift confused2

Did anyone else feel this way?

Despite all that, it was an okay story

While the premise was a bit over-the-top, along with my other issues, Hoover knows how to write a romantic, angsty, story. She definitely hooked me (minus the big reveal), so I will be giving her other books a chance.

Rating Report
Overall: 3 / 5

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14 thoughts on “4 Thoughts after reading my first Colleen Hoover novel — November 9

  1. Okay, I haven’t read this book but I have read two of Colleen Hoover’s other books and didn’t love either of them.

    Let me just start with the bookworm references. I HATE it when books overuse references like this to connect with the reader because it seems forced, like you said. Two examples that come immediately to mind are Obsidian (The Lux #1) and Clockwork Angel (or was it the first book in the other series?). I cannot stand it when bookish characters talk about books CONSTANTLY because I am seriously the biggest book nerd I know and even I don’t reference it non-stop. /rant

    The other thing is that both other books I’ve read by Colleen Hoover have had serious insta-love that is masquerading as not insta-love. In both the characters are actually supposed to not like each other at first but then *poof* they’re in love! Isn’t it just sweeeeeet? No, not really. I honestly don’t get the hype. :/ If you do decide to read more by her I hope you enjoy them more than I did!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. YES. I don’t mind bookworm references but when they’re overdone its just annoying. And Clare’s books are definitely notorious for that. It honestly may have been both books? hahaha I don’t know. Either way, it’s annoying.

      Ah, see, I don’t get too bothered by instalove (sometimes). It just depends on how it’s dealt with. This book was entertaining but like, come on, they fell in love rather quickly haha I’ll try another one of her books because if I remember correctly, a lot of people said that November 9 was their least favorite they’ve read of hers. So we’ll see xD

  2. I hate it when it feels forced. Like the author’s forcing something into the character’s characteristics, not cause it truly fits with the character, but because it the trend or will attract readers.

  3. I haven’t read any Colleen Hoover myself and I’ve always wondered what this one, in particular, was like. A blogger told me that her works are full of insta-love and that’s my most hated trope, so I’ve kind of avoided her for now… but I’m curious to what the ‘different take’ is, especially since it’s a contemporary. What was especially unique about it, and did it make it more ‘tolerable’?

    And I can understand and agree with you on #2. I’m not married nor engaged but I think these narratives (being a housewife, a stay-at-home mum, finding your ‘one’ young and marrying young) are just as important as what typically goes against them (i.e. women who solely focus on their career, to generalise). I kind of wish there are books that tackle this particular issue head-on and compares and contrasts them because there are definitely pros and cons to these two options and what works for me doesn’t always work for you, etc.

    Reg @ She Latitude

    1. I’ve heard that most of her books are full of insta-love as well so that makes me a little nervous. While I’m not 100% against insta-love, it does have to be done well for me to like it. I’m going to try some of her other books just to see. As for the insta-love in this book, I think what is unique is just the overall structure of it. I hope this doesn’t spoil anything, but while they still don’t spend a lot of time together before developing feelings for each other, it was the way Hoover spread their relationship out since they only meet one day every year. So, I thought that was different. SUPER unrealistic, but different. So I think if you go into this one not expecting a very realistic love story, you might be okay haha

      Yeah, I mean, I understand YA is geared towards younger girls. But I was in that demographic when I met my husband, and now that I’m a little older and got married, I realize that some books just REALLY look down on that. Which just sucks for me, you know? To have books indirectly say that housewives/stay-at-home moms/caregivers are stupid or weak.

  4. I feel you sister.

    1 – When I finished this book, I was super satisfied with it. I actually didn’t see the big reveal coming, although I knew Ben had to be involved with something.. just not that. You’re right, it felt convenient. But like I said, right after I read this I was like, heck yeah! And then I thought about it, and I was like.. Well, meh. See. Now idk. I’m almost second guessing myself. This was the first Colleen Hoover book I read, and I feel like I had super high standards for it, and maybe it just didn’t meet those. Maybe that’s a better way to put it. I liked the story and the development and felt it was all decently realistic and all of that. (Lol thank you for letting my talk to myself to figure out my thoughts right there.)

    2 – But I also had some issues with it. The two biggest ones, you already addressed. Book-related references and young love. Just like you, I met Evan when I was 17, and we’ve been together for 6 years now. So to say that young love “isn’t okay” really bothers me. I understand she wanted to focus on her future and all of that, but like you said about your hubby, you don’t feel like you missed out on anything just because you got married young. Neither do I. And insinuating that you would isn’t fair because that has nothing to do with “young love” as much as it does the people in the relationship or the relationship itself. So that’s like… false imagery or projecting or something. #smartterms. And then there’s the book-references. It definitely felt super overdone considering she doesn’t actually read a book in this book. Woah. Is that like Inception?

    3. If you feel like giving any other CH books a try, I’ve also read Maybe Someday, Confess and Ugly Love and liked those all better than November 9. As long as your aware that her books are all insta-lovey (except Ugly Love.. kinda..) then you know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time, right? Also. Ugly Love was probably my favourite. I hated parts of it while I was reading it but I’ll explain that if you ever pick it up lol.

    1. 1. IDK, the big reveal just didn’t do it for me. And it took me SO FAR out of the main story. I’m not even exaggerating. I kind of forgot what book I was reading at one point and was like OH YEAH xD

      2. I just hate when books take a shit on falling in love young. Yes, some books do it horribly wrong and in real life, it doesn’t ALWAYS work out. But it’d be nice to read one where it does work out and the characters still do what they want in life while also acknowledging their a team and work through things together …. if that makes sense? hahah Also, right? Like, she never EVER read a book. I don’t even remember her actually referencing a book besides a few romance novels? Which even then, I don’t think the “bookworm” terms fit cuz they’re more in the YA community than elsewhere hahah

      3. I’ll try other ones. I don’t mind insta-love especially in a book about two characters falling in love lol Maybe I’ll try Ugly Love though after this book since it is SOOOO insta-love. They literally spend less than 48 hours together!

      1. 1. I felt like it was a bit unrealistic. I feel like the whole thing wouldn’t have gone down like that. I’m not sure that he would be able to approach her at all, let alone lie/keep that secret for so long. And I kinda like the way he revealed it to her, but I just don’t feel like thats a logical course of action. You know? He didn’t even tell her face to face. (I think. Unless I forgot that part?) I feel like that’s such a HUGE THING to just brush off and cop out on by not straight up verbally bringing attention to it. Idk. Just me. Idk how I feel about this book anymore lol.

        2. I agree. Girl. I totally get it. It totally makes sense and I agree with what your’e saying 100% of the time. That’s a big one for me too, especially because a lot of my friends and a lot of the people I work with when they find out we’ve been together for 6 years they’re like “omg you’re so young, that’s so long, you’re life has barely started and you’re already committed, you’ll never do the things you want to do” and I feel like I have to harness my inner sassy girl and be like “alright, hold up. My life ain’t over because I’m in a long term relationship. He makes me a better person, he makes me happy, I genuinely enjoy spending my time with him, AND WE DO THE SAME THINGS AND WANT THE SAME THINGS SO HOW AM I GIVING ANYTHING UP? I’m not. I just don’t have to do it alone.” It super aggravates me when people shit on young love. MAYBE IT WONT WORK OUT. But right now things are (and for the last 6 fucking years have been) great, so kindly fuck off please and thank you. And yeah… Like.. At least reference some stuff if you’re going to make your character a bookworm.

        3. Ugly Love was really good. It’s not super insta-lovey. It’s like.. Fifty Shades of Grey without the play room, and a little more emotions with some cool twists. I recommend it. I know… The romance felt super forced and too perfectly “set-up” for me for this one.

        1. 1. He didn’t tell her face-to-face. He dropped off his book ONE YEAR LATER on their “date”. which was just ridiculous. If you love this girl and want her to know the truth why wait till November 9th of the NEXT FREAKING YEAR. Just give her the damn story/tell her. I get Hoover was trying to keep with the whole theme of the book BUT COME ON.

          2. SAME HERE. We also look young, so people will emphasize how young we ARE and how young we LOOK. Also….AHHHAHAHA to your response. Now, if only I was brave enough to actually say THAT EXACT STATEMENT to people who were judgmental lol

          3. hmmm…comparing it to 50 shades…interesting hahah

          1. 1. Yeah exactly. I almost think it would have been better and more romantic (and realistic) to ignore the date and just go tell her. Like. TELL HER. WHY WOULD YOU HIDE THAT. Theme. But whatever.

            2. Hahaha I just kinda got sick of people looking down on it. Like fuck you. Half the people on my Facebook that I went to school with have kids and everyone is like AWEE, YOUR KIDS ARE SO CUTE! But I’m getting judged for dating the same guy for 6 years? screw you.

            3. Lol it’s not REALLY like 50 shades. It’s just like the first 1/2-2/3 of the the book is about their relationship being about sex and not so much a relationship.

          2. I really don’t have anything more to add to these points. AGREE with number one. AGREE with number 2. And ok for number 3, I’ll read it lol

  5. LOL, love the Taylor gifs! This is one of the few CoHo books I haven’t read and I’m not sure if I will… While I like the idea of having a writer as a character and book references, I’m kind of tired of her insta-love stories. There came a point where all her books felt the same to me??? If you decide to read her other books, let me know your thoughts on them!

    1. hahah thank you 😀 As for CoHo, a lot of people are telling me ALL her books are insta-love. While I don’t really have a huge problem with insta-love, it can get kind of annoying at times. I’ll still give a book or 2 of hers a shot to really decide if I like her as an author 😀