In HOPELESS Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.
Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…
Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.
WHAT I LIKED
That even though this is a companion novel, it holds water as its own story. Where most companion novels rehash the same story from a different POV, Holder's perspective was different enough and the details were new enough that it worked. Really well. I still feel like companion novels are sort of cheating though, so it's a like not a love because I'm biased like that.
The chemistry, though it was better in female POV. Part if this goes back to voice issue (more on that below.) But it still sizzled and Holder is yummy, even when he's the POV character.
WHAT I LOVED
Really good handling of family member teen suicide. I think this is a hugely underrepresented theme in both YA and NA (glad to have reviewed two books in the last month that address this topic) because this is the sort of thing that people don't talk about. Your mom has cancer and dies, everyone can relate to that sort of grief. But having a family member who chooses to end her own life is different. It's incredibly difficult to process, even as an outsider, and finding the strength to support someone who is going through that is even harder. So In really, really love the author's handling of this issue. She uses the perfect combination of painful bluntness to make it authentic with sensitivity toward her readers' emotional reactions to this issue. Really well done.
The overall plot--I loved it the first time, loved it enough to read the same story again from another point of view.
WHAT I WANTED MORE OF
Believably male narrative voice. I still say the "hopeless" tattoo is a little unrealistic and female-minded though. Beyond that, though, there is definitely some feminine word choice stuff happening, particularly during heightened emotional tension. I wanted Holder to be more masculine (note, I don't mean more manly or macho, but the fact is that guys and girls think differently.) I think if you make the decision to take on a male POV, you've got to see it through. There were a few times while reading that I said "yeah a guy wouldn't say it this way" or "guys aren't wired like that" and it pulled me out of the story. These were exceptions, however, and not the rule. Overall I really enjoyed the voice.
Would have liked more flushing out of subplot arcs. There were some great NA themes that took a serious backseat to the romance plot and to the plot we saw in HOPELESS. I would have liked to have seen more time spent on Holder's goals and future, beyond than the brief epilogue we get at the very end.
That said, there's a reason why Colleen Hoover is seen as one of the foremothers of NA fiction. She weaves authentic, original NA yarn, and I'm pretty sold on any title I find on the shelves so long as her name is on it. I'm late to the party on this one, so I'm sure many of you have read it. What did you think?