Monday, February 8, 2016

Reads for Writers: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

From Kate’s Writing Crate

          I love to read novels where one of the characters is a writer because it gives me another perspective into a writer’s life. Knowing this, one of my friends recommended November 9 by Colleen Hoover to me.

It’s classified as a New Adult book explained a librarian friend when I asked if she had read it. She hadn’t, but she liked some other books by Colleen Hoover.

Whether you are a new adult (ages roughly 18-23) or not, Colleen Hoover is a terrific writer who shares many insightful asides in her books. I’m going to concentrate my review on those lines as I don’t want to include any plot spoilers.

In November 9, Ben and Fallon are the main characters who meet when they are 18. He’s a writer. She’s an actress. For several reasons, they have an unconventional relationship seeing each other only once a year on November 9th. The chapters alternate from Fallon’s perspective to Ben’s.

Here are some of my favorite lines and insightful asides:

…The man [Fallons’ father] has absolutely zero remorse. I both hate and envy it. In a way, I wish I were more like him and less like my mother. He’s oblivious to his many flaws, whereas mine are the focal point of my life. My flaws are what wake me in the morning and what keep me awake every night. (page 5)

…It’s the worst time in the world for me to get emotional, but I guess tears aren’t known for their impeccable timing. (pp. 48-49)

“Don’t push your luck.”

He laughs. “Why the hell does luck exist if I’m not supposed not to push it?” (page 52)

          …But this apartment is too comfortable, and comfort can sometimes be a crutch when it comes to figuring out your life. Goals are achieved through discomfort and hard work. They aren’t achieved when you hide out in a place where you are nice and cozy. (page 68)

Actually, I don’t even think I showed [my poem] to anyone. My mother found it in my room, which is how I came to respect the beauty of privacy. She showed everyone in my entire family and it made me never want to share my work again. (page 84)

“…When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it.” (page 168)

…It’s funny how a grown adult can just forget how to function properly in the presence of someone else. But I feel like my insides are so hot, they’re beginning to scorch my bones… (page 199)

          I found Colleen Hoover’s writing and insightful asides engaging. Her plot is twisty and wrenching—just like love so I'm recommending it in honor of St. Valentine's Day.

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