Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: New Adult Contemporary/Romance
Synopsis: 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.
There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t. It started off with a bang, immediately sucking me into the story. The first November 9 was definitely my favorite. I especially loved how Ben and Fallon met. Just… hilarious and cute and amazing. But after the first November 9, things went a little downhill for me.
Throughout the book, I kept finding that I wanted to know more about what happened between the November 9s, especially to Fallon. What we got, however, were just a few vague “I landed a couple jobs” etc etc. Fallon rambled on about her acting career, but we never really got to know much about it except the fact that her scars ruined her acting career.
What’s more, I feel like after the first November 9, nothing about Fallon and Ben’s relationship was realistic or believable. Hoover didn’t go into a lot of depth outside of the November 9s, and it was frankly a bit painful to have to sit around and wait for all of the dates to play out (because of course, we knew that, inevitably, they would end up together!). It was as if nothing existed for them (especially Fallon) outside of the day they met every year, which I found unrealistic and quite frankly a bit pitiful. My mind just kept screaming, if the thing you look forward to the most every year is that one day, then just drop your stupid rule already!! It’s not like anything really important developed from their being apart. And don’t get me started on Fallon’s stupid rule:
“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”
The quote is a good quote, a good motto, but either I’m missing something or the way that Fallon found herself WAS in falling in love with Ben. And to be honest, although I like Ben at the beginning, I was really annoyed with him by the end of the book (because of certain events, but also because he just annoyed me). I feel like the characters grew the most in the first November 9; after that, they stayed pretty stagnant. It was quite frustrating.
All in all, however, although this review has been mostly negative, I didn’t hate the book. I just wanted to like it more than I actually did. I still had a fun time reading it; It was quick and easy, and fairly enjoyable. What bothered me was that the whole thing just felt a little… off. Would I recommend this book? Probably not. Honestly, the greater distance I get from this story, the more I’m confused about whether I like it or not. But I am excited to read more by Colleen Hoover in the future (this being my first of hers) because I enjoyed the writing style, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy this story.
My rating: 3/5 stars – because it was a quick, enjoyable enough read.