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.
If she’s not careful, I might just fall in love with her.
Perhaps the worst thing in reading is getting your hopes up. Letting your mind run wild with possibilities means your open to disappointment. Sometimes you’re taken by surprise in a good way, and the book takes you on a thrilling journey you could have never expected, or even begun to imagine. Other times, you’re left craving more. You’re left holding a book that has a stronger spine than the story itself. And yes, that is disappointing.
You’ve invested your time and money and heart into this story, and it’s just not going to comply? It’s just going to refuse to be what you so deeply want?
It’s at this point you try and move on. I’m still in that recovery period.
There is so much I wanted from this book. I wanted a romance I was invested in. I wanted mutual respect in said romance. I wanted a thrilling plot. I wanted something unique, something I’d never read about before.
I got none of that.
Instead, I got a cliché insta-love story that could’ve ended halfway through.
Yes, I’m still bitter.
From the offset, I had a bad feeling. These characters I was given were so flat – so 2-dimensional – it was jarring. Already, I was craving more, I was craving better. So I continued reading. In many ways, I wish I hadn’t – disappointment was just around the corner. However, in many ways, I’m glad that I did – now I can get closure, and move on, and will forever know that this book is just not for me.
It wasn’t just the weak characters that ruined this book for me. Much of my disappointment is due to the relationship itself:
- Firstly, it was so instant. Insta-love times ten million. And I despised that. I wanted awkwardness, I wanted secret glances, I wanted reservations. I wanted to see a relationship blossom from unknowing to liking to loving. I wanted this to happen over years, not seconds. Instead I got declarations of love straight away, and it just made me so uncomfortable. The worst bit? The book acknowledged that it was insta-love – if anything, that made it worse. It was so obvious, so impossible to ignore, and pointing it out just exacerbated the problem.
- The dialogue. It was so cheesy, so unrealistic, so clichéd. I cringed every time either one of the characters spoke. Actually, I cringed at a lot of their thoughts, as well, so their speech was just the horrible extension of that. No really, it made me want to crawl into a hole.
- The entire relationship was built on lies. It was so unhealthy, and just made me feel uncomfortable. There’s a plot twist towards the end that revealed everything, and that was maybe the worst bit – it wasn’t an exciting cliffhanger, nor was it thrilling. It just went to a place I didn’t want to go to. Ugh, so uncomfortable. I won’t elaborate further for spoiler’s sake, but there we go.
- A lot of the time, it felt like the characters loved each other so much it morphed into resentment. Again, unhealthy, uncomfortable, etc.
On the other hand, there were a handful of things I liked about this book:
- I really liked that we only saw the characters for one day every year. It injected mystery into an otherwise predictable plot.
- I loved the message of self-love this book sent. Much of this book was about self-acceptance, and confidence. However, this was dealt with and pushed aside after about 50 pages. I wish it had been stretched out for a bit longer.
- I liked the humour, and how much of it came from the characters. They really bounced off each other, even if there wasn’t much to them.
Overall, as I think you may have guessed, I was pretty disappointed in this novel. It just didn’t live up to my expectations. It also didn’t give me a great first impression of Colleen Hoover’s books, which are uber popular.
“I practically live in Starbucks. I’m a writer. It’s a rite of passage.”
“Don’t stop,” I tease in a seductive voice. “Give me more, Ben. Did you read eBooks or . . .” I run my finger slowly down his chest. “Hardbacks?”
Her eyes are focused on the ground, but mine are focused on her.
Love should be between two people, and if it isn’t, I’d rather bow out than take part in the race.