Written by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books, March 10, 2015
My star rating: 3.5 stars
Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it? Find it on Goodreads
I FINALLY managed to get to a Colleen Hoover book! Over the last 2 years I’ve seen so many reviews for her books. And through the many Top 5 Tuesday topics, I’ve seen her books on multiple lists each week. I’m glad I finally found out for myself what she’s all about but I’m having a really hard time pinpointing my feelings for this book. There were certain things I loved, and certain things that I felt just ‘meh’ about.
First of all, I loved the premise of these characters. Auburn is saying goodbye to her first love at the age of 15 as he’s on his death bed. We know that this tragic event shaped her life and that’s kind of where the story begins. She then meets Owen 5 years later as she gets roped into helping him at his gallery. The premise of this gallery is what I actually found the most interesting in the book!! He’s an artist who creates works of art based on confessions. These confessions are anonymous, and range from tame, to shocking, to heart breaking, and down right awful. But he turns these secret truths into a beautiful work of art. The theme of confessions was kind of carried on throughout the book but not as strongly as it was in the beginning. And I have to say that I missed that connection, the outpouring of raw emotion, and the creation of beautiful things out of something so ugly.
The characters were really great and had so much dimension to them. They were confused and trying to make sense of their lives while also attempting to decide if them together would work. I understood their conflict and felt their pain every step of the way. It was a little insta-love-ish, but I didn’t mind. I craved so much of these two together! They both knew that there was an instant connection but working their lives in with their relationship (oh, and their secrets) was the hard part. Both of them were so flawed and the beauty was that they saw each other even with all the flaws. It was pure acceptance and it was wonderful.
The pacing was really well done. It seemed that before we got to the end of one situation, another was already being prepped. There was never a dull point in this book. But at the same time, this was a little bit of a down fall. There was just so much drama! Grief, loss, blackmail, abuse, drugs, a love triangle – it was overwhelming! I felt a little like the author attempted to throw in so many different themes and situations that it ended up being a little annoying. I would still have questions about one situation and then something else that would happen. The level of drama was a little unnecessary and made the story feel so complicated. I felt that if some of it was left out and the story was a little simpler, I maybe could have enjoyed it more. But, in the same breath, all of these dramatic complications were well connected. It all had its purpose within the story and in the end all the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed.
Even though I had a bit of a problem with the over the top drama, I still REALLY enjoyed this book! The characters were great and all the elements of a great story were there. I was able to read through quickly and immerse myself in these characters lives for a while. I will definitely be reading more of her!
Until next time, happy reading!