Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Synopsis: At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be. Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
Would I recommend? If you like stories that glorify cheating, this is for you.
Final Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Check out this book’s Goodreads page
I’m going to start off by saying that the only reason I didn’t give this book a one star rating is because I actually read the entire thing; I usually reserve my one-star ratings for books that were so bad that I couldn’t get through them. This was close- I almost stopped reading at the 60% mark, but since I didn’t, two stars it is.
This is my second venture into Colleen Hoover’s books- the first one being Ugly Love. I read UL at the end of June, and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it much either. The romance got to me, and so I thought another CoHo book without the toxic romantic element might get me to like her books more. The romance in this one was even worse than it was in Ugly Love, so here I am, making an official solemn oath that I will never pick up another CoHo book in my life.
If you liked this book, I’d suggest you stop reading right here. Even though it is not my intention to offend the author and fans of this book, I think my frustration might get the better of me. If you ignore this message and continue reading anyways, my sincerest apologies.
When Sydney finds her perfect life disrupted by her cheating boyfriend and her backstabbing best-friend/roommate, she finds herself in a bit of a situation. She has no place to crash, little money and a broken heart. When her neighbor, Ridge, lets her crash in her apartment in exchange for some musical help, things start looking up for Sydney. That is until she starts developing feelings for Ridge- complicated, irrational feelings. Because Ridge has a steady, perfect girlfriend who he is very much in love with.
No, you know what? There was nothing ‘complicated’ about Sydney’s feelings; she wanted a dude who already had a girlfriend. Minutes earlier, Sydney had been crying about how her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend and then she’s eyeing a boy who is in a steady relationship of six years. And of course, CoHo tries to redeem this love story by repeatedly mentioning that Ridge feels an exciting ‘spark’ between himself and Sydney- one that he cannot ignore, something that keeps drawing him to her. I don’t appreciate reading from a cheater’s point-of-view. It’s repulsive, it’s uncomfortable, and it seems like the author is making excuses for their inexcusable, shitty behavior.
The synopsis on the back of the book tells me that Sydney has the perfect life before her relationship with her ex goes awry. Well, I didn’t get to see any of this “perfect life.” I saw nothing of her life in college, nothing of her work life. For all I know, the only people Sydney EVER interacted with in her entire life were Hunter (the cheating boyfriend) and Tori (the “backstabbing whore”), Ridge and the four people who knew him. I have no idea what her backstory is. I have no idea what her parents are like. The book revolved around Sydney and her unhealthy obsession with a guy, and it’s disturbing and unrealistic.
The only characters I liked in this novel were Warren (Ridge’s best friend, used mostly just as comic relief) and Maggie (Ridge’s girlfriend who was awesome until she wasn’t.) The other characters were flat pieces of cardboard who made awful decisions, who were awful people.
Sydney is perhaps one of the least likable characters I have ever read. She’s whiny, she’s selfish and she’s sappy. She cries all the freaking time. She refers to other girls as “bitches” and “whores.” She’s judgmental, and CoHo tries her level best to make her seem like she’s not a bad girl, but she is. Just because Sydney acknowledges that she’s a bad person doesn’t not make her one- it just means that the character knows she’s a terrible human being but still does nothing to change it. I mean, she judges an entire person based on the fact that she’s wearing a freaking Hooters uniform- going as far to wonder if this person has the capacity to love. If I knew someone like her I’d probably kill myself for keeping such company.
Ridge. I liked him first, and then I really, really didn’t. What a sad excuse for a human being.
Colleen Hoover, what did the human race do to you that you have to come up with such horrible characters? Yeah, the world is pretty fucked up, but it’s not that bad. If an alien read your novels, he would think Earth is full of nothing but cheaters, liars, slut-shamers, assholes, and obsessive stalkers.
What hurts me beyond belief is that Colleen Hoover has so much talent when we’re talking about writing technique. Her writing flows perfectly. She doesn’t use excessive figurative language. She knows how to pace a book, but dear lord- her characters and their relationships make me want to stab myself repeatedly with a blunt fork.