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4.7 out of 5 stars868
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 May 2013
I will start my review by saying this is probably one of the best books I've ever read. It was amazing and I say you must read it!

I've recently read Slammed (which was Colleen Hoover's first book) and I did enjoy that. But everyone was saying it was amazing and I thought it was good, but not amazing. So my expectations for HOPELESS weren't huge. But I would definitely say this is soooooo much better than SLAMMED and Point of Retreat. You will love Holder a lot more than you love Will.

I read this in about 48 hours. It's quite a long book but it was so good, I didn't want it to end. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it.

Also I think Colleen was really clever writing this. I loved all the twists. I loved how Colleen started the book with it being "two months earlier". I kept going back to it while reading the book. LOVED IT!!

I am really excited to read Losing Hope which comes out later this year. It's from Holder's point of view but from what I've heard, it isn't the same story and it's based before this book.

I would 100% recommend this to everyone who loves SLAMMED, Beautiful Disaster,Easy and books like that. AMAZING!!!
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on 2 April 2013
I'm not going to sugarcoat this review. This book bothered me.

Okay, wait, wait. Before I start getting the cries of "Why!" and "OMG are you crazy!" let's just clear one thing up first - the only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is because, love or hate a book, I really can't fault Colleen's writing style. She definitely has a way with words, and it was really the most outstanding thing about the book for me.

To clarify as well - all my reviews are based on my own personal opinion. I know this review is going to sound like me just moaning a lot, but it is my own views. I know so many people who really enjoyed this book - which is great! Good for you. I'm happy that you liked it. I'm just sad I didn't.

Things that irritated me. Okay, deep breath.

1. Realism
Okay, so I've talked to some people, and they loved the plot. Don't get me wrong again, I enjoyed it also. Until, well, it started getting so cheesy and cliched. Hopeless shows that the world isn't perfect. That it's full of people that do bad things, sometimes for no reason at all, sometimes for stupid reasons, or even because they think they are doing the right thing. Which is great and all, but when you sugarcoat the ending to make everything look as happy as larry, the point you are trying to put across becomes void. Catch my drift? The ending was too sweet. Too, everyone except the bad guy gets their happy ending. Life isn't a Disney movie, and for me, the events that play out in Hopeless, while yes, I understand this is a novel, I was left feeling like none of the characters had any actual growth or development to them. It was as if the drama was completely void.

2. Characters.
Sky, for me, lacked any credibility right from the start. First, she had the worst choice in friends. Breckin was okay, but Six, God. If I ever met someone like Six, I know I'd be staying well clear. Why would a person let herself be defined by her friend's actions? Sky says she isn't a slut. And okay yes, so maybe she isn't. But if you don't want people to label you as such, then don't go fooling around with as many guys as your best friend does. Yes, Sky has the 'I don't care what people think of me' attitude, which is great and all, but seriously Sky, have a bit of back bone. A bit of character and self respect for yourself. And I find that as someone who is the victim of sexual abuse, she would consent to be used like that. Sure, I understand that what she does with boys is because she needs to numb the pain. But seriously? Are we so much the weaker sex that we need to numb the pain of being sexual abused by letting guys feel us up? Why not take a kick boxing class. Why not tell someone about what happened? Okay, I understand that in Karen's case, it had been reported once and the case fell through. That Sky's dad was a cop, but that does not make it okay. Really, what is so wrong with society that we can justify rape like that? To just be so blase about the idea that oh, nothing can ever be solved by it. I just don't understand why people cannot stand up for themselves. Why they give up. And really, it makes me sad.

Unfortunately, no-one seemed to learn from their experiences. Karen abducting Sky at a young age was emotionally unstable. Her parenting skills were classed as 'liberal' because she let Sky do whatever she wanted, but God forbid if she ever asked for a phone, the internet or a television. Holder was mediocre at the best of times. I point blank refuse to believe that he had such a close relationship with his sister and yet he had not one inkling what had happened to her. I also find it hard to believe that despite both Holder children attending counselling sessions, Lesslie's sexual abuse wasn't discovered. I also...and, sigh, I just...suicide. Okay, I'm not going to express those thoughts. Everyone in this book seemed to be running away to escape their problems. Holder gets all moody at Sky for weeks and not once does she confront him, but at the slightest touch of affection, he's all forgiven.

3. Names
This was the big one for me. For the love of God, what kick do people get out of having crazy made up names? Lesslie. Less-lie. An adapted version of Leslie, for what reason? So that the main character could have a tattoo on his arm that said Hopeless (which you'll discover the point of later).

What's wrong with Leslie? I mean, really. Les. Stick it with Hope and it's still Hopeles. Hopeless. Point made. And Six. Her real name is Seven. For Christ's sake, what do people get out of calling their child a number? And then let her retaliate by nicknaming herself with another number? In Divergent, by Veronica Roth, Four's nickname makes sense. Four fears. Here, nothing makes sense.

4. Sex & New Adult Labelling.
So firstly the sex. Why was it that it felt like this book was just one big teenage girl's wet dream with a semi-interesting plot thrown in? Do people have nothing better to do in their lives than lay on a bed on a Saturday night and make out with someone? Not just that, but the whole we aren't really going to have sex sex but we will do everything else under the sun thing is kind of off-putting. It makes me feel dirty reading it, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Now don't get me wrong - I love a good sex scene, but when it happens every five pages...does anyone else feel like they've walked in on someone doing the dirty? Over and over again?

My second point was the age thing. Is the only reason this novel is New Adult because there is so much sex? Why? It's not even like the characters fall into the NA age bracket (18-25) for most of the novel. They are still in high school for heaven's sake. Wrongly classifying New Adult is starting to get to me. This, at best, is mature YA. Books for Older Readers.

Overall, as you can see, this was a really big let down for me. The bland story line that most New Adult contemporaries now follows has really gotten up my goat recently, and that was really something that set me on edge here. It'd be really nice to read something for a change where the main girl doesn't fall head over heels for the main guy in a matter of glances. But I'm discussing that later in the week on the blog, so I won't go into it.

A story that fell flat because of the plot holes and unrealistic situations and characters, Hopeless made me feel that this novel was just that. Unfortunately not one for me, but I can see how it did appeal to some people, and good for that. You should always base a book on your own perceptions, not from what others think. However it has made me re-think about picking up anything else by Colleen Hoover in the future.
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I confess I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction; in particular New Adult. I pretend that it's because of many reasons. I say that I think it's a cash cow simply adding sex to YA, the covers are just begging for me to snark at them and the formula is so ridiculous it can't possibly be taken seriously; damaged girl + hot guy with a magic peen multiplied by a bucket load of issues divided by lots of hot sex = Happily Ever After. For the most part those reasons are fairly accurate but if I'm completely honest it's because every now and then I'll open an NA book, sniff and snark at it at first and then crumble to the floor as it rips my heart and stomach out until by the last page I'm crawling around blindly trying to put the pieces of my mind back together and usually failing miserably.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover was such a book.

If I had to sum it up in one word: Brutal. There's no denying this book is stellar, it hooked me from page one and it didn't let go no matter how much I inwardly begged at times. My Goodreads status updates can attest to as much. It affected me more than I thought possible. I ranted, I cried, I scoffed, I even swooned. For the girl who prefers to step into the worlds of vampires, shadowhunters and fae, this book was an eye-opener to the quality of contemporary fiction out there that I continually deny myself, flicking past it on my kindle saying "for another time."

Sky is almost eighteen. Adopted, she has been home-schooled all her life, living a technology free existence, escaping into a world of books. Her only friend, Six, lives next door and together they spend their time, eating ice-cream, watching movies and making out with boys. Sky can't figure out why is it that when a boy touches her she goes numb, unfeeling, bored. No boy has ever made her stomach jump, her skin tingle or her heart flutter. When she finally persuades her mom to allow her to attend public school for her senior year her life is changed when she meets the mysterious Holder with whom she instantly feels a connection with. As Sky finds her emotions and body responding to this boy like never before, the mysteries of her past come flooding to the surface and together they must figure out who Sky really is and what she has buried deep within her soul.

Its 24 hours since I finished and my mind is still reeling from this book. I don't think I'll ever be able to truly comprehend the effect it has had on me. The words just flowed perfectly, I never felt like I was detached, an observer looking in. Hoover hooked me right into the pages and made me experience every unflinching moment of brilliance.

I won't lie, this book messed with my head big time. The thing that bothers me the most about NA is that for every damaged girl there's always this unbelievable guy who always says the right thing and is so open and honest with his feelings and let's face it, no guy really talks like that, only guys written by women do and girls like Sky who experience such horrifying events in real life don't get those happy endings. They won't be saved but instead will have to save themselves, and it's amazing and staggering to even try and comprehend their strength and ability to recover from that but why isn't their story told?
Why aren't those women getting attention? Why is it always some guy who comes along and magically sees into their soul that solves all the problems? Here is where I think NA fails women as it's another form of the fairy tale that only serves to remind us that in RL there is no Knight on a White Horse. Why can't women ever be their own white knight?

Despite that, I'm glad that in this book Sky does have Holder to support her through her trauma. It breaks my heart to think of her without him because I don't think she could cope. However Sky was truly a heroine in her own right, her ability to keep going as the memories of her past came flooding back to her, her bravery in battling the urge to retreat back into herself and forcing herself to feel was staggering. She never once fell, she stayed standing, resolute. Her ability to forgive, to understand and to accept was truly admirable. I don't know if I could find the strength. Holder; who at first appeared to be the typical NA brooding, growling hunk and that I eye rolled at more than once turned out to be sweet, charming, caring and brave as he too was forced to accept that his perception of the past and his reality were world's apart.

There are moments in the book that really ripped my heart out, when Sky is lying on her bed, counting the stars on her ceiling, trying to escape the pain I went there with her and it enraged me because this is what's happening every day. Sky uses her sexuality as a weapon. Not against anybody else, against her own pain. It's the only way she can escape what has been done to her. When she joins public school she is called a slut and finds post-its on her locker with choice insults. While she brushes them off, it highlights another theme in popular fiction - Slut shaming. Why does this exist? And worse why are women the worst offenders? This year two trials in America have made international news as girls who were gang-raped and had their pictures shared on social media sites were treated like "sluts" and vilified by media and the public for "asking for it" because of their clothes, alcohol consumption, looks while the boys were treated with sympathy because such a terrible trial meant their promising futures were ruined. Why? Because Rape Culture has taught us that if the guy is good looking, well educated or comes from a "good" family then it's impossible for them to be guilty of such a heinous crime because let's face it - any girl would be lucky to have their attention...

Hoover while featuring slut-shaming thankfully for the most part treats the subject of abuse, sex and grief with the utmost respect and created a book that really challenges your perceptions and preconceptions on so many taboo subjects. She creates characters that you fall in love with, care so deeply for you feel they are your own friends and you would do anything to protect them. She doesn't shy away from the hard issues writing scenes that were stomach churning and took your breath away. Her brutal honesty was admirable but hard to take at times. In one scene, Sky begs Holder to take her pain away by having sex, allowing her to retreat into herself so she could forget all that she had just been put through, and as I read the scene, one thought that struck me was how Holder could go through with it. The person he's in love with is drowning in so much grief and trauma yet he's able to get aroused? I couldn't get my head around this at first, despite the knowledge we're fed that men look at sex differently and are more capable of disassociating it from emotions it wasn't until I realised that Hoover was probably right. It probably is realistic that in such a situation a person is able to let the physical nature of the act take over but I won't lie it made me feel ill.

But in a weird way that's precisely what I loved about this book. I have read so many books where a couple of days later I can't tell you the name of the MC, what the plot was, who the author was. Hoover wrote a book that I don't think I'll ever forget. The characters, Sky and Holder, soul mates who took me on a journey of love, discovery, grief and recovery, two lost children stumbling through life until they found each other will always be remembered as they lie under the stars and hook their pinkies together in the most innocent display of pure love; the storyline that captivated me from the stunning prologue through reveal after reveal after reveal until the ending when I thought I finally had it all figured out and no way could she best me again when she took the knees out from under me and left me breathless, speechless but thankfully - not hopeless.
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on 21 December 2012
..... And I read A LOT. This book is so well written, I kept tearing myself away from it because I didn't want it to end (if that makes sense!). There are twists in this book I never saw coming but that's because its done so cleverly. If you are considering buying it, stop now and just hit the purchase button, best few quid I ever spent. This has become my #1 all time favourite book. If you're reading this know that I'm so jealous of you because you get to experience this afresh.
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on 5 July 2013
I've been dipping my toe in this New Adult genre quite a lot lately. Maybe a bit too much in fact, because I'm starting to see patterns and familiar themes all over the place. This one had a lot of similarities to The Sea of Tranquility, for example (which is no criticism since I loved that book), but maybe it means it's time for a breather before they all start to meld into one big homogeneous mass in my brain.

That said, I really enjoyed HOPELESS. It actually wasn't my first book from this author; I've also read her book Slammed with all the awesome poetry and enjoyed it a lot, so I felt in fairly safe hands when I decided to give this a try. And sure enough, I found the writing to be of an equally high standard and very evocative and poignant in places. I particularly enjoyed the way Hoover let the story unfold so naturally. They way both characters each held half the answers (whether they knew it or not), but they had to use each other to bring it forth. And just when I thought I'd predicted everything and was just waiting to see it play out, there was yet more to it that I hadn't considered and I really appreciated that unpredictability. It made me forgive the sameness that had been bugging me at the beginning.

HOPLESS is narrated by Sky. She was a pretty great protagonist all in all. My only real complaint about her would be the sluttiness she portrayed early on, although that did become more tolerable once I discovered the source of it. She's a smart, pragmatic girl who has her emotions pretty well in check as the story begins, and seemed quite worldly wise and grounded for someone who's had such an unusual and sheltered upbringing-- being home-schooled and without access to any technology or communication devices. I found her reactions to Holder's presence initially reassuring. Stalk much? I was glad to see her calling him out on it and trying to stay detached. My appreciation for her as a character grew as I read, but as the story revolves around her, I'll refrain from saying much more. Best for you to discover Sky for yourself and make your own judgements.

Speaking of Mr. Holder, his reactions in the first part of the book are definitely odd and confusing. Disturbing, even. Now that I know him, I almost want to go right back to the beginning and look at all his weirdo scenes again with my new enlightened eyes. But of course I'm not really going to do that, because wahoo! There's an entire book from his POV coming up instead called LOSING HOPE, which I'm reliably informed not only fills in all of those blanks, but also provides much more background and depth to Holder's character. I can't wait to read that to get the full telescopic view of events and more importantly, find out just what was going on in his head at the beginning!

So do I recommend this one? You betcha! I especially enjoyed the audio narration as well so if you're audibly inclined, you might want to go that route as it was really well produced.

My rating: 4 stars! ★★★★
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on 28 May 2013
Wow, where to start...
I have recently lost all faith in romance books as I found them all to be weak and bland. But not Hopless, this book was fast paced and has a series of twists and turns.I cant say too much, I wouldn't want to to ruin the book for you. Futhermore the book is layered with mystery that keeps the reader at the edge of their seat.

Although the book is of the romance genre,Coleen Hoover also raises darker issues, that most authors are afraid to touch upon.This just makes the book better in my opinion.

From start to finish I was cheering for both character's. Hope is no damsal in need of a white knight, nope, she is sassy and fiesty and a bit of rebel, which suprised me as sher has been tucked away from the outside world for most of her life. Where to start with Holden... Yes, he may geourgous and the epitome of everything masculine, but he to is a diverse character, who like Hope has has had his fair shair of heart break. What I LOVE about these characters is that although there is a super hot chemistry between them, they share a love that most people spend a life time looking for!

Words can't descride how good the book actually is. Read this book it's highly addicituve and will leave you with so many mixed emotions you dont know what to do! Thank you Collenn Hoover for restoring my faith in the romace genre.
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on 15 May 2013
Well Well Well...

Fantastic sotryline, fantastic characters, gripping read and overall a great book.

Only 4.5 Stars as I found some of the book disjointed but that wasn't enough to put me off.

Will definately read more coleen hoover books after reading this xx
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on 30 June 2013
Anybody would be hard pushed to give this less than 5 stars. For a book that I thought I could see everything coming in it, I have to hold my hand up and say WOW, it wasn't at all what I was expecting!

But it was everything I expected from the pen of Colleen Hoover, she didn't disappoint at all. I'm happy, I'm sad and I'm thoroughly wrung out with the depth of this story. When you think you know what the outcome is going to be or the path the story is going down it's really great when the author can shock you and you sit there reeling muttering to yourself, bloody hell I wasn't expecting that!

Each little (or sometime major) nugget that you learn on their journey is so passionately delivered, the process of their story was spot on and delivered with absolute creative genius that you can't help but be pulled along with their story.

I won't go on to say that 'he was this' and 'she was that' because they were both incredible, they were both so mesmerising and felt so real.

This really is a gem of a read and I will definitely be adding it to my to be read again pile.
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on 26 December 2012
This is quite simply a wonderful book. Please don't be deterred by the fact that it focusses on young adults of high school age; I am in my mid 30's and some of the best reads I have found are of this genre.

I haven't read a book in a long time that surprised me as much as this did; usually you get an inkling of what to expect but the path this took was totally unexpected. Both Sky and Holder are incredibly strong likeable characters, but not without their weaknesses and their journeys captivated me. It made me laugh, frustrated me and actually moved me to tears. I felt their happiness, their sorrows and their pain and it made me want to delve into the book and take it away from them.

This is the first book I have read by Colleen Hoover. Why I haven't read her others I have no idea, but I shall be and I cannot recommend reading this highly enough.
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on 20 December 2012
6 stars!

It's been a long time since a book made me teary-eyed! What an awesome book. Straight to my favourites and to-read-again shelf!

As I started reading this book I was a little worried. I only read one review before I started reading it (RED) and she recommended that you shouldn't read ANY spoilers. So I didn't. But I was worried. Because you know something BIG is going to be revealed, you just don't know what.

Colleen Hoover does a brilliant job though. Things get messy but she writes in such a way that you (and Sky) CAN deal with it (although hard).

Sky is strong and independent. I loved her. She dealt with things the best way anyone could in her situation could. And Holder is just great. He never lets her down, he treats her with such love and respect and honestly just try's to make the best of a really crappy situation. Who wouldn't want a guy like that?

I'll definitely be re-reading this book. My advise: buy it, read it, be prepared for some hectic up's and downs, but enjoy it.
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