Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover...It Really is Just That.
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.
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.
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.
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.