Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: Review

Ugly LoveTitle: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn't even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn't want love, she doesn't have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past. 
Don't expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can't handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated. 
Promises get broken. 

Rules get shattered.

Love gets ugly. (Goodreads summary.)


Colleen Hoover's books have never disappointed me, I have enjoyed every one that I have read. But, earlier this year, I read Maybe Someday and it was just such an amazing reading experience, one of the greatest ones I have ever had. It came with it's own soundtrack, the characters were brilliant and the story worked so well. When I saw she had another book coming out this year I got very excited, I knew I had to buy it. At the same time I was worried that it might disappoint me, after having such a brilliant reading experience with Maybe Someday. I'd also seen her comments about the fact this one would be much more sex-filled than her other books. I was intrigued by the idea that it would contain a lot more sex than her other books, something that's always taken a back seat in her other books. Ugly Love is the story of two people who agree to have a no strings attached relationship, it's just friends with benefits. So you already know what you're getting in for there.

Tate Collins is on the hunt for a new job when she moves in with her brother. On the way into her brother's flat, she finds a drunk guy slumped against his front door. Rightfully alarmed she rings her brother to ask his advice, only to realise the guy is her new neighbour and her brother wants her to help him inside. This is how Tate first meets Miles Archer, a pilot who has ten too many issues. They share an attraction to each other, but Miles is determined that he does not and will not get into a relationship with Tate. He doesn't do love. Tate agrees to a no strings attached, just sex relationship with him. But it's never as easy as it sounds, especially when Miles demands that she never ask about his past and she never expects a future.

All you need to do is watch Friends with Benefits or No Strings Attached and they will basically tell you the rule of the friends with benefits situation. It never works. Maybe it might in real life, but in fiction and in movies it never works. Feelings get involved and the stories all end up the same. I knew what the end result of Ugly Love would be, I didn't need to read it for that because I was so sure of what the outcome would be. I was more interested in the journey it would take to get there.

I have to say that when I reached the end of Ugly Love I knew I wanted to give it at least a 4.5/5. It was a brilliant book, I was as engrossed as I always am with Colleen's books. But, I had quite a few issues with the book and so I was really happy that my overall feelings for it were ridiculously positive! I want to start my review by mentioning the few issues that I had, that way I can end the review with all of the positives.

The Bad


My main issue with the book, and I think quite a few others had the same problem, was Miles' POV. I absolutely hated it. I'm really sorry, but I just could barely deal with his chapters. Now Tate's chapters are set in the present, so we see her relationship with Miles develop through her eyes. But Miles chapters are all from 6 years previous, they slowly begin to unveil what happened to him to make him so determined to never fall in love. His chapters show how the first time he fell in love, with a girl called Rachel. Now, I really thought I'd love his chapters because you really are just dying to know what happened to him. But his chapters are just set out and written in such a way that I honestly couldn't stand them.

It's set out like the slam poems from Slammed, but what he's saying is not poetry. Maybe he thinks he sounds like a poet, but he just comes across as a bit of a freak and it's rather uncomfortable to read. I shall give you some quotes so you can understand my pain.

'My skin feels better with her touching it. My hair feels better with her hands in it. My mouth feels better with her tongue inside it.'

'My new favourite flavour is Rachel.
My new favourite thing is Rachel.
I want Rachel for my birthday. I want Rachel for Christmas. I want Rachel for graduation.
Rachel, Rachel, Rachel'


Eurgh, please stop talking about Rachel. It's creepy. He also basically falls head over heels in love with her from the very minute he sets eyes on her. He declares she's going to have his babies and everything. It's just really off-putting to read, it made his character very unattractive to me. Pair that with the fact he's now really  emotionally distant and, frankly, a dick to Tate most of the time, and it's really hard to like the guy. 

My other issue was how big of a deal is made over the fact that two people, who's parents start dating, are also dating. They have to hide it from their parents and everything, because they'd be really angry otherwise. Why? In the Hoover discussion groups, I've seen a ton of people commenting on how the relationship was creepy, weird, uncomfortable and everything else. One person even, stupidly, brought up the word incest. They're not related. They didn't grow up together. It's not weird. It's not creepy. It's 100% not incest and I don't see what the big deal is.


I also struggled with the idea that Miles hadn't so much as kissed another human being in six years. Who has that kind of restraint? When I read that, I laughed. I didn't even care about what big reveal was to come, it just didn't seem believable to me. Even after the reveal it doesn't seem very believable. As you can see, my main issue with the book was Miles. He was a bit of a mega douche at times. I also have to comment on the fact that at one point Miles says something about not wanting to quit her and I was all really, what is this, Brokeback Mountain?

The Good


But... There are lots of buts, so please don't be put off by all all that comes above it. You could even have just skipped that part in order to get to the good bit. I have to beg you all not to be put off by my issues. I am still giving this book a 4.5/5. I am just a horribly honest person and can't write a gushy review for the book when I had obvious problems with it, instead I must share them all with you. I have a problem, I know.

There are so many positives with the book. The first is the fact that, like all her books, I could not put this one down. I just had to keep on reading and reading, until I was done. I even ignored my adorable kitten for hours, and that is unheard of. Hoover's books just have this addictive quality, I can't quite put my finger on what it is. The dialogue just feels real and easy, like the characters and it all just flows. But once you start, you're done for because you're unable to stop. She is able to make you laugh, cry, feel utter despair and all the happy feels within a small number of pages.

Tate was a plus for me. I thought I would find her annoying, I assumed this before I even started the book. But I actually really liked her character, because she was an idiot but she was well aware of the fact. From the very beginning she's acutely aware of the fact that she won't be able to do just sex, no feelings. She's aware of it, she's aware she's an idiot for agreeing to it, but she does it anyway. I liked her because she was knew she was making a mistake, and she completely owns it. But she also owns the fact that she's attracted to Miles and is willing to take whatever she can get from him.

The sex. I am not a huge fan of my books having large amounts of sex scenes in them, probably why I read a lot of young adult. I was a little apprehensive that I wouldn't like all the sex in this, but I should have trusted Hoover. She knows how to write sex scenes, they don't come off all sounding the exact same. They're also a lot more realistic than most of the sex scenes I have come across in New Adult. I also appreciated how most of them contained a lot of humour, I much prefer the playful, funny sex scenes. And it doesn't go all Fifty Shades on us, which is a bonus. I didn't get sick of the sex scenes at all, Colleen Hoover did a brilliant job.


4.5/5 Butterflies

I just adore Colleen Hoover and her books, her books are filled with as much humour as she exhibits in all her social media posts. She writes funny characters, most of them are just far too easy to relate to. She writes the kind of books that are just impossible to read, they are books you want to get through in one sitting. She handles sex so well in her books, I didn't get sick of the sex scenes in this book, which is something that usually happens in a book that has a lot of them. This is a book that I know has made a ton of people cry, but I was immune. Much like TFIOS, it seems like everyone else sobbed like a baby and I was there, being all emotionless. So I'd probably warn you to come prepared with tissues. And I'd also urge you to get through the Miles chapters. They're annoying as hell but they are vital to the story, you need to understand Miles's past to understand who he is in the present day. I always feel like I could recommend Hoover's books to most people. They're great if your a fan of new adult, great if your a fan of romance or the perfect way to introduce yourself to the NA genre. Hoover has definitely earned a spot on my auto-buy list, I'm already eyeing up her next two books on Goodreads. Bring on 2015!


12 comments:

  1. I'm surprised you loved this like you did with those negatives, I can't say I would have felt the same. Miles would have annoyed me too much and driven me crazy, that could just be me though, who knows.. but hey, long reviews, I like them. Much feelings, much explaining, me much likey, you should do it more, rant and rave, splurge your feelings, do it! I shall have to try this magicians work soon, maybe sooner than planned..

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    1. Colleen Hoover's books are like drugs, even when you know they aren't good for you, you just need more. I had those negatives but the book was one I couldn't stop reading. I was never bored by it or anything. I just felt Miles had a long way to go to be a likeable character. I definitely think Hoover makes great NA, she's an auto-buy author for me.

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  2. I know a lot of people were put off by his POV but for whatever reason I was okay with it. I didn't love it, but it didn't bother me either. I think it says a lot though that even with that POV most of us still gave this 4 to 5 stars. ;)
    So glad you were still able to love this one even with the weird POV.

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    1. I just think it was the constant talk of Rachel, it seemed so creepy at times. I know it's because it's his first love and everything, but I don't think anyone gets that obsessed so quickly. It was a little scary for me.

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  3. This one does sound intriguing and I'm glad that you ended up liking it! That is a little weird for Miles' POV. Still, thank you for your review!

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    1. It was really weird for me, but I love CH books, so I forgave her.

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  4. YES! Hoover is a drug. I'm pretty sure I could over dose on her daily.
    I also think none of her books will ever compare to Maybe Someday. I mean that is perfection. Just perfection.
    I agree that Miles POV had annoyance to it. He was a hard character to like at times. But my heart still absolutely shattered for him. But I get your qualms.
    I did love Tate, too. Man we girls can definitely be stupid with our feelings sometimes. Even when we know we are going to get hurt. Stupid feelings...
    Great review! And let the count down begin until her next book in February. It's so far away.
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. Her books are amazing, she never seems to let me down. Maybe Someday truly was perfection, the soundtrack added so much to the experience as well. I could not get enough of it.

      It did shatter for him, but there was such a build up to the reveal that it didn't impact me as much as it should have. I knew something awful was coming, so I was less shocked by it.

      I think I loved Tate so much because she felt real, she does things and makes the mistakes that most people would end up making.

      February is TOO FAR!!!

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  5. I really liked this book too and I agree with you. There's just something about her books that make you love them even when you can pick them apart. She just brings out all of these emotions and I felt so bad for Miles, but yes, I thought the consequence of that (6 years of no kissing, etc) was unusual. It would make more sense for him to just have a bunch of meaningless sex and never see the same person more than once or some sort of rule like that so he never gets emotionally involved. And I completely agree with you about the high school relationship. They are not related, they did not grow up together, etc. Have you ever read A Midsummer's Nightmare? You should, you will love it.

    And the chapters from MIles' POV…why were they in verse? Didn't get it. And yes, that relationship, the insta-love, etc., was annoying. Really, we only needed to know that he loved and lost and this is how it affected him. That was heart-breaking, I have to say.

    I did get a bit upset with Tate, to be honest. After awhile, I just thought she needed to end it (way before it did).

    But yes, I will read whatever she writes because I can't put her books down! ~Pam

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    1. It really didn't make complete sense to his story. I also think the build up to finding out what happened to him kind of ruined it for me. Yes, it was terrible, but I knew it was coming.

      I haven't, but I will definitely look it up. Is that the Kody Keplinger one? I have considered it in the past.

      Tate was terrible when it came to that, but I think that made her more real. I know far too many people who make that same exact mistake. I thought it made her seem more real and easier to relate too.

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  6. Excellent review! There were a few minor niggles I had along the way, but honestly they were nothing in comparison to how much I loved, and was unable to put down, this book! I actually enjoyed Miles' POV being written that way, to me it came off as more of a memory, or a dreamlike quality, which I thought worked quite well. Definitely one of my favourite books of the year!

    My Review: http://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/review-ugly-love/

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    1. I love Colleen Hoover's books, she never disappoints. But I really did struggle with Miles POV, it just didn't completely work for me. I did enjoy it overall, despite any of the issues I had with it.

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