Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

About the book

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

Pages: 321
Published by: Atria Books (July 8, 2013)
Genre:  NA contemporary romance

My rating for Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2):

Disclaimer: I found this review in my draft archives. Why did I not post this review when I wrote it in November 2013? I might have thought it wasn't a worthy review for a book I loved so much, but I'm not sure. Here are my thoughts anyway. I still stand by what I said:

I'm going to be completely honest. I wasn't expecting to love Losing Hope on the same caliber that I loved Hopeless. I had high hopes for This Girl, the retelling of Slammed, but it fell slightly below my expectations (I still rated it 4.5 stars because the ending was so redeeming) because we were exposed to most of its scenes in Slammed, so not a whole lot of new perspective had been brought to the table. I knew Holder had a back story that would propel LH further than TG, but like I said, I didn't think it was going to be a favorite.

And then LH blew my expectations out of the water! I think I might even love it more than Hopeless itself. GASP. It provided such an incredible perspective to the events of Hopeless and many new insights. As there is in all of Hoover's books, the romance, humor, and overall writing were incredible. Emotionally-heavy and extremely beautiful, this was everything I was hoping for in a retelling. (No pun intended, but I italicized it anyway.)

Since you already know all about the characters and plot from Hopeless, I'll just discuss what Holder's perspective brought to the table. Right from the get-go, we were introduced to new scenes. These scenes came with so much intensity (it's Holder we're talking about) that I was emotionally stricken by the end of the first chapter. We were given clarity into Holder's mysterious and moody behaviors. After Losing Hope, his actions did not seem so irrational, and seeing how the sequence of events played out for him astounded me. 

Some of the scenes that were solely from Holder's perspective could have been speculated by readers, but they were still enlightening. They were emotionally driven and they made me realize how awful/crazy things had been for Holder. I was not prepared to be more emotionally connected to the characters, but I did! For example, from the visit to Sky's house to the hotel scene, it was more powerful through Holder's eyes than Sky's. Additionally, the romance was intense, Hoover's sarcasm and quirk peeked through the pages, and the writing flowed like a beautiful waterfall (I'm so poetic).

Sometimes during the repeated scenes from Hopeless, there was a bit of repetitiveness or over-clarifying. i.e. Holder would think something and then he would say the same thing out loud. I think Colleen was a bit more careful as she tried to piece all of Holder's actions with his thoughts (as she stated many times, she had no idea why Holder reacted a lot of the ways he did in Hopeless) and perhaps that is why the thought/spoken overlap occurred. It's atypical for CoHo, which is why I question it.

The way the story ended.... just everything about it was Hopeless on steroids. I can't believe I just read such a creation and am so thrilled another CoHo book was able to top Hopeless for me! I don't think I can expand much more on this book. I simply loved it. Speechless. As fangirls say, I just can't even!

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