Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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Welcome to the world of Colleen Hoover. And hold on to your heart. It's about to be broken, in the most beautiful way possible. You'll laugh and you'll cry (if you don't please pause now to check that you actually have a heart) and you'll hurt for these characters who feel oh-so-real in all their damaged glory.

At 17, Sky lives a fairly uneventful, sheltered life with her adoptive single mom - home schooled, no TV, no cell phone, no Internet. Her best friend friend is leaving to study abroad and Sky is about to enter public school for the first time. 

A chance encounter brings Dean Holder into Sky's life and all of a sudden life isn't so uneventful. There is an instant connection that Sky has never felt before. Holder has good looks and charm but he's also angry and mysterious and there are rumors aplenty about him at school. Against her better judgment, Sky falls fast and hard for Holder and they embark on a slow-burn romance that might burn slowly but still burns hot.

I'm not thinking about anything else right now 
but how much I love this boy and how much 
he loves me and how despite what's going on in 
my life, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else 
than in this moment with him.

But Sky and Holder's story is just beginning. As secrets are revealed and memories are reclaimed, the past comes back full force and must be reckoned with before there is any chance of a future.

And once again in my new world full of 
heartache and lies, this hopeless boy 
somehow finds a way to make me smile.

As with all Colleen Hoover's books, Hopeless is so much more than meets the eye. More than the synopsis. More than you might imagine even when you're halfway through it and think you know where the story is going. Hopeless deals with darker subject matter than some of Hoover's other novels and watching as Sky slowly pieces together her past, with Holder by her side, was often difficult to witness. But it was also amazing to experience such a strong, funny, sarcastic, straightforward and resilient character. Because Sky truly was amazing. I loved that giving up was never an option. She pushed herself forward even when doing so meant opening herself up to painful circumstances. And despite her apprehension about opening herself up fully to Holder, she loved completely.

And then there's Holder. He had *so* many qualities that I love in a male protagonist. He was so perfectly flawed and it was obvious there was much more going on with him. Holder was so utterly selfless. He was so concerned with others and their struggles and was so quick to shoulder blame even when it was not warranted. He was dealing with guilt and regret and it made my heart hurt for him. A young character showing great maturity and shouldering responsibility is a quality that gets me every time. And that was Dean Holder. I loved how he was so present for Sky. He was there for her in a way that was beyond his years and that made me love him even more. He was protective and in love and had no problem being open with Sky when it came to his feelings for her. 

"Let me inform you of something," he says in a low voice. 
"The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss. 
Because if you've never felt anything when someone's 
kissed you, then no one's ever really kissed you. 
Not the way I plan on kissing you."

Colleen Hoover's characters never fail to impress. No matter what tragedy they face, they always strive to overcome it together. These aren't people who fall apart and desert one another in times of trouble. Instead you have a couple who pulls together, leans on one another, is strong for each other and truly wants the very best for each other. It's impossible not to love characters like that and feel for them and and hurt for them and hope and wish for better things to come their way. 

"I've been looking for you my whole damn life."

And then there are all the perfect little Colleen Hoover touches that make every book she writes so exquisite. My favorites from Hopeless: Holder's ego-deflating texts to Sky, Breckin, that moment when I understood the full meaning behind Holder's tattoo, the quotes from The Jerk, Sky's baking binges for her sweet tooth, the Dinner Quest game. Every little element only served to make Hopeless a richer experience.

Hopeless is a beautifully written story of survival and forgiveness and hope. It is powerful. It is truly memorable. And it is yet another treasure from Colleen Hoover.

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