There has been so much hype around this book that I couldn’t wait to read this. I discovered Colleen Hoover’s books earlier this year and have been rather obsessed with reading everything she has written. I am quickly discovering that not all of her books live up to the hype. I think CoHo herself is hilarious and one of my spirit animals, but this particular book was just not what I was expecting.
Fallon has an estranged relationship with her father and sadly, Ben, a stranger, witnesses their awkward exchange one day in a restaurant. Fallon tells her father she is moving from LA to New York for a fresh start. Ben, an aspiring author, fakes being Fallon’s boyfriend so her father would go a little easier on her. This is the start of their relationship. Ben and Fallon make a promise to always meet up on November 9, every year for 5 years. Ben is so inspired by this that the writes everything down. This is the story he has been waiting for. This is going to be his best selling novel that gets him noticed. Life happens while the two are apart, yet they continue to meet every year on the same day. As the years go on, Fallon starts to wonder how truthful Ben is being. Is he too good to be true or is this all for the sake of his debut novel?
The characters themselves were interesting, but together they were not. I liked Fallon and reading about her past. She lost her mother in a fire when she was young. Her father had a TV show many years before and he is still living in those glory days. He thinks everyone should know him and Fallon should be grateful to have such a famous father. Insert eye roll here. He was such a jerk that I loved to hate him. He didn’t have a lot of redeeming qualities. Fallon just wanted to make a name for herself and I cannot blame her for that. Ben wanted to be a writer but was waiting for the inspiration to hit him. I don’t feel they really grew and developed as the years went on. They both still felt very teenager at the end of the story.
This was a rather unique concept for a story but it just did not do it for me. I don’t know if the long breaks in time ruined the pacing for me or what. It felt like large chunks of time were missing and the reader was left to fill in the gaps. These two characters are supposed to be love interests yet they continued to live on opposite sides of the US. Plus so much time takes place in between meet ups. It felt like Ben and Fallon never communicated during those gaps of time. You want me to believe these two star crossed lovers that never or rarely talked during the year picked right back up where they left off a year before? I cannot believe that. It felt forced and awkward. There is so much miscommunication between the two that it is just maddening how they both don’t strive to learn the truth before making a decision. That was so frustrating. Stop being so immature! Talk to one another!
There is supposed to be a big plot twist revealed at the end of the story but it didn’t feel original to me. I was not shocked when I read it. It felt… too predictable. I wish CoHo had tried a wee bit more to tie everything together. Nothing about this story really stood out to me. Two immature people who want to be with each other but instead have a promise to meet up on the same day every year. Uh… sure. They both lead lives away from each other. Maybe they should have just stayed on separate sides of the US or tired to be friends before forcing the romance. Or, maybe they should have communicated during the time they were apart. So much can happen in a year.
I had high hopes for this CoHo book but it didn’t work for me. I gave it every opportunity but I had too many problems with it. I’m not sorry I read it because I marked it off of my TBR, but it just did not stand out in my mind. I wanted more from this story.