Colleen Hoover ★★/★
#1 New York Times bestselling author
You'll never be able to find yourself if you're lost in someone else.
I have conflicted feelings about Colleen Hoover's novels. While picking up November 9, I thought: This could either go well (like her novel It Ends With Us) or not (every other novel I've tried from her). November 9 fell into middle ground.
1. Poorly Executed
While I enjoyed the plot, two individuals falling in love and deciding to meet up on the same day for five years and yet living separate lives for the rest of the year, I found it poorly executed. I was excited to see character development, especially in the protagonist Fallon, and interesting peeks of both protagonists' lives, but I felt that both areas fell short. Rather than presenting the changes and results of each new year, we are introduced to the same desperate and unchanging teenagers each chapter.
Also, the characters of this novel are bland. I could've easily swapped any character with someone else from her other novels and it would not have made a difference. I craved more diversity and depth to her characters, which made the dialect and character dynamics irrelevant and boring.
2. Unrealistic and disappointing
While reading, I was put off by the presentation of flawless characters, such as Fallon's love interest, Ben. Not only did I find Ben's characterisation as tacky, illustrated by his inability to do wrong, I quickly discovered how truly helpless and static he is. Both Fallon and Ben lead unchanging lives without any clear determination and pursuits in life and the only signs of drive and motivation sparked when the two characters wound up together. This desperation made my eyes roll several times and I found myself disappointed in the lack of character development.
The reason my star-rating jumped to 2.5 stars is due to the suspense of the novel and my curiosity to discover how Fallon's and Ben's story would conclude. The concept of love that meets only once a year is intriguing and adds suspense as each year brings new potential changes and possibilities to their relationship.
All in all, I wouldn't read it again, but I don't regret reading it.