This review originally published on: www.examiner.com
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover is a rare story that stays with you long after you finish reading. When I read Hopeless I was just coming off of reading Ms. Hoover's Slammed and Point of Retreat . I expected a similar formula. A bit of angst, tension, maybe a little bit of tears mixed in and wrapped in a beautiful bundle of romance. What I wasn't expecting was a beautifully written, heartfelt story of a horrible childhood trauma and how incredibly difficult coping with something so horrific can be. I wasn't expecting how much it would affect me. Honestly, when I finished reading it I needed time to process what I read. I needed time with the story and the characters before I was capable of writing about it.
Hopeless is the kind of story that has a profound effect on the reader. Some can sadly relate to having been repeatedly violated as a child by someone who you trusted more than anyone. Or as in my case, can't imagine how horrible something like that can be, reading about it leaves you a bit shell shocked. Whatever the case, Hopeless will leave a lasting impression.
When the story began, I found myself so immersed in the sweet beginnings of the love story between Holder and Sky that I allowed myself to be swept away by the characters and their romance. I didn't catch the careful almost tentative way in which they explored their relationship, foreshadowing plot points that I normally would have picked up on immediately. Because of this, when the magnitude of the trauma suffered by Sky and Holder is really explored it destroyed me. I, uncharacteristically for me (at least while reading a book), cried.
As much as I understand that some readers would rather shy away from this kind of story, I can only suggest that you push your doubts and misgivings aside and read it. The story leaves the reader with the exact opposite feelings suggested by its title. Hopeless is a stand out for me, not because of the trauma depicted in its pages, but because of the underlying theme of love and survival, hope and acceptance that permeates it.
Recommended for readers 17+.