So, this is how CoHo book adventures usually begin for us. One week before release date, we start the hunt. Dozens of Barnes and Nobles and Books-A-Millions spanning from the Georgia/North Carolina border to Atlanta are called to find out if by chance they’ve received an early shipment of Colleen Hoover’s newest release because let’s face it, we just.. we can’t wait any longer than necessary. Lots of pleasantries, and not so pleasantries (we’re looking at you BAM stores) are exchanged in the excitement of the possibility of getting our greedy little hands on a CoHo book early.
Once it has been acquired, UBC does what we do best and then this happens:
THEN WE READ! And Beth waits……and waits… and waits…. for Ashley to be done.
Then we write our review:
One of my favorite writing elements of any Colleen Hoover book is that I always walk away with SOMETHING. Usually it’s a lesson learned, or re-learned. After finishing November 9, did this seem to be the case with you as well?
It never fails that after reading anything by CoHo there’s this part of me (sometimes big, sometimes small) that just comes out…changed. I really love that about her writing. When I can go into a book as one person and come out better; how do you even attempt to really put that in words? I had this idea of who everyone was and where their path in life was going to lead them and she sideswipes me at the end with a total change of events and it makes me realize everything is not always as it seems. Another re-occurring theme she seems to follow with her writing is the ability to teach the reader to QUESTION EVERYTHING. This was very prevalent in Slammed and it seems to continue with each new release. I love the constant reminder as it’s always well timed and personally needed.
I absolutely start a Colleen Hoover novel as one person and end up transformed in one way or another by the end. It’s one of my favorite parts of the anticipation and buildup to reading one of her books – knowing that somewhere along the way I will end up emotionally blindsided and forced to reconsider my viewpoint or position. She infuses even the smallest of sentences with so much meaning that I often find myself re-reading as I go along to try to soak everything up. November 9 was no exception and I feel like I’m still trying to process how it has affected me. Her stories are ones that take me a long time to untangle from after I’ve finished reading.
Do you feel like there was anything lacking within the story or anything you wish you could have read differently?
I’m a big, big fan of Hoover’s side characters. In fact, a lot of times they end up being some of my absolute favorite. While they definitely were present during N9, I felt they lacked a little more than usual. And I get why, with the structure of the story it makes sense that character development would take on a different role in this book, but I just really missed a Kiersten, Warren or Cap.
I won’t go into details so as not to spoil anything, but I would have liked to have had a little more at the end. Although it was an incredibly satisfying conclusion, I felt like it wrapped up pretty quickly. It’s like I was missing the cherry on top of the incredibly delicious ice cream sundae I had just consumed.
There are so many emotional moments within November 9. Which one gave you the most feels?
There’s a pivotal scene in the book for me where the two main characters, Benton and Fallon, share a moment that is so sweet it brought me to tears. It creates a connection between them that changes the entire dynamic of their relationship for me. And I love the way she intertwines humor in the seriousness of situations because when reading her literature, frankly, you need it. The heaviness of her books are always a welcomed struggle but the way she intergrades a little silliness into the scene breaks up the weight of the issue to where you can push through.
For me, the heaviest parts of the books were the endings of the November 9th. Per Fallon and Ben’s agreement, I knew the separations were coming but each one just felt devastating to me and for different reasons each time. If you’ve read Hopeless, then you know about chapter breaks and will understand what I mean when I say that I required a lot of those while reading November 9.
As the plot revolves around a book that’s being written within the actual book, there are lots of literary references. For avid readers, this adds a special layer to the story. Which was your favorite reference?
There’s a lot of angst centered around the “insta love” issue we find prevalent in a ton of today’s best sellers. This plot was my favorite. Because love that is passionate, doesn’t have a time line and she perfectly depicts this within the lines of the story while the Ben and Fallon do everything they can to fight it. But, is it really insta love with them? There’s more to the story. Also, fade to black.
I have two that I loved: the exchange between Ben and Fallon when he references the size of his TBR and Ben’s obsession with alpha males.
On a scale of one to ten, what is the likelihood that Colleen Hoover sold her soul to the devil in order to become the word sorceress she is today?
If she wasn’t a dang fine human being, I would bet Vegas odds on a 10. Easy Money.
To quote Benton James Kessler, “it’s a twelve.”
We buddy read the majority of the books we review jointly. What this usually means is that Beth will finish in a day or two while Ashley takes about a week. One of our favorite things to do is discuss as we are reading, which often prompts some amusing exchanges. Below are a few of our favorites from our time reading November 9:
Then Beth sends messages to Ashley like this to peer pressure her into reading faster:
And in between reading there’s some form of blog interaction to get the masses ready for the destruction their heart is going to feel and be repaired from by Colleen’s word sorcery and we feel it’s our duty, as bloggers, to warn said folks so we tweet.
AND COHO RETWEETED US and that convo went like this:
I went into November 9 totally blind. I didn’t read the synopsis. I completely shied away from teasers and snippets I saw posted and as always the hunt for the paperback began a week in advance. This might be one of my favorite life past times: hunting down Hoover books early in bookstores. And with every passing book, her writing never ceases to amaze me. I always have to throw in “literary genius” or “Jane Austen of our generation” during my reviews because those continue to be truths for me about Colleen Hoover’s writing. Each time a new book comes out, I want to present it to the world, Lion King style, loud music in the background pointed to the sky for everyone to know and acknowledge and to realize THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!!!! Every single word she has written has been life altering or life changing for me personally in some way that I want the whole world to be able to experience such talent and adventure. I always walk away with a sense of “good”. And even though her books consistently give me a gamut of emotion, it’s welcomed and loved dearly and in a way I don’t even have words to explain. You just have to read the book to understand it. Being a CoHo reader gives each of us a bond, something no other author has really done for me in the past and I love every second of the heartbreak, tears and joy that comes from reading her work. November 9 is no different. In fact, the theme throughout the book is so compelling because as a reader we’re all intimately linked to the basis of the story: it’s a book about a book. And as always the formatting is so innovative and original you can’t help but feel invigorated after putting it down. Colleen Hoover doesn’t write cookie cutter romance, she writes stories that touch our hearts and heal our souls and continues to remind us why we read in the first place.
“It felt like the second we joined together, a tiny piece of our souls got confused and a piece of his fell into me and a piece of mine fell into him.”
“…But we do get to choose how hard we’re willing to work in order to make the best of what we’re given.”
“That’s what love is, Ben. Love is sacrifice.”
For me, reading a Colleen Hoover novel is an experience unlike any other. From the second I catch wind that a new book is in the works, the excitement begins to spark. As the blurb and cover are revealed and teasers begin to pop up, the sparks start to fan into flames. By the time I actually get my hands on the book, I’m in the midst of a full-blown inferno. There is no better feeling in the world. I open up the book and with the first sentence (because, let’s face it, nobody does opening sentences like she does) I’m completely immersed in the story. Love, angst, humor, truth all weave their way into me, changing the pattern of the fabric of my bookworm soul. And when I reach the end, even though there is always a little pang of sadness, I know that I will continue to carry these characters and their stories with me long after I’ve turned the last page. Colleen doesn’t just put words down on paper. She makes you think outside the box. She makes you feel down to the very marrow of your bones. She shakes you out of literary complacency. There’s not much of a greater gift an author can give to a reader than that. November 9 is her strongest work since Maybe Someday and guaranteed to more than satisfy both her faithful readers and newcomers alike.
“If lies were written, I would erase them
But they are spoken; etched within
With convalesced truth, I scream out my atonement
Let me repent against your skin”
::sigh:: How long to the next release? We can’t wait to do it All. Over. Again.
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Find this title and other books by Colleen Hoover here: November 9 by Colleen Hoover
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