First published in 2015
Image from Goodreads
The Short Of It:
I liked the unique premise of this twentysomethings romance novel and the writing was pretty good. Worth a read.
The Long Of It:
This was my second book by popular "new adult" author Colleen Hoover and I was impressed enough that I'll probably check out more of her work when I'm in the mood for an easy read.
"Ugly Love," the first book of Hoover's I read, was just ok -- a little cliched, I thought -- but "November 9" benefited from a more original plotline and characters who were easy to like.
At 16, Fallon's burgeoning acting career was destroyed when she was severely burned in a fire and left terribly scarred on her entire left side. Her self-esteem is utterly shattered right along with her career when, at 18, a chance encounter with Benton Kessler changes her life, and Ben's, in so many ways.
The date is November 9th, the anniversary of the fire that scarred Fallon so badly. Benton drops into Fallon's life totally unexpectedly -- and on the same day that she's taking a flight to New York City in hopes of a fresh start. They only have a few hours to spend together, but the spark between them is undeniable, intense, and deeply personal. Benton is the first person to really look at Fallon, much less make her feel beautiful, since the fire.
Rather than exchange information or vow to keep in touch, they agree to live life, date, and pursue their dreams for a year, then reconnect at the restaurant where they met at a specified time on November 9th of the following year -- and every November 9th for five years. If they're still feeling that insane connection at age 23, after five years of growing, changing and meeting other people, they can pursue a real relationship.
Neither thinks the other will show up that first November 9th -- but they both do -- and the connection is still there, instantaneous, irrevocable and intense as ever. But they've got a lot of living to do over the next four years -- and it turns out that Ben the Writer and Fallon the Transient have not been completely honest with each other. Can their one-day-a-year relationship survive all the joys and challenges life throws their way while they're apart -- not to mention the secrets that threaten to destroy everything?
I really liked the clever premise Hoover created of having our characters only meet one day a year, with no contact otherwise. Realistic? Maybe not. Fun to read about? Definitely! Hoover is a good writer, and "November 9" will make you smile, swoon and even turn pages in suspense. Despite the slightly too-hipsterish names, I felt connected to both our characters and I was cheering for their unconventional romance to succeed.
Readers will appreciate the bookish references, and I was pleased that one of my favorite bands (X Ambassadors) got a mention. Hoover's book is current, fun and easy to read, and I recommend "November 9" next time you want a light-ish, quick romantic page-turner.