November 9: A Novel
I read it (*squeeee*!!) and I’m here to tell you, you’re in for a treat!! It’s a totally unique way to tell a sweet love story. In true Colleen Hoover fashion, this one has all of her infamous feels (whether you’re giggling with glee at how clever her characters are, or wanting to throw your book in fury ’cause they can be so darn thick-headed sometimes!! 😉 ). The dialogue, the fantastic character introspection, POV’s from both characters (and yet you have no clue what’s gonna happen even though you know what they’re both thinking), everything that’s signature to this author is here.
And best of all? Not one, but TWO gasp-worthy surprise reveals.
Oh yes!! I was quite delighted. In fact the first twist was the one I thought was gonna be the big *thing* (my eyes bugged out of my head in sheer agony-tinged delight), ’cause I knew *this* was gonna throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing. And you know me, I love the book drama, but by the time twist #2 came about (P.S. I didn’t see it coming either), the whole story… pretty much comes full circle.
So what’s it about?
Eighteen year old Fallon is an ex-teen actress who’s career came to a screeching halt after a home fire scarred her face (and body) badly. She has an estranged relationship with her famous, emotionally distant, career oriented father, but is extremely close to her down-to-earth, wise and very loving mother. Her mother gives her an incredibly insightful bit of advice.
“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”
My mother isn’t famous. She doesn’t have an incredible career. She isn’t even married to the love of her life. But there’s one things she’s always been…
And Fallon is determined to live by it. So when her world suddenly changes for just a bit, when a gorgeous (but kind of train-wreck) of a guy looks at her,
I don’t usually notice people, considering they do everything in their power to avoid eye contact with me. However this guy’s eyes are intense, curious and staring straight at me.
TRULY looks at her, past her scars, and cleverly integrates himself into her life (I’d let you read that part on your own, but I can’t resist quoting this genius “rescue-attempt” scene):
I stiffen beneath the guy’s arm when I feel his lips press against the side of my head. “Damn L.A. traffic,” he mutters.
Random Dude just put his lips in my hair.
The guy reaches across the table for my father’s hand. “I’m Ben,” he says. “Benton James Kessler. Your daughter’s boyfriend.”
Your daughter’s… what?
My father returns the handshake. I’m pretty sure my mouth is hanging open, so I immediately camp it shut. I don’t want my father to know I have no idea who the guy is. I also don’t want this Benton guy to think my jaw is touching the floor because I like his attention. I’m only looking at him like this because… well… because he’s obviously a lunatic.
He releases my father’s hand and settles against the booth. He gives me a quick wink and leans toward me, bringing his mouth close enough to my ear to warrant being punched.
“Just go with it,” he whispers.
He pulls back smiling.
Just go with it?
What is this, his improv assignment?
Tee hee! Oh I was already crushing hard in him!!
So friendship between them is sparked, and you’d be amazed at how much it progresses in just one day. My heart was beaming as I smiled through their goofiness, and their “getting to know you” stage. P.S. He’s a writer, and she’s a total book-addict, and us readers will certainly recognize ourselves in her, as she explains our book love (and book boyfriends) to him. 😛 Like when he asked her what he least favorite thing in a book was:
He makes a face. “Insta-love?”
I nod. “When two characters meet and supposedly have this great connection right off the bat.”
He raises an eyebrow. “Fallon, I think we might already be in trouble if that’s one of you least favorite things.”
*snort* 😛 Right?!! CUTE!!!
“Did you just say sigh? Out loud? Instead of actually sighing?”
And Fallon has nothing to lose, going about her whole day with this stranger-now-friend, because she’s leaving L.A. to move to N.Y. THAT night. Of all the dumb luck. Or bad luck. But because they only have THAT day, they pretty much… bond. And you know what? Totally believable. Even their wishful thinking “deal” that he proposes (or as it she?) where they can meet again, once a year on that exact date for the next 5 years (you’ll find out why),
“What if we meet up again next year on the same day? And the year after that? We’ll do it for five years. Same date, same time, same place. We’ll pick up where we left off tonight, but only for the day. I’ll make sure you’re following through with your auditions, and I can write a book about the days we’re together.”
In that exact restaurant, is whimsical, sure, but why not, right? This could work! Plus, he’s gonna write their story!! *sigh*
And so this is the tale of a girl’s life, and a boy’s life as they go from “young adult” to “new adult” on one day, once a year. But while the story is mostly always progressing on November 9th (for us, the reader) it’s never just “that day”, of course. But it’s that day that we learn about the course of that year.
“I think the fact that we’ll continue living our lives is what makes this idea so great. We’ll both get to experience life like we’re supposed to at this age, but we get to be with each other once a year. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Quite ingenious, if you ask me. How can that possibly work? And yet I was I was intrigued. I was imagining all sorts of stuff.
Mind you, I did struggle with the first half/middle of book, as the “how” of it develops. Oh I found it pretty brilliant for sure, at least for the first meeting and then meeting #2 a year later. I was SO in. But as the story progresses, my “just go with it” mode crumbled, and I was, at times, incensed at the rules of their friendship. I just stopped believing it. There was some eye-rolling and huffing and puffing on my part. Grumbling and maybe a little cursing… and some name-calling from me (erm… I won’t share my notes with you. *blush*) What?!! I was exasperated!!! I was dubious.
I mean, maybe there are people out there that are so genuinely tenacious and unconventional that they could actually sustain this kind of quirky friendship, despite all odds. Because lemme tell you in real life? I have a hard time believing this wouldn’t have totally fallen apart by meeting #3. Just sayin’ 😉 And probably sooner.
But this is book fiction, right? It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that something like this CAN happen, and even if it’s highly unlikely, it sure is a fun escape!
And anyway, the minute surprise reveal #1 hit my screen, and my jaw dropped, and my heart sped up, I was thrilled (my notes here: “I accept this twist.”) <— LOL!! I suppose the adrenaline of that moment flooded my skeptical book-heart, and my “just go with it” kicked right back in and mostly held on, the rest of the way.
And by reveal #2, the depth of emotion and “reason” of it all, that I have grown accustomed to with this author’s brand of story-telling, radiated through.
Although I still have a few skeptical moments here and there (and a few questions unanswered) but that’s just my reality-side kicking in, and for a sweet story like this, my recommendation to you is… just go with it. It’s darn good!
P.S. Thank you to the publisher for sending me this review copy!!
P.P.S. The publisher has a “galley” version of this book (a rare, uncorrected, not-for-sale proof) to give away to a reader on my blog!! Want it?
CONTEST WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED (now closed) How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment here letting me know your favorite angsty moment in any of Colleen Hoovers’ books (try to keep it spoiler free), AND”LIKE” Colleeen’s Facebook page, Atria Indies Facebook Page and my Facebook page… and by 10pm EST, Sunday November 1st 2015, I will randomly select ONE winner for the “galley” copy. And just for fun, I would love it if you wanted to tweet about the book or share/post the giveaway or this review on Instagram/Facebook. The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond with a mailing address, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance. This book will be sent to the winners directly by the publisher. Open to US only however all are welcome to comment!
GIVEAWAY – 12-20-19!!!
I’m giving away a print copy (my review copy) of “November 9: A Novel”!!!! —>
Just comment below to enter (and better yet – let me know what your absolute favorite book of 2019 is, and why it’s your favorite) and by Sunday, December 22nd 2019 – I will randomly select one lucky commenter to win it!). 🙂
I’ll contact the winner by email, and the winner will have 48hrs to get back to me with a mailing address (if not, I’ll choose another commenter to win it).
OPEN TO U.S. (although everyone is welcome to comment!!)