TITLE: Novemeber 9
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
SUMMARY: Fallon and Ben decide not to fall in love and meet each other every November 9th for the next five years. Goodreads Blurb
GENRE: New Adult | Fiction | Romance
WARNING: Not suitable for children.
I think that as a reader and blogger it’s okay to criticize your favorite authors when something doesn’t work for you. It brings awareness to different issues and helps everyone learn and grow from them. So let’s get started with this lengthy review.
Here’s the thing. I love Colleen Hoover and the way she writes. I love the characters she writes, and the romance she is able to create between them. I love the witty banter and jokes between the couples, the chemistry, and the drama. November 9, is not an exception to that, but I found myself disliking parts of it.
I did not like Ben, one of the main characters of the story. I didn’t mind him but there were instances that reminded me Ryle from It Ends With Us, and although this is a completely different story, these little moments were like big flashing warning signs to me. That coupled with other stupid mistakes, I couldn’t trust him and from that moment on I knew he was hiding something. That made it really hard for me to like him or give myself 100% into their relationship.
Other than Ben’s shadiness, I disliked how Hoover portrayed Fallon’s insecurities and how she overcame them. I don’t like stories where people are fixed by a romantic relationship. There’s a tricky line between being helped by a significant other, and being fixed by them. Because we don’t see the rest of them in their normal lives the rest of the year besides November 9th, we don’t know how much Fallon is recovering from her insecurities on her own. I like to think that she got help from various people, not just from Ben. But we don’t know and so it appears to me (at least) that Ben was the one that fixed her. So yeah…
Reading the book it felt like Hoover would say something great, something I would wholeheartedly agree with, and then take it back with another scene that contradicted the aforementioned. It was annoying and overall frustrating.
Now, that I’ve let out all the negative parts of the novel, let’s get to the parts I actually liked and loved.
Without spoiling you too much, I want to congratulate Hoover on changing my mind on a trope I once hated. I’ve seen this trope in another book and I hated it so much. But, Hoover made it work in this novel. It worked because there was actual romance and it was real unlike the book I read.
I also loved the way Hoover would occasionally break out of the fourth wall and talk to us. I enjoy it when authors talk about writing in their books because it’s a look into their process. Hoover does this with “Ben the Writer” and I loved it. She talks about how similar and dissimilar the premise of this book is compared to One Day and Sleepless in Seattle (both of which I recommend). There’s a couple more moments she does this and I love it.
The absolute best thing about this novel is the parts where Hoover brings back some characters from one of her previous novels. I’m not going to say who or which book, but guys… I was so freaking excited. So excited I had to put the book down.
So while I loved CERTAIN parts of the story, the bad parts outweighed the good parts. I also finished the book in three days (which is long for me reading a CoHo book, but also very fast at the same time). Because of those two things, I’m giving the book 3/5 rating.
I WARNED YOU
The following will be spoilery details and explanations about why the book didn’t work for me.
At the end of the story, Ben asks Fallon’s forgiveness for starting the fire. However, Fallon tells him she has nothing to pardon. I find this so incredibly and insanely problematic! Why? Because people shouldn’t be given a way out for bad behavior just because they had a bad day. We don’t forgive murderers for having a bad day, and Ben shouldn’t either. Fallon dismissing it angered me because the forgiveness he was looking for is on her, she was the victim. It almost killed her, her career ruined, and her relationship to her dad was damaged, all because of a fire Ben caused. I wouldn’t even mind it if she got back together, but at least say the words, “I forgive you.”
I mentioned that Ben was stupid. The fire was one of the stupid things I didn’t like. Him dating Jordyn and being a father figure to her baby, was the 2nd and 3rd stupid things I disliked. I know their circumstance was difficult and unique to their situation, but couldn’t they have waited a couple of years before deciding to date? It felt too soon, and I didn’t see it happen in an organic way. While I’m perfectly fine with him being a father figure to the baby, I don’t agree that he should give himself that name. At least, wait for the baby to grow up and make that decision for himself. Maybe, I’m afraid the kid will grow up thinking Ben is his father when he really isn’t.
Can you see my frustration? Am I wrong? Is it just me? Am I the only one seeing this or reading it this way? Did it bother anyone else? Please let me know.