Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: Losing Hope

Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2)
Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
(Hopeless #2)
July 8, 2013
Atria Books
336 pages
Genre: New Adult
Contains: Mature language, sexual situations, tragic events
Source: NetGalley for honest review
(but I did preorder the paperback)
Book Blurb:
In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

My Review:

I realize that retellings from an alternate POV are not for everyone. I, however, am one of those people who loves a good retelling that gives me not only a new perspective, but also new content. Cutting and pasting scenes and making minor changes is not a retelling for me. Give me something I didn't know, offer me new emotions, provide a new perspective, and make me fall for the characters all over again and I'm yours. Fortunately for me Colleen Hoover did just that!

I purposely did not reread Hopeless before Losing Hope. I'm very glad I didn't. While I was tempted a couple of times to pull out my Hopeless copy and do a side-by-side comparison of a couple of scenes, I decided not to. But that wasn't because I thought it was just a copy-cat scene; it was because the scene actually felt different. But to me that was a good thing, because the scene should feel different because it was from Holder's POV, not Sky's. So I kept on reading and kept on loving this story.

I also wanted to see if this would be a book you could read before Hopeless instead of afterwards. While technically you could do it, as there is enough information and story to make it have its own story, I still wouldn't suggest it. What I loved about reading Hopeless was the mystery element of trying to figure out Holder's deal and Sky's past. If you've never read Hopeless, you still get the mystery element of Sky's past, but not Holder's, and I feel like the impact would be so much greater if you read Hopeless first. So that is my opinion: read Hopeless first.

What's new in Losing Hope that's not in Hopeless, you ask? Holder! Lots and lot of Holder! He is such a fantastic character, with such depth to his character, but also such humor, compassion, and love that it was a real pleasure reading from his POV. One thing I really enjoyed about Holder's POV was learning more about Lesslie, his relationship with her, and how he handled all that tragedy on his own. There was so much for me to learn, and what he expressed to Less were among my favorite, and emotional, bits of the book. I teared-up twice that I recall, and both involved Holder and Less. We also get more about Holder's friendships, his family, and then, of course, his feelings about Sky. Learning why he reacted to her the way he did, what was behind his actions and motivations, what his true feelings were toward her - all of that I loved and gobbled up. Having Sky's feelings in the back of my head from Hopeless, and then gaining Holder's perspective here, truly rounded out this relationship for me. Holder and Sky are truly a beautiful couple inside and out.

Was there anything I didn't like? Honestly, not much. I did miss a couple of secondary characters at the end, and wanted to know more about them, but I realize that this wasn't their story, so I wasn't overly disappointed. Beyond that I have no complaints except, like a greedy child on Halloween who wants to continue to trick-or-treat despite my overflowing bag of candy, I just want more.

Bottomline: I loved this retelling from Holder's POV and fell in love with these characters and their heart-breaking but heart-lifting story all over again. Thank you, Colleen Hoover, for giving us more Holder and making this story come alive even more than it already was.



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