Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Anyone who has read Colleen Hoover would know, she is the queen of contemporary romance. Other than It Ends with Us, which is my favorite book by her, there isn’t anything life altering. However, her books get one hooked and make great light reading. So I picked up this book as an in-between book with predictable expectations, didn’t read any reviews or a synopsis. Only once did I start reviewing it, it occurred to me that there are bigger themes in this book that were just not meant for light reading. The author could not do justice to them in the confines of few pages of a romance novel.
Fallon is a struggling actress and Ben is an aspiring writer, they meet on November 9. Their individual circumstances don’t allow for them to be together so they decide on meeting each other on the same date, same place every year with absolutely no contact in between. Sounds cheesy right? And yes that has already been done in movies. But it isn’t a simple as that, Fallon is also burn victim who has visible scars on her body. The scars from an accident alter her life and end her career. Fallon has very low self-esteem and as expected from a Hoover-hero, Ben helps bring back her self-confidence. For the first few chapters I was calling it a bluff, it seemed almost too good to be true. Until some aspects of their lives unfolded, and I came across the plot twist: Ben has a secret that connects him to Fallon and could end their relationship!
“It took four years for me to fall in love with him. It only took four pages to stop.”
Writing a short love story on a burn victim is trying to collect a storm in a teacup. I don’t know any burn victims but I have read about some acid victims – a shameful practice that has only recently become punishable in Pakistan. And there is no way anyone can take this subject lightly. So Colleen Hoover could not have written on the subject without offending a few people, which she did. A lot of reviewers on goodrreads.com did not like Ben’s character at all! The male protagonist in her books can fly either way, you either love them or hate them. I liked Ben though.
The plot does drag a little, halfway through the book I felt like shaking Fallon for chickening out of commitment. Just not something any reasonable person in today’s times would do! Hoover seemed to be just pushing the story forward unnecessarily to make it to five years.
“When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it.”
That said, the book thankfully didn’t waste space on any mundane details either, every chapter was about 9th November specifically. There was always a cliffhanger which made me anticipate what would happen the following year.
I would recommend this book to anyone who can consider it light-reading, don’t delve too much into each dialogue and scene just the general story-telling is very good. It is a specific characteristic to empathize with the character when we read, this book didn’t have that much depth. As a movie November 9 can perhaps deliver that too us. I don’t usually say this, but this is one book that would make an even better movie.
Do share your views if you have read it too, do you agree with me?