Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Released: November 10, 2015
Favorite quote: “Sometimes at night, I’ll rewrite conversations I had during the day, but I’ll change them up to reflect everything I wish I could have said in the moment. So I just want you to know that tonight when I write this conversation down on paper, I’ll say something really heroic and it’ll make you feel really good about your life.”
November 9 was a spur of the moment amazon purchase. I bought it used because I’d never read anything by Colleen Hoover and wasn’t sure if I’d like her, so why spend the extra money? Because it was mid-October when I placed the order, I was hoping to read it on November 9th. It arrived a few days after I placed the order; I read it a few days after I got it.
It wasn’t that I picked it up that night with any intention of finishing it. Honestly, I just wanted to open it and read the first two or three chapters to see if I liked Hoover’s writing style at all. Before the first chapter was even finished, I was hooked. I’d started it at about 10:30 pm and didn’t put the book down until 3:30 am a few hours later after I’d finished. It was amazing.
Colleen Hoover’s characters dragged me in without leaving me any choice in the matter. Ben and Fallon are absolutely perfect. As I’ve said with every other reader reaction, I’ll try to avoid spoilers. For the most part. This, however, is a bit different from a spoiler so I don’t feel bad saying this: Hoover’s technique of tying together characters in unexpected ways had be sitting at the edge of my seat (or more accurately, bed) the entire last few chapters of the novel. From how she connected everything to how she explained it all, it was amazing. I was enthralled.
So I’m singing her praises a bit. Oh well. Honestly, I thought the writing was simple but thorough. Do you know how hard that is to write? I don’t because I’ve never been able to pull it off. Her writing style is reflected in Ben’s. At first, I really hadn’t liked it because of the word choice and lack of sentence variation that I like reading in first person point of view stories, but it worked. It worked with the characters and story that she created because it only intensified the atmosphere. Again, maybe I’m just singing her praises to the Heavens, but I found purpose in everything that she wrote. It wasn’t muddled by the unnecessary and wordy; it was direct and meaningful. No, usually I don’t go for that. In fact, that was one of the things that I don’t exactly care for about Jenny Han’s novels, but it felt right in November 9.
Barely touching on this might be either a good idea or a bad idea but it’s an idea all the same: Hoover’s portrayal of self-esteem and body issues felt real and raw. It was oddly refreshing to have a main character with an irreversible surface “problem” that stemmed from something more deeply-rooted than teenage insecurity. I’m by no means trying to make light of any insecurities, but the concept of discomfort in one’s own body has been written time and time again. This was one of the first that had a more unique perspective of it than I was used to. Was it more warranted because it was physical damage done to a body that Fallon had once been comfortable with? I think that’s for the reader to decide. Either way, Hoover created characters that are contrasting and relatable.
November 9 may be one of the few novels that I’m willing to reread in the future. Why? Because, to me, it was that great of a read. (Also, it helps that it’s quick read since they’re easier to reread without throwing off too much of a reading schedule, but let’s pretend like that isn’t a factor.) I definitely recommend November 9 to anyone who loves romance (teenage, older, quick, or slow), drama, and concepts such as grief and body image in novels.