By Olivia Schmid || Social Media Manager
I know what you’re probably thinking – how do I go from reviewing my favorite self-help books on the market to writing about Ugly Love, one of Colleen Hoover’s best-selling novels? The Gist is that sometimes self-help and self-care come in the form of breaking out of your comfort zone and trying out a new genre (or, you see enough Tik Toks raving about a particular author that you finally cave and give it a try). So this is me, Olivia Schmid, branching out and trying something new. Thanks for joining me for the ride.
I had previously read Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us, which I found disappointing considering all the talk it’s gotten, so I was hesitant to dive into another romance novel by Hoover. My mother actually raved about Ugly Love, though and sent it back to school with me. I was not disappointed this time around. I read all 322 pages in less than 48 hours. I consider this kind of a big deal, but that’s just me.
I was immediately drawn to the book the moment the two main characters met. Tate Collins, the aspiring nurse who’s come to stay with her brother, runs into Miles Archer, a pilot (hot) who lives across said brother (and works with said brother). The sexual tension is obvious between Miles and Tate, as is the case in most of Hoover’s books, and it only gets more complicated as hints are strategically dropped about Miles’ damaged and mysterious past. The reader gets flashbacks of said past throughout the novel, which only contributed to my need as the reader to know more. This need is fulfilled by the end of the novel, pushing the boundaries of a damaged man farther than I think realistically possible. But what do I know?
I heard someone say once that the male characters written by Hoover are “so obviously written by a woman”. I laughed at this but quickly started thinking the same thing. I mean, in what world do these characters live in where a woman meets a damaged man with trauma, trauma that the woman then tries to fix, and it works? And they live happily ever after, in good old Colleen Hoover fashion?
Of course Miles doesn’t want a relationship. Of course Tate is “okay” with that. Of course it ends up being more than a casual situationship. Of course they fell for each other in the most frustrating way possible. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I fell for them, too. And the elevator attendant, Cap. I loved him, too.
Many claim that Hoover’s writing style is dense; I might agree. As soon as I finished the sappy, unrealistic romance and picked up Call Me By Your Name, the well-known, coming-of-age novel expertly written by André Aciman, I immediately needed to take twice as long to comprehend the text than a “CoHo” book. While most of Hoover’s books, including Ugly Love, offer predictable plot lines told in a rather simple way, Aciman’s lyrical prose transcends what we are able to just merely read off the page; however, perhaps it’s unfair to even compare the two authors.
No matter how ugly, I did indeed love Ugly Love. It’s predictable, it’s Colleen Hoover… but I found it to be great.
Junior Olivia Schmid is the Social Media Manager. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.