November 9 by Colleen Hoover Review: Hey Soulmate…Let’s Only Meet Once A Year

November 19, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Books, Reviews

November 9 by Colleen Hoover Review: Hey Soulmate…Let’s Only Meet Once A YearNovember 9 by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on November 10th, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Do you believe in the concept of soulmates? Whether you do or you don’t makes it crucial for your enjoyment of this book.

It starts off fairly innocently, as Fallon while having an unpleasant lunch with her dad, meets Ben. He becomes her fake boyfriend and they  instantly hit it off, with an unusual and intense connection. For reasons I’m not entirely convinced on, they decide to meet on November 9 every year for five years, with no contact in between.

Now you’ll wonder as I wondered, why would they choose to do this for someone they’ve known for mere hours? No matter how convincingly their attraction was written, their deep connection and their past, I found it hard to believe. It’s surprising how year after year, they would be committed to meeting each other despite not knowing anything about each other except for their physical attraction.

“Because it’s easy to fall in love, Ben. The hard part comes when you want out.” 

Upon first meeting Ben, I found him a little too good to be true, as he delivers cheesy line after line to Fallon. It’s like he’s almost manipulating the situation, as he feeds Fallon, who’s insecure about her scars as a burn victim, exactly what she needs to hear. While I liked his commitment to their pact, the depth of his feelings and his loyalty to his brothers, there was something about Ben that I didn’t quite trust – and it turns out I was right.

During his first meeting with Fallon, he forces her to wear a dress that she doesn’t want to wear. She’s a burn victim and wears long sleeves to cover her scars, but even after honestly explaining to Ben why she doesn’t want to wear a revealing dress – he makes her do it anyway. She’s not entirely unwilling, but I’m like dude, if the girl says no, that means no. He also insists on saying really awkwardly uncomfortable things in front of other people, concerning her panties and her boobs, which I found more disrespectful than awkwardly charming. And the fact that Fallon always comes to him, and he doesn’t come to her. I saw two sides to his character – the perfect emotional writer, which he acts like around Fallon, and the controlling and disrespectful alpha male persona which came through his actions.

Fallon on the other hand, is the damaged girl who needs to heal herself before getting into a relationship. She goes through major character development over the course of the novel, and in 5 years, changes from the self conscious bitter girl to one who is confident and ambitious. But because of the way the novel is written, only giving us a snapshot of each year, I missed a lot of Fallon’s development and what caused her to change and grow.

“One of the things I always try to remind myself is that everyone has scars,” she says. “A lot of them even worse than mine. The only difference is that mine are visible and most people’s aren’t.”

“I don’t tell her she’s right. I don’t tell her that as beautiful as she looks on the outside, I only wish I could look like on the inside.”

Which brings me back to the one trope I have with “damaged character” books – that romance changes everything. Here it’s relied upon heavily and that didn’t quite fly with me – because the reader is told to accept that these two characters have pulled themselves out of the depth of their personal hells because they’ve met each other. And they don’t even really know each other! Yet they’re blindly committed to this cute idea they made when they were 18. It just doesn’t make sense.

Colleen Hoover’s writing is addictive and filled with emotion, but another issue I had with November 9 is that it heavily features cheesy romance tropes. Damaged characters, a hidden past, and secrets being kept on both sides. The cheesiness, insta-love, and manufactured romantic drama also made it feel inauthentic. Everything seems to be resolved a little too easily, particularly since you can just skip a proper resolution by just going to the next year.

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I enjoyed the concept of having a couple meet once per year in November 9, however much of how the novel was structured year by year was it’s downfall for me. I found Ben to be too unrealistic, Fallon’s development was skipped over, and it relied too heavily on romantic tropes and cheesy lines to deliver an impact. The big twist of the end is also featured in other NA books that I’ve read before, which was disappointing and predictable to say in the least. Sadly, I feel like the magic’s starting to wear off.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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I wonder why this was released on November 10?

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me this book for review.

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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45 responses to “November 9 by Colleen Hoover Review: Hey Soulmate…Let’s Only Meet Once A Year

  1. LOL, Jeann. I wondered the exact same thing about the release date. Why not make a book called November 9 release on NOVEMBER 9? That was so freaking weird.

    Ugh, I'm so sad you didn't like this one. It sounds kind of weird in some ways. I think the most annoying aspects for me would be Ben and his two faced-ness, and the lack of character development. I think the whole "we only meet once a year thing" probably was a big issue in terms of development, especially if you didn't read about the characters outside of that day :/ And coercing a girl into doing something she's not keen on is not okay.

    I'm really unsure of whether or not I will try Colleen Hoover. Her first few books seemed to get a lot of live, but it looks like that's dying down for her later ones.

    Lovely review <3
    My recent post Five Reasons To: Watch Studio Ghibli

  2. nereyda1003

    This was supposed to be released last year, which would have made November 9 a Tuesday… I think they should have just changed the date to November 10.

    I'm so glad you had the same issues I did! This book had SO much potential, but it got lost among all the tropes and shock factor twists…

    • I know right, it just seems so bizarre that they missed an opportunity there! Yeah, it was interesting to hear that we had a similar opinion <3 It just seems like she's so overhyped at the moment and focusing on quantity instead of quality.

  3. Is it bad that I came here hoping you didn't like this? Yeah, that's bad, sorry. But here's why: I don't think I can wrap my head around this concept AT. ALL. And if you'd said it was good, I may have forced myself to try 😉 But I don't get it! Who would agree to this nonsense?! If I actually loved someone… why would I only talk to them once a year? I would not. And this Ben guy sounds like he needs a punch in the face, stat. I assume that it was probably the "trying to pull her out of her shell" trope (in regards to the dress thing) but to me, it just says "Ben's a pompous ass".

    The November 10 release is a HUGE fail. Also, I hate the word panties, Ben just lost any bit of redemption he had, which admittedly wasn't much. I will be passing on this one for sure.
    My recent post This Week At Midnight (88)

    • I'm glad I met your expectations Shannon! I think I'm just a skeptic when it comes to convenient romances like this one. Yeah…it just made no sense whatsoever and I think a few of us would be lining up to punch him. It really does!

  4. This sounds like…such an unnecessary plot hahaha. AND I JUST NOTICED CAIT'S COMMENT, why did they not release this on november 9th? They should have just changed everything to November 10th. All you have to do is do control+find and replace.

    Other than the weird plot, this doesn't sound good at all. I don't like it when romance fixes everything, because it doesn't in real life. So yeah, it doesn't sound like a book I would read at all. I guess I will have to start with a different CoHo book!
    My recent post Discovering A New Superhero To Love

    • I know, I just wonder why they missed that opportunity lol? Oh man, yeah the romance was just too unbelievable for me. I liked Maybe Someday, Val!

  5. I know, that's why she usually adds some sort of twist to make it interesting. It is pretty far reaching which I struggled with throughout! Thanks Josie!

  6. Ugh, Ben sounds horrible!! So, so, so manipulative and I don't understand the whole November 9 meeting either. As if you would be that enamoured by someone to only meet once a year.

    Probably not a book for me, thanks for the honest review lovely! xx

    • I know right? Like it was weird because he was painted to be all amazing like but he really isn't! I really didn't understand the whole point of it. Thanks Joy!

  7. THANK YOU FOR THIS WARNING REVIEW. I will not be touching this book, even with a 10-foot pole. Seriously, it has all the things I dislike in romance and just the absolute unbelievability of it from the beginning puts me off. :'D I can just feel my anger forming if I read this book!

    • Yeah, that's a weird definition of soulmate right? Meeting once a year? If you meet that person you'd never want to let go!

  8. Kara Terzis

    They… they released it on Nov. 10!? They seriously missed an opportunity there! Haha. Oh, I'm sorry you didn't like this one more. I'm definitely going to give it a chance–but I think I'll keep my expectations low. I LOVED Ugly Love, so maybe I'll like this one. 🙂 Lovely review!
    My recent post NaNoWriMo Update: Week Two + Stacking the Shelves

    • I know right, I couldn't believe it when I saw that lol! Ohhh if you loved Ugly Love, you definitely might enjoy this one Kara!

  9. Interesting. I loved Maybe Someday, but pretty much hated Ugly Love and I have to confess I've been kind of scared to read another Hoover book since then (and I didn't mean the pun there, but I haven't read Confess, so …) I don't know why, but I just have a bad feeling about where these books are headed. I still plan to read them, I think – hope I like this one better than you did!
    My recent post How to Keep Yourself Motivated and Organized for Reading Challenges

    • Man, that's so disappointing Nicole! Yeah, I'm kind of seeing quantity over quality at this stage 🙁 it's kind of sad but true. I hope you like this one more Nicole!

  10. nightowlbook

    I am reading this, did not get far yet. I am just confused of the whole point. Why do they have to wait till 23? like oh yeah, I will suddenly know who I am at 23, thats humm a little unrealistic I guess. Most people continue to grow past that and honestly many do not know who they are until their late 20's early 30s and some even question themselves at 40 years old. So…. yeah…. you found someone you can stomach, but yea.. lol
    My recent post Tasty Book Tours: No Groom at the Inn by Megan Frampton

    • Yeah, the whole waiting til they were 23 and then everything magically happens for you then was just not something believable at all.

  11. Everyone is making Ben seem like this romantic sap, but he sounds like an ass from what you and Nereyda said about him. She showed me some quotes from the book and OMG they were a cheese-fest. People don't say shit like that IRL. And I'm SICK and TIRED of all these useless, repetitive NA tropes. Confess wasn't the greatest book for me either. I'm beginning to think the author values quantity over quality. Whatever it is though, I feel like she needs to go back to her roots and maybe work longer on books because the quality has dramatically decreased. She can definitely write, so she just needs time I think. Not to mention, it looks like she took some of the twists and storylines from other books, which is shitty imo, because she is getting away with it since she's so big. Anyway,s, sorry for the long rant, Jeann!
    I'm sorry this was a disappointment for you!
    My recent post Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

    • YES!!! I'm the same Nick, and god knows you read much more NA than I do! I wasn't a fan of Confess either. I kind of agree with you Nick, she definitely seems to be producing lots of books through quantity rather than quality.

  12. danielleisbusyreading

    It's been so long since I've read a CoHo book (the Losing Hope era). She's just not an author I like anymore. I hate what she does with her stories. :/ And Ben does NOT sound like a winner at all, nor does the romance seem believable if they're only meeting once every year.

    Great review, girl. Sorry it didn't work for you. :/

  13. lekeishathebooknerd

    Yours is the first review that I've read who didn't enjoy this book. It's refreshing to get a different opinion! I kind pf believe in love at first sight, so I'm not sure if this will be enough to make me believe this story. For one, the male sounds a little like a douche. I hate those types of love interests in books. Two, a damaged female character is sometimes overly done and I have a hard time sympathizing. Still, I need to read this one to see how it goes. Stay tuned…. BTW, November 10th?!!! I'm laughing so hard right now because I needed this one. Thanks for sharing!
    My recent post Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout #LuxReadalong @alexperc92 @KeiondaLewis

  14. Aww no… I don't think I can read this book. It would frustrate me and anger me too much. Ben seems like a really pushy and disrespectful character, disguised as a Prince Charming, and those are probably the characters that I dislike the most. We definitely need to see more love interests who are just nice, even if they might be carrying some sort of burden (eg. Jase from My Life Next Door). What's wrong with having scars but being the ultimate good person too? Considering that November 9 is a book about romance, I don't think I can make it through while hating one half of the relationship.

    • He really made me angry, but it was confusing because he was painted like such a good guy, but he wasn't! He was terrible, and I love the way you put the false Prince Charming.

    • Oh man, it was definitely meta! Like they kept on talking about the insta-love, which it actually was, but there was no attempt to define it more? Ah wells! Thanks Lexxie!

  15. Grace @ RebelMommyBB

    So I loved this one but agree with a lot of what you said still. I just enjoyed a lot of it anyways – like the cheesiness. What I agree brought it down for me was Ben and the boob comments. They were just weird and skeevy at points. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more! Great review!
    My recent post How I Keep Organized Blogging

  16. Bieke (Nelly B.)

    It truly breaks my heart to say this, but I'm not going to read this one. I didn't like Confess all that much and I'm just tired of reading books that are all basically the same. I used to devour these books. Colleen Hoover, Katie McGarry, J. Lynn, K.A. Tucker,… But all their books start to feel the same and it bores me to tears. I don't find enjoyment in it anymore. 🙁
    My recent post {Bieke Reviews} Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

  17. Omg released on Nov 10??!? THEY MESSED THAT UP. XD hehe. Aaanyway….I will not be reading this for sure. Insta-love is an insta-turn off for me…aaaand I didn't love Maybe Someday, so I think I probably won't risk another by this author. I am kind of scared by the whole forcing-the-girl-to-wear-a-dress-she-doesn't-want-to-wear. That's immensely scary…

    • I know right? I was like whyyyyy lol! Oh man, it was just annoying because they kept on pointing out the insta-love! And there kind of wasn't an explanation for it. Yeah…the guy was really disrespectful :/