Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
HOLY MOTHER OF TEARS. That hurt. Like good hurt. For the most part.
The prologue tore my heart to pieces ’cause it was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. However, the book couldn’t make me love it.
The romance, first of all, was too easy. It was too instant, and too much all at once. When I finished, I thought about it and realized that the two only actually knew each other for about a week, max. Sure, it was a week that got split up across a longer timeline, but essentially it was a week. We actually saw more of the antagonist than the protagonist’s love interest and that annoyed me, especially since they were basically declaring their eternal love for each other by the end of the novel. Like please. No.
That being said, I LOVED the concept behind Owen’s studio. It breaks my heart that every single confession in this book is real and was submitted by actual people, who actually experienced these things, or are still experiencing these things. Yes, some of them were beautiful, lovely, and cute, but others were heartbreaking and awful to read, but at the same time, gave the book something real to hold onto. And the art was fantastic. I love Hoover’s need to put a unique spin on all her books – the was spoken word poetry, a deaf artist, journal entries of the past, etc., and now art. This concept was amazing, and I think it was awesome of Hoover to have her fans participate in this.
Auburn was a fine character. She was quite whiny at times, but overall, my feelings towards her a neutral. She didn’t bore me to tears, but at the same time, my heart didn’t fall to pieces when she told her story. Same with Owen. I couldn’t make myself care about his character, especially since much of the novel could have been solved if he had told Auburn the truth, or the police the truth. Either or would have worked really.
That being said, I really hated the antagonists in this novel. They were annoying to read, and I even wanted to punch them a couple of times based on what they said. Even then, however, Auburn never made a huge comeback for me. She was tossed to the ground so often that I wanted to kick those who tortured her, but at the same time, she was so passive about it all that she made me almost not care about the situation, thus dampening the impact of the story on me. She never fought back until the very end, and even then it was only half-way to what I had wanted.
Overall, a fantastic concept, but the overall execution left something to be desired.
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.33/5