BOOK IN REVIEW: Confess by Colleen Hoover

9:27 PM

Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 306, Paperback

Summary (via Goodreads):

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…

It's a bit difficult for me to start this book review because I don't know what I should say first. There are a lot of feeling involved in this book, and I'm not sure I can put them to words. Confess is a rollercoaster of emotions from the start to the finish.

Colleen Hoover begins the story with 15-year-old Auburn's boyfriend dying, a scene which immediately alerts the readers that this book is not gonna be fluff and sunshine. Not at all. Afterwards, the reader is taken to the current Auburn who is trying to make a living after having just finished college. Now, I thought this book would be your typical love story, maybe just a little bit sadder, but it was so much more than that. To be honest, even if the book was centered around romance, it wasn't the romance I was into—it was the raw emotion being brought out. There's just something about the pain inside the protagonists that you just know are utterly real. The writing brought out all of these perfectly despite having a simple and direct style. It shows us that emotions aren't always complex; in truth, the feelings that hit you hardest are those that every human knows of, those that are simple and basic, but still every bit as felt if not more.

Our heroine, Auburn, is not just your average protagonist. She is so incredibly strong, and she feels everything on a much deeper level than an average human, which I guess is why this book brings out so much emotion. She's someone who is mature enough to know what she wants, smart enough to know what to do, and strong enough to do what is right, all of which are qualities that make me admire her greatly. It took me a while to warm up to her because when the story opens, I just thought she was too young to feel that way, and when she found Owen, I felt like she felt too strongly about him as well. However, that's the type of person she is, and I grew to appreciate that, especially nearing the end of the book where a bunch of stuff just went down, and we get to see how her brain works in ways that make you admire her. I wish I could detail to you all this 'stuff', but I'm afraid I'd spoil everything so I'll leave it to you to read this book and get what I'm saying. 

I thought I would hate Owen when I read the first chapter that was written in his POV. He seemed a bit too forward and a bit too structured. Reading further, I got to see more of Owen's motives and his situation which makes me realize that even that structured, stiff feeling now has a meaning to it. It's not directly said in the book, but it was something that I realized practically just now while I'm recalling everything that happened. Owen is someone that has been through a lot. He knows the right thing to do, and he does it. That's something that I find admirable about his character, how he knows when he's in the wrong, he's knows when he isn't to blame, and he knows how to be selfless for the people he loves. It frustrates me that I can't say more because I have a lot of feelings that I can't properly get out, but I really don't want to spoil anything. OMG why is this so hard? (OMG, comment below if you read the book and got that). ;)

Colleen Hoover did a magnificent job of creating two unique characters that might as well be real. They aren't your typical protagonists, mainly because of their experiences and how they react to things. Although the Auburn x Owen pairing didn't bring me the feels or excite me all that much, I think they're good together. They deserve each other as well with all the hardships they've been through and all the crap they've put up with, these two incredibly nice people just need to get together and have a date or something.

With love stories nowadays, you tend to have the same people recycled over and over again. Now that sounds completely off right now, so I'll rephrase it. With love stories nowadays, authors tend to write about characters that are just the same, no matter how unique the plot may be. You could finish one love story, then crack open another romance novel, and you'd feel like you're reading about the same people, just with different names. That's what I love about this book. I think the characters are very human, and being human is what makes them different. They're not unbelievably odd because that's not what you need when you want to have realistic characters, you just have to have them be human. It's hard to explain, but I think you would be able to understand my point.

I think I've raved too much at this point, so I'll bring into light a couple of things that I do have complaints about. All of these are mostly at the ending, honestly. For such a cool and imaginative concept, the resolution was a bit cliché, and everything seemed to fit in too perfectly. I guess you could look at it two ways: you could say it was fate, or you could say it was pushing it. Either way, it seems a bit too perfect to have everything tied up that neatly, especially with all the ups and downs 
leading up to it. I'm a bit grateful that it had that ending because I'm not sure my heart could take it, but I think I'd be happier with a more painful and more impactful ending since they gave me pain for nine-tenths of the book, why not just ultimately leave me a mangled, crying mess? I mean, if you're gonna write a book like this, it would fit the aesthetic better to have a sort-of messy ending, if you get what I mean. I liked the plot, the execution, the art, and the tiny confessions fitted here and there, but I think we could squeeze a bit more from the ending, rough up the perfectly tied bow that locks the whole story into place.

All in all, I really liked this book. Although it's a bit heavy, it's easy to read, and I would recommend it to people who are interested in meaningful stories that delve into topics much deeper than romance. I will definitely be checking out more of Colleen's work though. Tell me what you think of this book! If you have any book recommendations, leave a comment down below, as well!

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Kimi has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.