I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
November 9 is romance at it’s best. The feels, the words. THE WORDS. This was certainly one of my favorite Colleen Hoover books. If you listen closely, that is my heart still going crazy over this story.
"You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”
November 9. This date has SO much meaning. Deep meaning. It’s truly significant. To Ben Kessler and Fallon O’ Neill. They meet on this date and their lives are forever changed. I refuse to spoil anything, but do know that these characters demonstrate such strength. Physically. Emotionally. They add to the beauty in the human spirit. Fallon is about to move across the country the day she meets Ben. Their meeting and the depth of their connection cannot be explained in any simple terms. You must be placed in their story to understand. They don't rush into anything, but something exists between them. The next several years of their lives isn’t like anything you have ever read about.
“Because it’s easy to fall in love, Ben. The hard part comes when you want out.”
Fallon and Ben did not fall victim to the insta love idea. They decide to meet every year on the same date. They do not have any contact with each other. But each time they meet, their life is in a different place. Their feelings and emotions are even more invested in the other. Being in each other’s presence is their solace in the cruel and complicated world. Their time together was priceless. But they do fall. Effortlessly. Irrevocably. Their love is beautiful. But not easy.
“I imagine he kisses the same way he writes. Gentle strokes of the keys, each word thought through and completed with purpose.”
The words are so raw in its delivery. Poetic in nature. Lyrical in that it’s addicting. I read this in one sitting. The author is brilliant in captivating her readers. I applaud the author for the writing of this story. It’s different. It doesn’t adhere to the normal romance reciple. While the synopsis suggests Ben and Fallon are apart most of the novel, you as the reader will never feel that. You are totally connected to these two beginning to end.
“I didn’t even know kisses could really make eyelids flutter open. But they do and mine did.”
Ben Kessler. Be still my heart. I love how he loves. Deeply. Fiercely. Relentlessly. Their love cannot compare to any others, but it’s their love story. It belongs to them. My emotions were high in this one. I held on to every word. Every declaration of love spoken. My heart soared. November 9 is a romance that also reminds us of the beauty in the resilient heart.
“It took four years for me to finally fall completely in love with him. It only took four pages to stop."
If I could describe this book in a few words, I would say heart stopping romance. There are scenes that BREAK me. I’m talking throw down my kindle. Tear up. Breathe for a few minutes. And then pick the kindle back up to continue. I don’t want to spoil and I wouldn’t say there was an ugly cry per se. But Colleen is a genius at allowing her to FEEL her writing. Ben and Fallon’s story is not an easy one. Your heart is fully invested in their story. And I believe that is why their actions hit you.
“Because I know your heart, Ben, and your heart is only capable of love.”
November 9 is everything my heart needed. Colleen I have been in love with your writing since Slammed, and this is the first time since Hopeless that I felt such butterflies as I read this story. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the rest of the books written, November 9 just held my heart hostage. The words. The characters. Everything. I felt it all. As I write this review weeks later, everything is flooding back. November 9 was a powerful and beautiful read. It simply gave me LIFE.
Happiness. Sadness. Anger. Confusion. Angst. Dread. Yes, these are all the things I felt while reading November 9. Colleen did a fabulous job with the emotional roller coaster ride in the telling of Ben and Fallon's story.
The story pretty much takes place on November 9th every year, starting with the day they met. While I was worried the majority of the story would be Ben and Fallon apart, living their lives and missing each other, that wasn't the case. It was a story about every November 9th when they meet up again (with some exceptions to the rule). I thought it was a great premise, Colleen did a fantastic job of keeping their chemistry alive throughout the story even with them having limited communication throughout the years. That right there is a sign of a brilliant story teller.
I was pretty much in love with the story up until the fourth November 9th. It was then I was hit with the angst. Oh Ben, how I wanted to hate you then. How could you even... My heart broke. I was sure it wasn't going to end well after that. But alas, he had much more in store for my sad heart.
There were a few things about the story that I didn't like, AT ALL. Take Ben's mother for one. I think she could have been a little more sensitive in the way she dealt with things (come on Colleen! That was incredibly cruel!). The outcome could have have the same results, with a less dramatic path being followed.
The real plot twist was KILLER! I want so hard to believe that love can overcome anything that happened in the past. That love prevails and forgiveness can be the ultimate reward. My book loving heart and need for that HEA says YES, but my real life heart says NO, NO, NO! I just don't even know what I would have done. Hello, confusion!
I, of course, always love a great HEA. I'm happy that Fallon and Ben were able to come together at the end, even though it was hard to handle. I'm not so sure I could have done the same.
Fallon the Transient and Ben the Writer totally captured my heart in this one! In true Colleen Hoover fashion, she weaves her thoughts and quirkiness in to every single word of this book, and you can actually feel all of the emotions coming from each character. I’m not a huge fan of dual POV books, but it totally works in this story, and more than that—it’s extremely necessary in order to grab the whole concept behind the plot.
It all starts one day in a restaurant. Ben overhears a conversation that Fallon is having with her father, and he decides to swoop in and play superman. Obviously Fallon’s dad isn’t parent of the year, and if I tell you why Ben is there, at the restaurant in the first place this review would be spoiler city, and I won’t do that.
So after Ben brazenly saves Fallon at dinner with her dad, these two kids decide to spend the rest of the day together. The chemistry between Ben and Fallon is off the charts- immediately, but it’s not the super sexy, drool worthy chemistry that you’d expect in a romance novel. It’s awkward and special and so perfect for the two of them.
I would normally say that this storyline seems unrealistic and too fantastical, but I can’t say that because that’s the whole reason why we read books. To escape and enter in to a world that is kind of silly and unrealistic. And that’s exactly everything within the pages of this book. And I would totally be annoyed and rolling my eyes if this was anyone other than Colleen. She has a way of manipulating the unrealistic and making you believe that everything she writes is real, or the possibility that it could be. And that alone is why she’s so unbelievably talented, and why this book kept me up until 3 AM in the morning.
These characters are actually pretty complex, so when they decide to do something as simple as meet up once a year for the next five years, I was so happy with the simplicity behind that decision. This is also where I would normally be bothered by this plot. But I wasn’t, because as simple as it sounds, it wasn’t at all. Ben and Fallon decide to go ahead with this crazy idea of seeing each other once a year, with no contact in between, AT ALL. So that would be a total of five days of actual contact, and that’s not even five full days, because some of their meetings are only a few hours, Crazy right? But it works, and I fell for it, and them.
I really loved the way this story came together in the end, but there are a couple of things that bothered me while reading, and I can’t say what because… spoilers. But I really did enjoy the crap out of this book, and the only reason it’s getting four stars rather than five is because something was missing for me. It wasn’t the writing, or the plot, or even the things I mentioned above that I can’t mention. I just didn’t get that ahhhhhhhh, slump in the chair, and feel satisfied feeling that I wanted to get. It was really, really good, and I encourage everyone to read it. I was just like 80% satisfied in the end, and I soooooo wanted to be 100%.
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.