Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Published August 5, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
My Thoughts
“Love isn’t always pretty…Sometimes you spend all of your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”

First off, let me start off by sharing that I’m a HUGE fan of Colleen Hoover. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon her debut novels Slammed and Point of Retreat before the fandom gained any momentum. Top that amazing fictional journey with a personal experience of having the author contact me to express her gratitude and sending me a personalized copy of each book. I swear I immediately fell in love with this lady. Truly amazing.

To this day, those two novels hold a special spot in my heart because of it being my first experience with New Adult and my exposure to a genuinely nice author. So to continue to see the success she’s realized with her other novels is complete bliss. At the same time, it makes it difficult to review her newest book without a touch of bias towards her that has me convincing myself before I even turn a page and meet her characters that I’m in love with anything she writes. That’s I think the biggest struggle I’ve had with the last couple of Hoover books, so it saddens me that I didn’t quite feel the excitement, bliss, and adoration for the story and the characters of Ugly Love.

Were it another author, one that I didn’t have a past love affair with her writing, I think I’d have one of my rare moments of ranting about my feelings. However, in this case I’m going to take a gentler approach because I’m still battling with my feelings about Ugly Love and a huge part of me is disappointed that I’m not experiencing a squee-moment with Miles and Tate.

So let me piece this out...

In Ugly Love, we got to meet Tate, who’s studying nursing and working in a hospital as she finishes up her Masters. She’s hardworking, driven and pretty much the type of character I find it hard not to like. When she moves into her brother Corbin’s apartment, she literally stumbles upon a passed-out drunk Miles who is blocking her entrance into her apartment. They later have a less inebriated introduction and soon decide to enter into a “friends with benefits” type relationship...minus the friends aspect you could say. However, where Miles pulls out all of the stops to keep the relationship strictly physical and non-emotional, Tate starts to fall for this quiet, broken and distant character.

So here goes… I kept wondering why this novel was titled Ugly Love and my first conclusion was that it wasn’t Miles who experienced an Ugly Love in my opinion. When we witness his “six years earlier” experience that molded who he was at present time, what he experienced wasn’t ugly at all. It was nourishing, deep yet tragic. Not ugly…

However, Tate’s experience with Miles was truly, in all sense of the word, UGLY. The way she was treated by Miles felt so wrong and I struggled with that because I immediately came to like Tate, so I felt resentment, disappointment and at times disgust toward Miles. As a result, every time we switched to Miles “six years earlier” I couldn’t muster an ounce of sentiment for his situation and ultimate breaking point… No surprise… I didn’t cry. Even more disappointing was that as Tate continued to allow Miles to treat her in such a degrading way (view spoiler), I started to lose respect for a character I had initially liked.

I wanted to give Tate the gift of goodbye. I wanted her to leave Miles and not look back. I wanted her to preserve some self-respect. I wanted her to find someone else that was worthy of her. That was truly an emotional roll-a-coaster!

At the end of the novel, I felt myself lose a connection with both Miles and Tate, which was disappointing because I wanted to enjoy their hard-earned ending, but by that point I truly had no vested interest in their conclusion.

Okay, in the spirit of trying to salvage something good from this experience, I do have to commend Tate for never groveling. She never begged Miles to love her back, but at the same time she allowed him to treat her so poorly time after time. What I also liked about Tate was how self-aware and honest she was about herself and situation, I just wish she would have acted on some of her common sense realizations.

As for Miles, I can’t ignore the fact that it never felt like he tried to be a jerk. I don’t think he meant to be mean, callous and hurtful, and I have to acknowledge that he experienced something tragic in his past that made him who he was. However, that was no excuse for his actions. He was just wrong. I struggled with his realization that came toward the end of the novel, and after he witnessed a reason to move on. By then, a part of me felt he was beyond redemption. I have more to say about that… but I’ll stop.

Now that’s I’ve outlined my thoughts, I feel I can still justify a 3 star rating. Why? Because I’ve been thinking about this novel for a few days now, and if I take away my sentiment for the characters and their actions, I have to admit it was well written, captivating and engaging… I just didn’t like the emotions it evoked from me. Tate and Miles won't make my favorite fictional couple list, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they caught my attention and made me feel some pretty heavy emotions.
3 Snowflakes

Song Choice
Not Broken Anymore by Blue October

Buy "Not Broken Anymore" on


  1. Thanks for the honest review! I'm definitely preparing myself for this book and I've been dying to read a Colleen Hoover book :)

    Eileen @ BookCatPin

  2. AWESOME review, Arlene! You were indeed very honest and sincere with your opinions, and I appreciate that.

    I'm so glad I read your thoughts (and feelings) about this book, because I'm the type of person who is much too sensitive to read something like this. Besides, I've gone through an abusive relationship myself, so I wouldn't want to read anything that even remotely reminds me of that!

    Thanks for your honest opinion!! : )