Sunday, 18 January 2015

Audiobook Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Publication date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Stars: 2/5
Source: Reado.com

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.

Promises get broken.

Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

REVIEW

This is a really difficult review to write because I love Colleen Hoover. I love how butterflying transformative her writing is; how it turns even the most tired cliches into something wholesome. And yet nothing could pretty up Ugly Love

Ugly Love is your classic New Adult redemption story: girl, Tate Collins, who's new to San Francisco meets boy, airplane pilot Miles Archer when he's drunk, huddled outside her brother's apartment door. Right from their first meeting, it's clear that something about his past haunts him; making him renounce love. When the chapters alternate with Miles' point of view, to "six years earlier" when he meets a girl called Rachel in high school, there are no doubts about the "who", just the "how" and "what". 

Tate and Miles, who's incidentally Tate's brother's best friend, soon embark on a relationship that's plain sex. But between Miles' smoldering gazes, Tate's fervent hope that it turns into something more and all the boundaries that they set only to break, they're not fooling anyone. The alternating perspectives, which shift from present to past, were a welcome relief as I didn't want to spend all of the time on either time period. There's just a lot of build up, characters that are "technically" well developed but don't mesh and poetic prose that falls flat.

This was also my first audio book ever, and "listening" to it might've only accentuated everything I disliked about the narrative structure. Miles' perspective, especially, was filled trite repetitions in his unconditional devotion towards Rachel. It felt empty, as there's nothing we actually know about Rachel other than Miles' idealized and rosy-eyed-to-the-point-of-corny account; half of which I felt like skipping. Tates' perspective felt more Miles' perspective of Tate because I cannot for the life of me get a picture of who she is, despite living inside her head for a good part of the book. 

The heart of the story is every bit of the redemption story you're promised: there's confrontation, tragedy and confrontation of tragedy. And yet, as a whole, it felt dissatisfying.  

This isn't going to stop me from reading Maybe Someday, the only Colleen Hoover book I haven't read, but Ugly Love flat out didn't work for me.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


This post is sponsored by Reado.com, India's largest audio book store, where you get one free audio book on sign up. :) All of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

6 comments:

  1. Ahh... I am sorry your first audiobook was a big fat miss. I didn't love this one either. It was the same old same old and I didn't like the Ugly relationship. I hope your next audiobook is much better.

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  2. I'm so sorry you didn't like this! I don't think you are the only one either; I've seen heaps of disappointed fans over this book. I hope your next (audio)book is better!

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  3. I am another one here who is showing my disappointment over this book. What was it actually? I am very fond of such stories but definitely if it make sense.

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  4. After reading and hating Maybe Someday I thought it best to skip this one. I loved Slammed too, so I was very disappointed. Ugly Love seemed to capture what I hated most about Maybe Someday: a guy treating a girl like complete dirt and her taking it! No thanks. I like my heroines to have a little more self-respect and I want to like the hero, not want to kick him in the teeth. Wonderful review, Pooja! I hope you have better luck with Maybe Someday. I'm curious to hear what you think. :)

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HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)