Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format I Read: Kindle Book
Pages: 337
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads


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.

General Impression


I was ridiculously excited to read this book – I ordered it from my online library and got an eBook for it. Right away, I jumped in. I’d been waiting weeks to read it. Everyone raves about how it’s their favorite Colleen Hoover book. I read Confess by Hoover last year and enjoyed it. I figured Ugly Love would blow me out of the water. Unfortunately, this book was a huge, heaping disappointment.

Characters


I’m going to be completely honest here: I hated the characters. I didn’t like them at all. Both of the main characters, Miles and Tate, were utterly despicable. Miles was a jerk who walked all over Tate with no consideration for her feelings. He had casual sex with her, swearing that there was no future between them (one of his only rules in their arrangement). Yet he constantly gave her false hope for a relationship, sucking her in and making her follow him around like a little puppy. Some people may think that it was cute how he would do small things to give Tate hope as the book progressed. Yeah, it would be cute if he wasn’t refusing a future at the same time. His words never matched his actions, leading Tate around in a deadly and destructive dance. I hated the constant game of push and pull. It was honestly painful to read.

And Tate was no better! She allowed Miles to walk all over her. She was a weak-willed girl who let herself to be “turned to liquid” by a guy every single time he walked in a room. Everything she did insulted me. She degraded herself for Miles and permitted herself to be a booty call. Don’t get me wrong: if a girl wants to have a just-sex relationship with a guy, all the power to her! As long as it’s her choice, that’s great. But Tate didn’t want a just-sex relationship at all. She only did it because she was hoping Miles would fall in love with her. She was willing to do whatever it took – even if it degraded her – to be around Miles. She would belittle herself just so that she could have a small piece of Miles. And that was insulting.

And no one was developed! There was no significant development (other than Miles’ shallow and expected development). And not even the minor characters were redeeming. I’m a sucker for an ensemble cast, a group of characters who all grow. This book was just the Miles and Tate show. And I’ll be honest – it was kind of a shit show.

Romance


Like I said, the characters (Miles and Tate) were terrible. Together, they made for a romance that was just as bad. I pulled some quotes:

  • “I’m nodding because I’ll take what I can get. I’m not Tate when I’m near Miles. I’m liquid, and liquid doesn’t know how to be firm or stand up for itself. Liquid flows. That’s all I want to do with Miles.” (Location 167 of 603)
  • “He leads. I let him. Because he’s a solid and I’m a liquid, and right now, I’m just his wake.” (Location 178 of 603)
  • “If any other man ever treated me like he did, it would be the one and only time. I don’t put up with the things I’ve seen a lot of my friends put up with. However, I find myself continuing to make excuses for him, like something could actually justify his actions last week.” (Location 349 of 603)

I know that this book is called Ugly Love. So of course the romance isn’t going to be all flowers and rainbows. But this is NOT ugly love. Ugly love is the pain of a relationship, the struggles that the couple goes through. The downs that the couple needs to survive in order to get to the ups. It is not dragging a girl around, leading her on, and constantly pushing her down. That is called emotional and psychological abuse. And that is not romantic. A relationship should be balanced and comfortable. One person should not be dominant, and Miles was disgustingly dominant in this book. For crying out loud, she even says “I’m just his wake.” NO, YOU AREN’T, TATE. YOU ARE A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN. YOU ARE YOUR OWN WAVE. YOU ARE NOT JUST A WAKE. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. DON’T BE FREAKING LIQUID.

Writing


Though I liked Hoover’s other book, I did not like her writing style in this book at all. I hated the continuous references to how liquidy Tate feels. Yeah, it’s a great metaphor. The first time. The next hundred? Not so much.

The book is also split into two points of view. One is Tate in the present. The other is Miles in the past. But Miles’ POV is completely scrambled. I think it was supposed to be poetic, but it totally didn’t do it for me. It was just a dumb teenager waxing poetic about how he pined after and worshiped his high school love. I’m pretty sure half of the words he used were “Rachel.” It wasn’t my cup of tea at all.

Plot


The plot honestly felt so ridiculously repetitive. It basically went like this: Miles and Tate have sex, Miles insists that there’s no future, Miles does something intimate (asks Tate a personal question, brushes her hair back, texts her, etc.), Tate gets hopeful, Miles is an asshole, Tate is crushed, Miles sucks her back in, Miles and Tate have sex, rinse and repeat. It was just a constant cycle of pain and agony. I hated it.

The topic that Hoover ended up discussing – the big secret Miles is hiding – was very interesting. I really would’ve liked more explicit exploration into that, instead of it just being revealed at the very end and then resolved. I felt like it lost a lot of its potential impact that way.

Conclusion


Ugly Love was a huge disappointment. I’ll probably still try out some of Hoover’s other books – since I liked Confess -, but I’m going to be going in with low expectations from now on.

However, lots of people apparently love this book. So, if you think it might be for you, go for it. Maybe you’ll love it! But it definitely wasn’t for me.

1.5 stars

 

With lots of bookish love,

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