February Read #2
For the second installment of my mini-book review series, I wanted to highlight the ugly side of love. One that leaves our hearts aching and our eyes welling. One that pulls at our heartstrings and brings us to tears. Love is not perfect, it is a complex emotion. It has many sides to it, ones we like more than others. My second February Read review is on Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover.
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s 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:
1. Never ask about the past. 2. 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.
Warning: This book review contains spoilers and book contains explicit content.
This story is about fighting the demons that eat you up and learning to let love in. Even though the story was told in the perspective of both Miles and Tate, I felt that this was Miles’ story to tell. He came from a very twisted past. One that he could never come to terms with, thus hindering his future with love.
As he tells the story, we see flashbacks to his past, while Tate presents us with what’s happening in present day. Pained from his dark past, Miles made a promise to himself a long time ago that he will not let love back into his life. Then Tate came into the picture. Their instant connection did not grab me right away. But when I continued to read about their growing connection and attraction between one another, it did. As he tells us about his past, we see glimpses of his happier days. From meeting his love interest for the first time to having his first child, there were moments when he was in love with everything he had. But those moments brought us to the climatic part: when his world came tumbling down. He tells us about the tragic death of his child and the hatred that sprung from the love of his life, Rachel, since the accident. Miles was forever changed.
It tore him apart. You see his writing style in his narrative change from smooth, poetic words to now stoic expressions. What was once his whole world crumbled in front of his eyes after the car crash.
Now, lets tie in the cover to Miles’ past. It is symbolic and key to the story. The cover is beautiful, it highlights the moment Miles lost it all. The car crash that ended it all, the water that nearly drowned him and Rachel, and he died inside. Though we should never judge a book by its cover, it is key to the story. The car was falling into the water after the crash and he had to choose between saving his baby or Rachel. It was a lot for him to take in at such a young age. This is the moment he decided he could never be happy again.
But when Tate came into the picture, as his neighbor, that all changed. What was once a sexual arrangement, became one that was intertwined with emotions, especially hope. Hope that one day Miles will love her back. One day, he will fulfill the emotional needs that were left unfilled. But she knew where this was going to lead- nowhere good.
After many tears and hurtful words being said, Tate came to the realization that Miles did not love her. However, he knew he loved her, but could not. It was not until he went to see if Rachel was okay. She was happy, in love, and now blessed with another child. Now content with knowing that she moved on, he had the motivation he so desperately needed.
Overall, Miles’ character took me by surprise. First, his first impression with Tate left me thinking he was a drunk, party boy. Second, with his good looks and eyes that melt your heart, I thought he was going to be quite the player. But Miles was different. He was one who you wanted to console, wrap in your arms, and never let go. One that went through so much pain and had so many ghosts from his past that all you wanted to do was take away whatever was hurting him. He was complex; and that was where I was surprised.
However, I found it hard to fall in love with Tate. There were times when I just wanted her to walk away from him without feeling guilty. I wanted her to stand her ground and not feel the need to go back to him. But she was who he needed. Miles needed someone who would not give up on him.
Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The pace and plot points started to pick up towards the end. I thought that the way Colleen weaved in a lot of the key moments from the beginning to the end of the book were done well. She really has a way with storytelling. Also, I am so excited for the movie to come out and to see this work be put on the big screen. As it is already announced on social media, Miles will be played by Nick Bateman! I do not need to be further swayed to see this movie. If you have not read her books yet, I urge you to read this one, especially before the movie hits theaters!
Rating: 9 out of 10
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN #: 9781476753188
Length: 336 pages