If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that in 2014 I read and later (much later as in this case) reviewed "Hopeless", a new adult (though all the characters are in high school) book by Colleen Hoover. I liked that book, it was a very addicting read that I finished in a few days...but there were a few things that I could see bothering people.
Well, as most of you probably know, there is a "sequel"- an alternate POV if you will, and that's "Losing Hope", essentially, it's the same story, told from Holder's perspective.
Before I get into my review, here's the book's Goodreads description:
In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.
In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.
Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…
Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.
The short version of this review: If you liked "Hopeless" you'll like this book.
Now to get into more details. There were some issues to be had with this story, but less of those problems were with Holder...his intensity was a complaint in the first book, so I knew to expect it- and it was written well enough to not be so annoying I need to mention it again here. That being said...he was more off-putting and ridiculous in general.
Holder's narration makes the whole story seem even more far fetched.
I think some...most of the background characters (professors, students, etc) were far too insensitive about what happened to Holder's sister and how he must be feeling.
The Grayson ordeal from the first book seems even more pointless from his perspective.
Technical critiques are that the story seemed slower from this perspective and some scenes that I really loved from the first book (the flea market shopping spree, for example) which I was looking forward to here weren't even mentioned, let alone played out. The ending also felt quite a bit more rushed and was too neatly put together with Holder's need for closure.
I recommend this book to fans of the first novel, but I do advise you to wait a while between books unless you absolutely loved the story. I waited around a year and still found myself struggling not to speed read because I was re-reading a lot of the less crucial scenes from "Hopeless" all over again.
While this could technically be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading the books in their published order because some things might not make complete sense if you're just reading them here.