Review: Ugly Love: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

Posted July 31, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Ugly Love: A Novel by Colleen HooverReviewer: Holly
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
Pages: 336
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.
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.
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.

The only other thing I’ve read by this author is the novella Finding Cinderella. If these two are any indication clearly I need to more.

Tate moves to San Francisco to finish grad school and get a job. To save money, she moves in with her brother, who happens to be a pilot. Much to her surprise, he lives in a high rise in the middle of downtown. He’s out of town the night she arrives and she finds a man passed out in front of his door. He turns out to be Miles, another pilot and one of her brother’s friends. They don’t get off to a good start and Tate pretty much wants nothing to do with him. Except the pesky fact that she’s wildly attracted to him. He might be a jerk, but he’s a hot one and they have off-the-charts chemistry.

It isn’t long before they begin an affair. Tate doesn’t have a lot of time for a relationship, but the more she gets to know Miles the more she wants to make time. Unfortunately, he’s emotionally closed off. He made her promise she wouldn’t ask about his past or try to create a future with him, and it’s clear he isn’t going to change his mind. Which is too bad, since she knows they could be great together.

Miles dealt with something really tragic in his past, which has turned him off love and relationships. He’s deeply damaged and not really looking to get better. But Tate makes him want to love again. He just…can’t.

The novel is written in the first person with alternating POVs. The chapters from Tate are told in the present while the chapters from Miles share his past. Novels like this tend to frustrate me, because I hate waiting to find out what the big secret from the past is or I want more in the current tense. That wasn’t the case here.  I was completely riveted by both stories, their relationship in the present and Miles’ past.

Tate was a strong woman who was relatable and approachable. She was sure of herself and focused on her career. She wasn’t looking for a relationship when she met Miles, but she wasn’t closed to the idea. She had a sometimes smart-mouth and extremely quick wit.

Dillon doesn’t seem to take the hint. He just continues to stare at me until my sandwiches are made.
I’m not offering to make him a damn sandwich if that’s why he’s still here.
“I’m a pilot,” he says. He doesn’t say it in a smug way, but when no one’s asking you what your occupation is, voluntarily contributing it to the conversation naturally comes off as smug. “I work at the same airline as Corbin.”
He’s staring at me, waiting for me to be impressed by the fact that he’s a pilot. What he doesn’t realize is that all the men in my life are pilots. My grandfather was a pilot. My father was a pilot until he retired a few months ago. My brother is a pilot.
“Dillon, if you’re trying to impress me, you’re going about it the wrong way. I much prefer a guy with a little more modesty and a lot less wife.” My eyes flash down to the wedding ring on his left hand.

If I had a complaint about Tate it was how quick she was to lose herself in Miles. She didn’t give up her career or sacrifice her schooling, but she did put up with more from him than she should have, because she was hoping he’d fall in love with her. What saved her for me was how quick she was to realize it. No, she wasn’t able to walk away from him, but she wasn’t unaware of his effect on her.

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.
I’m beginning to fear that maybe I’m not so tough after all.

The Miles of today from Tate’s point-of-view and the Miles of the past from his own POV are entirely different. It’s clear he was deeply affected by what happened in his past. I felt like we got to know the real him from his chapters, as well as flashes of things he did or said to Tate in the present. The closed off, angry, guilty man who wants nothing but sex from Tate.

I can see why he hasn’t been in a relationship for six years. He’s obviously clueless when it comes to how a guy should treat a girl, which surprises me, because I get these vibes from him that he’s really a decent guy. However, his actions during and after sex seem to contradict his character. It’s as if pieces of the guy he used to be bleed over into the guy he’s trying to be.

Not only did I want to learn what happened to make Miles into the man he is today, I also wanted Tate to break through and form a true relationship with him. Once it’s revealed why he’s so broken, my heart hurt. I wanted him to open up to Tate, but I understood why he couldn’t.

Despite the heavy tone of the book, there’s a surprising amount of humor. The way Tate looks at life and the relationships she’s formed are very real. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the scenarios she describes, expecially those involving her mom and brother.

Let me explain something about my mother. She’s a great mom. A really great mom. But I have never been comfortable talking to her about guys. It started when I was twelve and I got my first period. She was so excited she called three of her friends to tell them before she even explained what the hell was happening to me. I learned pretty early on that secrets aren’t secrets once they reach her ears.

The secondary relationships are all well-written. Tate’s relationship with her family and one of the employees in their building, Miles’ relationship with his friend Ian, and the way Tate’s brother Corbin fit in with them really stood out.

This novel is heartbreaking and poignant, with just the right amount of humor to keep the story from being bogged down. I laughed, I cried. It was beautiful..and it was ugly. A must read.

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Atria Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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2 responses to “Review: Ugly Love: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

  1. Jen

    I keep hearing amazing things about this book. Dare I ask, is there a happy ending here or an am I going to have to read this one with a happy book chaser to lift my spirits after?

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