It’s not often that you encounter a book in which the storyline genuinely surprises you with its direction, and you can’t predict how the characters will react in any given situation. But Hopeless really is one such book. I honestly found myself thinking I knew where something was going, only to be happily and often heart-breakingly wrong-footed by Colleen Hoover’s wonderful, romantic and compelling storytelling. Considering that our heroine, Sky, and her soon-to-be-boyfriend Holder, are in their last year of high-school – perhaps a shade young for what would typically classed as NA material – we’re dealing with some seriously dark subject matter in this book. However, these topics come to light only as the mystery of Sky’s past unfolds, and they’re navigated with such humanity and truth that the potentially-hardcore issues only draw you deeper into the relationship between Sky and Holder. I mean, romantically, this guy is pretty close to perfection, which is something that ordinarily would jar with me as a reader. But his other flaws mean that when Holder comes out with the perfect thing to say at the perfect time – as Sky often points out – it’s heart-melting stuff. And it’s also excellent that, while she’s relatable, Sky’s also witty, strong and no push-over. Plus her best friend is called Six. Hello, Blossom flashback! Anyone? 90s TV show Blossom? Anyhoo… The dialogue is great. The development of the relationship between Sky and Holder is believable but hugely compelling. Their chemistry is palpable. Now, there are things about Hopeless that are perhaps a liiiittle on the unlikely side – particularly Sky’s parentally-imposed restrictions with the internet, TV, mobile phones etc. I mean, really – the library, at Six’s house, you never Googled yourself? As a kid I would chew bubble gum until the cows came home (not literally) at my best friend’s house just because I knew my mum wouldn’t let me. But to be honest, the story is so well constructed that you’re willing to overlook any little thoughts of ‘Wait, but—‘ or ‘Hmmm, so how come—?’ The love story that develops between Sky and Holder make any coincidences or conveniences gut-wrenching rather than stomach-churning. And, not to give anything away, but who knew a description of what amounts to dry-humping could be so hot? That sounds wrong. Anyway, even the ‘love scenes’ aren’t just there to titillate – they really mean something to the characters, and therefore to the reader. Oh, stop reading this blog, go and read Hopeless. It’s definitely one you won’t regret.
Cringe Factor 0/5
Is it Hot in Here? 3.5/5
For the Love of Feminism! 4.5/5
Overall Tasty Goodness 4.5/5
If you like Hopeless, you can also read the story from Holder’s point-of-view in Losing Hope…!