Saturday, June 20, 2015

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Title: Confess
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format I Read: Paperback
Pages: 306
Genres: Romance, Realistic Fiction, New Adult
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Stars: 5
Goodreads Link

Wow. That is honestly the only word I have for this book. Wow. Last night (when I was finishing this book at 1am, since I couldn't put it down) was the first time that I actually left tear stains in a book. Colleen Hoover is truly an artist when it comes to plot twists and plot connections. I was completely amazed by the last page.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, here's the synopsis:

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

I'll be completely honest: I was thinking of giving this book 3 stars, 4 stars if I was feeling generous. The romance was just too fast-paced. Since the moment Owen and Auburn met, they've been completely entranced with each other. They've barely spent any real time together, yet they're so invested in each other. Auburn even thinks that they've only seen each other for four days. Yet they're practically in love?! I just couldn't jump on this instantaneous love train.

"How many days have we actually seen each other since we met?" he asks.
I want to laugh at his randomness, because I think it's my favorite part of him. I shrug. "I don't know. Four? Five?"
He slowly shakes his head. "If you count today, it's seven," he says, sliding a hand through my hair. "So tell me, Auburn. How is it possible that I"m already falling in love with you?" (273)

But by the last page, I was singing praise for this book. I don't want to go in depth because then this review would be riddled with spoilers. But wow. This novel came completely full circle. The last chapter is a flashback that explains so much (including the instant connection that Owen feels with Auburn). It made me sob.

The great thing about Colleen Hoover is she somehow makes a romance into a mystery. She really plays on the fact that the reader only knows what she allows them to know. She then fills the book with little reveals and epiphanies. It takes true talent to write a book in this way. I was honestly amazed.

In the prologue, the reader is introduced to Adam, who was Auburn's boyfriend when she was fifteen. Unfortunately, Adam is sick and only has a few weeks left to leave. The reader meets the two characters as Auburn says goodbye for the last time. Adam, though a minor character, is truly amazing. He's the one who really made me cry. He's just such a fantastic character, filled with such pure love and peace. Another great thing about Adam: the entire book wasn't about Auburn's struggle over his loss. Auburn wasn't crying over the fact that she can't be with Owen because she doesn't want to let Adam go. She already healed after his death--that isn't the conflict, which was totally refreshing. Instead, the characters face countless other conflicts: like Owen's network of lies that lead to unfortunate consequences for Auburn and Owen's relationship. Fortunately, with the alternating points of view, we see the motivation behind these lies. There are many other conflicts, but I literally cannot say them without spoiling so I'll stop there.

A few other cool things about this book: the confessions and the art. Hoover's dedication is to her readers because they submitted the confessions in the novel. Owen runs an art studio, but his art is based on anonymous confessions submitted by anyone who passes by the studio. Not only is this form of art such an amazing concept and idea, but the confessions are real. Real people submitted them to the author, which makes it all the more striking. Additionally, Hoover included pictures of the art pieces described in the novel. That was so fantastic to see as a reader. It gave the art such a greater impact and really showed the reader what was so moving about these pieces.

Overall, this book was a fantastic story of healing and redemption. With traces of addiction, guilt, and family, Confess was one of the most moving books I've read all year. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone and everyone, with no reservations. While I would technically give it 4.5 stars, simply because of the fast-paced romance, I label this novel as a 5 star masterpiece.

Congratulations to Ms. Hoover for making me sob and writing a true work of art!