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Our Review

“It’s not a confession if no one reads it. It’s just an unshared secret.”

First up, we have to commend those who shared their real life confessions in this book. Some were shocking, some heartbreaking, all extremely personal. It’s not something we could have done because once shared the anonymity of those confessions ceases to be personal and private, but our hats go off to those who did share, it certainly couldn’t have been easy putting yourselves out there and we applaud your bravery because knowing they were real certainly added another element to this story.

It’s been too long since we’ve picked up a Colleen Hoover book so to say we were enthusiasticly opening our Kindles to start Confess is an understatement. We couldn’t wait to be enveloped in the beauty of this author’s words and the uniqueness that is so prevalent in her stories.  To us, reading a Colleen Hoover book is like being coming home. Her stories and characters are, in a way, comforting. We expect to be captivated, comforted, warmed throughout whilst at the same time experiencing first hand the trials of her characters. We adore the “Colleen-isms”, as we call them.  You know, the little ‘something’s’ that make her books so remarkable and captivating.

“I’m afraid if I listen to my heart once, I’ll never figure out how to ignore it again.”

There hasn’t been a book of hers we haven’t fiercely loved and so it is with the heaviest of hearts we have to say, on some levels Confess didn’t work for us. There were things we loved and things we didn’t.

If there is one thing Colleen Hoover does spectacularly well it’s creating the most wonderful heroes. She writes her men with the perfect balance of sensitivity and vulnerability yet with a presence that is so commanding in the best possible way. They’re men who love with all their hearts, they’re not pushovers but neither are they weak. They’re men we respond to and can’t help but fall in love with and Owen Mason Gentry is no exception. What a beautiful man. HE is what kept us flipping the pages.

‘My mother says there are people you meet and get to know, and then there are people you meet and already know. I feel like Owen is the latter.’

Another aspect of this authors work we love is the way she makes us work emotionally  in her storytelling, never failing to bring us into the story, thus ensuring we FEEL every up, every down, every hope, every despair, every joy and every heartbreaking moment right along with the characters. We don’t just read her books, we become a PART OF HER STORY and our hearts are normally held ransom right until the very end.

However, (and this is possibly the hardest thing we’ve had to ‘confess’) we’re sad to say we didn’t experience the emotion in Confess as we have in previous Colleen Hoover reads.  That ‘Colleen-ism’ that we love with a passion seemed to be absent this time around. Oh we felt certain parts of the story – how Owen’s life was woven into Auburn’s and how this was brought to its conclusion was wonderfully moving and a definite highlight, but for the most part, it all felt a little too convenient and rushed .

It was as though we were being told ‘this is how it is’ rather than being shown. We felt we weren’t afforded the nitty gritty of the characters or the actual story, which felt underdeveloped and non cohesive.

We did feel for Auburn at times, but mostly she frustrated us. Lydia’s dismissal and manipulation of Auburn was abhorrent and as much as we understood the reasoning behind Auburn’s hesitancy in standing up to this wretched woman and Trey, it frustrated us that she didn’t and the way this, and other aspects of the story were wrapped up felt  a little too opportune.

‘How can a fifteen-year-old girl defend her love when that love is dismissed by everyone?’

Now, there were many parts, Owen in particular, that touched on that Coho magic we’ve come to love and we savoured every one of those , but overall it fell short for us. We were excitedly anticipating Confess, looking forward to having our hearts shredded and healed in true Coho fashion but it didn’t eventuate. Whilst we did enjoy Confess we didn’t fall madly, deeply in love as expected and it hurts our hearts to ‘confess’ this. We missed the way Colleen Hoover used to grab our hearts, twist them in our chest then slowly let go as we sobbed from the beauty of her characters and words. Now we can’t wait for her next book and hopefully feel the return of that Coho magic we so desperately love.

On a side noteWe reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the Publisher which did not contain the paintings that were so crucial to the story and wonder if this would have enhanced the emotional pull of the story for us.

Synopsis

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies. 

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…

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