Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t 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.
Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, something phenomenal comes your way. Maybe it’s the perfect day, complete with those you love, or maybe it’s a promotion in a job that’s completely deserved yet unexpected. Maybe it’s finding the outfit you’ve been pining for on sale, or just seeing the most gorgeous sunset; the kind that reaffirms your belief that there are bigger things out there that you can’t even begin to comprehend. For me, that something phenomenal came my way about a month ago in the form of words and written by in the prose of greatness the way only she can. I selfishly put off reading it for a few weeks, knowing the buildup and anticipation would be worth it in the end. As much as I wanted, no NEEDED, to read it, I knew once I cracked the pages there would be no going back. You can’t rewind time and unread a book. You only have your first time and the restlessness was more than I could bear.
She’s like poetry.
Like prose and love letters and lyrics, cascading down
Too often you see people raving about books and authors and you wonder to yourself if it/they live up to the hype. They can’t possibly be that fantastic; surely there’s no way that many different readers all share the same taste. And while that may be true a lot of the time, it just isn’t the case with Colleen Hoover. A pioneer in her field, she transcends mere words on pages. It’s difficult to put into words the way I feel when I read her books. It’s even harder to find any fault within their spines. I’m sure it’s possible; it just isn’t in my realm of knowledge. For when you’re inside the world that she’s created, everything else ceases to exist. I’m not even going to go so far as to say this is my favorite book of hers, for I love them all with the same passion and to pick one above the other is simply impossible. Even eight books in, in a market completely saturated with the same storyline over and over again, she continues to remain 100% unique. She makes it easy to fall in love with broken characters; it’s as effortless as breathing. She knows how to take you to the highest highs and knock you down to the lowest lows. But even when you are in the depths of despair, she manages to make it completely worthwhile. In fact, I will go so far as to say I CRAVE the devastation that she inevitably causes. From that devastation comes growth. From that devastation comes redemption. And from that devastation comes a love you never knew possible. Her books leave you feeling fulfilled in a way that is completely blindsiding. There’s never a question if you will like the book; more so how hard and how fast you will fall. I’m here to tell you I deliriously landed on my derriere and I’ll have bruises for weeks to come!
I’m liquid, and liquid doesn’t know how to be firm or stand up for itself. Liquid flows. That’s all I want to do with Miles.
From start to finish, this book was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. I knew the premise going into it, so I had a feeling it would hit close to home. What I didn’t realize, but really should have expected no less, were twists and gut-wrenching turns around every corner. The complexity of this book can’t merely be comprehended; you have to experience it firsthand. Colleen brilliantly tells this story in two dominant POV’s; Tate’s in the present and Miles’ in the past. We are aware from the get-go that Miles is battling some serious demons who show no signs of easing up. Unable to deny their attraction any longer, they enter a not-friends-with-benefits arrangement. Seems easy enough, right? This in itself is where the ugly love starts to creep in. I know from experience that these types of relationships almost always end in heartbreak for one or both parties. It’s almost impossible to keep feelings and sex separate, no matter how hard you try or lie to yourself; they always float to the surface eventually. Tate made the decision that he was worth the risk to her heart. Sometimes you love so strongly, you are willing to take what you can get, because even a small morsel is worth no taste at all. But the stolen moments, the obvious feelings that were blossoming despite them both trying to beat it down, I couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorite part of the book, past or present, because they were both written so eloquently it took your breath away.
When you close your eyes and kiss, you protect yourself from the vulnerability.
This isn’t us protecting ourselves.
This is confrontation.
This is a standoff.
On the flipside of this, we had Miles’ POV from the past that led us through the end of the book and explained how he became closed off to love. There are two main things that always draw me towards books; broken characters and male POV’s. Not only does Ugly Love have that in spades, but the delicious angst throughout kept my heart racing wildly. Miles made no promises except exactly what it was; two people enjoying each other sexually, no more, no less. On this he was adamant. The struggle throughout was experiencing him battling these feelings firsthand. It would be one thing if he was just a bad guy, if he had major flaws, but that wasn’t it at all. He was just, plain and simple, broken. If you have something, you have something to lose. Another thing that made this book completely unique, and completely Colleen Hoover was the formatting of these chapters. I couldn’t help but thinking while I was reading it that it had a very Slammed vibe, like poetry. It was unique and made complete sense coming from a teenager’s POV. It was perfectly scattered in a way that truly personifies a teenager in love. I think had they not been formatted like they wre, his chapters wouldn’t have flowed or had as much of an initial punch that they did. The simplicity was perfect.
I’m tired of treading water.
I’m tired of pretending it’s not killing me to want to know everything about him.
I’m tired of pretending he’s not everywhere. Everything. My only thing.
I had my suspicions throughout the story where it was going to eventually come to a head, and though I was partly right, it was a shock nonetheless. Even knowing didn’t lessen the blow. In true Colleen fashion, it was tragic; there’s no two ways around that. Love is ugly. Good or bad, love is ugly. But it’s that ugliness that makes the ride worth it. For without the bad, you can never truly appreciate the good. This book successfully pulled every possible emotion from within me and left my soul battered. But it also left me hopeful, happy, and sated. Good or bad, love is ugly. And when you understand the significance of the cover, well, you won’t be able to look at it again without tearing up.