Top critical review
I liked the way that it was set over six years and yet hung well together.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2022
I chose this book as I really wanted to try another Colleen Hoover book to see what the fuss was about after reading ‘It ends with us’ which, from what I have read, is a little different to her usual topic. This one seemed to have very mixed reviews, unfortunately, I read them after I bought the book though so was already committed.
I connected with the story straight from the beginning, although there was a lot of self-pity and self-depreciation from the start which was a little off-putting, to be honest. However, I was soon lost in the story between them and intrigued by their decision to meet every November 9th for five years while Fallon became 23, where her mother implied, she would know and love herself enough by then to be able to fall in love with someone else.
The biggest issues I had were with the characters. The way Ben acts at times is astounding. His thoughts about her boobs and underwear repeatedly are so shallow, especially in retrospect after you’ve read the rest of the book, as are his comments and ordering Fallon to wear what he wants her to “I'm paying for dinner, so I get to choose what to stare at while we eat." There are also plenty of cringe moments with him "Baby, you already made this the best sex I've had, and I'm not even inside you yet." Having said that though there are plenty of other times where he is quite funny or loving even and he can transform Fallon’s day. I’m just not sure that some of his attitude/character is really appropriate for the current time.
Fallon is also quite flawed; she doesn’t question nearly enough how weird it is for Ben to join her and her father and pretend to be her (very touchy-feely) boyfriend when they are complete strangers. As mentioned before her self-pity is quite off-putting. The way she allows Ben to treat her at times and her acceptance of the things he says is also quite worrisome.
Overall though I did enjoy the book. I liked the way that it was set over six years and yet hung well together. I liked the way they fell in love over just one day a year and despite it being just that one day they still managed to fall out plenty over the time as well, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I also loved the massive twist towards the end, which made the ending even more annoying, you can’t just roll over and forget everything with a “well we all make mistakes” kind of attitude after everything that has gone before. To end on a positive thought, I did love the premise of the book and the format of the once-a-year meetup.