I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
on July 17, 2018
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sarah Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.
All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?
So my initial reaction as I started getting into the story was hopeful. It’s not my usual style of romance, since I tend to lean more towards the silly and sarcastic. I hate crying, dammit! But it wasn’t going to happen this time, I promised myself. I will stay strong, stoic to the bitter end. My hard shell will remain intact. I stroked my hypothetical lady-beard and said, “Hmmm… yes, these words are lovely,” keeping myself at a distance. There were moments of pure poetry in Hoover’s writing, beautiful quotable lines (that I’m technically not supposed to quote because the copy I read wasn’t actually a finished version… sorry) that will no doubt be printed out and framed on walls, or even tattooed on bodies. My point is that the words held weight and meaning, an individual warmth for each reader. And here inlaid the problem.
The further I got into the story, the more uncomfortable I became. Not because the words were any less poetic, but because they held too much weight. I got dragged down by the feelings they invoked in me. The chapters alternated between the past and present. We got to see a beautiful relationship forming, while simultaneously seeing it fall apart. Reading before bed, I made sure to put the book down at the end of a THEN chapter, so I didn’t taint my dreams with the sadness and depression. Thankfully, as the end of the book neared, I actually came to love the NOW chapters just as much. I was rooting for them! I wanted to know for sure that everything would be okay, that these completely fictional characters would have a happy ending, that no matter the decision they made, it would be the right one for them. And I would have blamed the damn author if she had screwed it up in any way, shape, or form. *give Colleen side-eye*
I’m not going to tell you how it ends. I mean, if you’ve ever read a book by Colleen Hoover, you know how they can feel like a punch in the gut, even when you think you’ve got it all figured out. It’s not so much about the outcome as it is the journey to get there. I won’t tell you that all dreams came true, and the book exploded with rainbows and sweet brown-eyed puppies. On the flip side, I also won’t tell you that they all died in the end, so there’s that. But I do want to say real quick that Colleen Hoover handled a heart-wrenching topic with grace and sensitivity. This book will be the bringer of tears, the breaker of hearts.
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