Book 40 of 2016
I cried on November 9th, and not just because of the U.S election results. No, I cried because I finished a beautiful New Adult/Romance novel called November 9. Oddly enough, I didn’t realize the title of the book when I packed it for my Mexican vacation, but it worked out nicely since my vacation fell on November 9th.
Colleen Hoover novels always cause me to feel. I decided to get the book through my favorite program, Social Book Co. (link to the best/cheapest way to buy books here!) and I wasn’t disappointed. Hoover’s last novel, It Ends With Us (review coming soon!), caused me to feel so much that I was devastated most of the time I was reading it. And while November 9 also had many tragic stories intertwined throughout it, there were also so many beautifully happy moments. And, I have to say, I loved the premise.
November 9 is about two complicated characters: Fallon O’Neill, an ex-child star with a once-bright future ahead of her, and Ben Kessler, a mysterious boy who enters her life with impeccable timing.
Fallon was burned in a fire at her father’s house two years prior, on November 9th. One third of her body is covered in burn marks, and she was forced to quit her acting job since her scars are visible, and Hollywood doesn’t do well with imperfections. She’s a feisty character, but also lacks self-confidence because of the way she looks.
Ben sees Fallon arguing with her father as they are having lunch, two years to the day after the fire. He can’t help but overhear their conversations, and cannot believe what a jerk Fallon’s father is to her as she tells him she is moving to New York City to audition for Broadway. On a whim, Ben decides to hop into the booth next to Fallon and pretend to be her boyfriend, in hopes of angering Fallon’s father, while also sticking up for her.
Ben and Fallon spend the rest of the day together, and Ben helps her pack before her flight to New York. Neither one of them can believe that at eighteen years old, they can have a connection that feels so strong after knowing one another for a matter of hours. Both of them realize that they aren’t in a good place for a relationship; both have goals and self-growth to work on. The two plan to meet on the same day, November 9th, for the next five years to hold one another accountable to their goals. They plan to have no communication in between each meeting. The book is written over the course of their five year promise and is artfully done.
Each year, the two meet. It’s clear that, even after only knowing each other for a few hours and then meeting up a year later, that they have chemistry. Ben is so intent on making sure Fallon sees herself for how beautiful she truly is, and Fallon encourages Ben to continue writing his novel (a novel that is inspired by their meetings), and all of the life milestones that fall in between. With each year that passes, no contact between them is the only constant, and their feelings for one another only grow stronger with time apart. But life takes them in different directions, and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if what was tearing each character apart, would ultimately bring them back together. (Cryptic, I know, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers!)
Since Colleen Hoover’s books always have a surprise twist, I knew Ben was hiding something. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here). But what he was hiding was unexpected and tragic in its own right. Hoover always knows how to wrap her stories up in a perfect bow, and she knows how to make her readers swoon over characters and picture-perfect moments. November 9, tied with Confess, was easily my favorite Hoover read thus far.
If you enjoy a beach read that you can consume in less than 24 hours like I do, this book is for you. November 9 made me laugh, swoon, get angry, cry in sadness, and then cry tears of happiness. I hope it gives you all the feels it gave me, and then some.