Monday, September 8, 2014

Sometimes It's Just Ugly

"The only impressive thing about this apartment is the bookshelf in the living room.
It's lined with dozens of books,
which is more of a turn-on than anything else
that could potentially line his barren walls."
--Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love


Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 336
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Source: Bought
Previous Books By This Author: Hopeless & Losing Hope & Maybe Someday & Slammed & Point of Retreat & This Girl
Goodreads Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's 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

I can't really do a breakdown of this review because I have so many conflicting feelings I need a steady output of words in order to begin to dissect what went on in this book. Let me first state that I love Colleen Hoover. LOVE. Hopeless is one of my all-time favorite books. I have read everything else she has written and loved. So it was a no-brainer to preorder Ugly Love and read it basically the week it got here. TBR pushed over to read...why oh why did I read this book?

I liked it in the beginning...aka the first chapter. Tate comes across as very direct, take no shit, I know who I am and I don't fall for skeezy guy bullshit kind of girl. And she just graduated nursing school. Winning. Love story about a nurse. Off to a good start...it all went to hell in chapter 2. Every other chapter is a flashback from Miles' (the guy) POV from six years earlier when he meets and falls in love with Rachel. Now that last sentence is being generous because Miles doesn't fall in insta-love, he falls in insta-OBSESSION. I wish I could copy and past the second chapter for you to read. It's absolutely ridiculous. He sees her and he's in love *cough* obsession. He discusses at length how she nods her head. How he's going to fall in love with her nod. She's going to have all his babies. He repeats several times, 'I am going to fall in love with you Rachel.' Um...can you please elaborate as to WHY you fall in love with her. What qualities does she possess as a young woman that makes you head over heels about her. As these flashbacks progress we get no explanation as to why he loves her...he just does. I felt less than zero connection to this relationship. We don't get any idea of what Rachel is like, her interests, her values, NOTHING. OH and the chapters are written almost in verse. Everything is centered in the middle of the page. It was beyond annoying. I hated these chapters. I hated this Rachel because she was ruining the entire story for me because I could not comprehend what it was about her that would make Miles be so obsessed with her. These chapters gave me anxiety because you know it was building up to something big.

I hated Rachel because in the present day, Miles is beyond screwed up. Which, anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE a good screwed up, emotionally scarred male specimen. It's my MO. However, it's been SIX YEARS. WHAT the fuck happened that could make you this screwed up and swearing off all women for six years. And YES, I'm well-aware this was the point of the story but it just didn't sit well with me. I am all about discovering what the big dark secret of the past is but Miles didn't do or show any type of redeeming qualities that would me me WANT to stick around and give him the benefit of the doubt. And this is where my dislike of Miles started. I think this book shows how absolutely weak men are. Heaven for-fuckng-bid a man is ever hurt. Heaven forbid a woman wrongs a man or something emotionally damaging happens to him because he will be destroyed for the rest of his life. This example isn't just this book, either. I've seen it in a lot of stories. Oh the guy had his heart broken ONE TIME. Boo fucking hoo. How many scorned women are there out there? How often do we read stories about women or have friends who have been hurt time and time again and what do we tell them? Keep trying. You'll find somebody who treats your right. Keep opening up your heart, be open. Men? Oh hell no. They're ruined after one bad relationship. Let me play the world's tiniest violin for you. Man up, bro.

So let's get back on track to Tate and Miles. These two come to a mutual agreement to just have sex because they are both attracted to each other. Tate agrees in hopes he eventually falls in love with her...*blank stare*...and Miles has two rules. 'Don't ask about his past and don't ever expect a future.' Real nice. Can't ask about his past, can't process the feelings. Insert eye-rolling. Tate. Oh, Tate. You are the friends I can't stand because you don't see what's right in front of your face. He's using you. You let him use  you. You stick around in hopes he changes for you and if this wasn't a book, this would not have a happy ending. I've seen this story play out in real life SO many times and it's ugly. Pun intended. Miles treats Tate like his girlfriend one minute and like a two-bit whore the next. I think I yelled, 'You fucking asshole' at least three times. He is absolutely emotionally demeaning. There is one scene in particular, well actually there are several, that he so blatantly uses her and treats her like garbage I am shocked that more people are not calling bullshit on this book. I almost want to call him emotionally abusive. Something he does after sex and something he says during sex in two particular scenes were just...below the belt and unforgivable. It broke my heart to read because I don't care what you've been through as a person or what you think you deserve but it is NEVER okay to treat somebody the way Miles treated Tate and EVERYONE deserves to be treated better than he treats her. I know a few friends who hated Tate and how pathetic she was. I wanted to hate her but I just didn't have it in me. I know the real life Tates and all I feel is pity. Tate didn't bother me as much as Miles because Miles, while verbally consistent with his no-commitment, acted like he wanted her to be his girlfriend. So I give Tate a pass on this because it's very easy to see why she stick around. He definitely displays intent of liking her for more than just sex. And actions speak louder than words, you asshole. 

What next? OH! I'm a nurse. I have read all of Colleen Hoover's books and with the exception of the Hopeless series, there are GLARING medical mistakes in all her books. This. Drives. Me. Nuts. Simple things that could have been avoided with just asking a nurse. One example? Tate gets a part time job in the Emergency Department...as a new nurse...in California...this is so nearly impossible I laughed out loud when I read it. It is basically impossible to be hired as a graduate nurse in an Emergency Department because of how quick thinking and fast paced it is. A new nurse does not have the experience or knowledge to be able to adapt and safely take care of patients. AND California has such an abundance of new nursing graduates that at a San Francisco, aka big city hospital, ER a new nurse would NEVER get hired. The floor I work on is a general surgical floor and had 2 open Graduate Nurse positions...500 people applied just to put that into perceptive. A specialized floor like an ED would never hire a brand new nurse, part time mind you, having not worked there previously for them to know she can handle the pace. Also, later on Miles cuts the palm in his hand so deep that he needs stitches. What does Tate do? She stitches up his hand in the bathroom with a needle and thread...I cannot even begin to tell you how fucking idiotic and unbelievable this is. ONE, you're a new nurse, you barely know how to do anything and even if you worked for 10 years, NURSES DON'T DO SUTURES, that is a physician's job. AND they wouldn't do it with a household needle and thread EVER because do you know the risk of infection? Holy shit Miles, you're gonna lose your hand. If it's deep enough for stitches, it probably also has nerve damage seeing that it's in the palm of your hand. JFC I couldn't take this. 

I know what you're thinking...Kelly, you're being dramatic. Well just to show you I'm not being dramatic, I asked my nurse friends to help me out here...


Phew. Ok, I'm exhausted. Now as I got the end of the book and discovered WHY Miles is so closed off, I started to feel a little bad. It's a big reveal. Somewhat expected-ish. And I can kind of understand how something like this would really damage somebody emotionally but he takes it so far it's just ridiculous. I have no more words. I hate that I disliked this book. I wanted to love it but there was just too much unnecessary angst and I hated how horribly Tate was treated by him. Girlfriend needed to run for the hills. I know it's hard to be objective when you are in the situation but c'mon. I love books that give you amazing love stories that are just on this side of impossible, but this just wasn't realistic at all to me. Things like this don't end well in real life. I've seen this scenario played out with friends a dozen times. And if you find this review offensive, I can't say I'm sorry. It's heated and angry but this is why I started my blog. To have a cathartic outlet in order to get my feelings out about a book I read...and I clearly had a lot of feelings.

To end on a positive note, this book could have been 5 stars. I liked the overall general concept of a broken man learning to fall in love but it was just gone about the wrong way in my opinion. 

How This Book Could Have Been 5 Stars:
NO Flashback chapters
NO chapters written in verse and aligned in the center of the page
Chapter's with Miles' present day POV
Learning his secret early on from his POV so we can empathize with his pain
Making Rachel as likable as Maggie from Maybe, Someday so I can root for her and not hate her


Denied at the Door
I just couldn't handle this one.

6 comments:

  1. Man, this is yet another review I've read that has said how miles' behavior is borderline abusive. I don't wanna read that. also i totally trust you so I'm def putting this in my don't want to read pile! Besides, I have all of her other books I still need to read. :) I've only read (and loved!) maybe someday. i'll get on the others! also -- i just have to say LOL at those text messages. also -- medical mistakes in books drive me up a wall too so i totally get it. ALSO, haaa at the job thing. I'm not a nurse so I don't really know but as a new grad dentist up in very dentist-populated seattle? no one wants to hire a new grad dentist. it sucks. i can imagine that would be the same for nurses!

    -Wendy @ Book Scents

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  2. Wow. The only Colleen Hoover book I've read so far is Hopeless and I loved it! I was planning on getting this one, but now, not so much. My younger sister sounds a lot like Tate. She's been in emotionally abusive relationships so I'm pretty sure this book would make me rage. And all those medical mistakes??? When authors make blatant mistakes I'm like "seriously? you couldn't do some research?" I mean, I know it's a book and they are going to take liberties and that's fine, but simple stuff like that? Come on. Thanks for your honesty, Kelly! I'll stick to her other books.

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  3. I hate, hate, hate books with no or shoddy research. As of late I have read a book that said Philadelphia was a seaport, a story where a nurse was discussing a 16 year old character's father's alcoholism, diagnosis and treatment next to a hospital elevator with people waiting for the elevator listening in, and book written about Detroit with American characters by a South African author in which the Americans use British words and terms in conversation. Also, the South African author must be under the impression Americans say the F-word just about every other word. As far as a nurse giving stitches outside of the hospital... my friend is an RN and she wouldn't even take the stitches out of my dog to save me the cost of a vet's visit, lol.

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  4. Whoa. This is quite the review. Very honest. Thanks for sharing.

    "How many scorned women are there out there? How often do we read stories about women or have friends who have been hurt time and time again and what do we tell them? Keep trying. You'll find somebody who treats your right. Keep opening up your heart, be open. Men? Oh hell no. They're ruined after one bad relationship. Let me play the world's tiniest violin for you. Man up, bro." - PREACH. You said what I have been thinking for years. Because I see guy characters like this all the time and it drives me nuts. I always feel like girls go through so much more betrayals than guys and we don't act as jaded on love.

    And I liked how you touched in the first part of your review on how Miles fell into insta obsession. It bugs me when a guy supposedly falls for a girl but there is no reason to why and what qualities she has.

    You did a lot of research and I like how you saved the texts and are showing them to us, lol. That's pretty bad ass. Great review.

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  5. This is one hell of a review, K! I really liked that you went so in-depth into your reasons for disliking Ugly Love, especially the parts related to your experience as a nurse. It's seriously interesting to have witnessed you take apart various aspects of this novel to show readers why you weren't one of its fans! I've not read any Hoover novels yet, but now I know I ought to stay well away from this one. Thanks for elaborating!

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  6. I can't lie, this breaks my heart. I haven't read this one because I have heard numerous things I didn't like. I still love Colleen.. just... you know. Will maybe skip :-X

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