May 7, 2013
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Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…
That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.
Hopeless is one of the first New Adult books I've read - the Slammed series by the same author, which I"ve also read, is either YA or New Adult - and if it's anything to go by, it's a genre I'm going to have to pay attention to.
While there is definitely some content in Hopeless that isn't that appropriate for younger readers, the age of the characters, that they're in high school and what they're experiencing keeps things more relevant and relatable for older teen/young adult readers. New Adult as an idea and a genre is a great bridge between younger teenage characters and situations and adult characters, Hopeless executing it very well.
If you've read Slammed, some of the same themes or situations seem to be used in Hopeless (backgrounds of characters, situations). They're used so differently and with such different characters, though, that it doesn't feel like anything's being repeated (ie it may be noticed that this character was in foster care and so was that one). I actually liked how vastly different two stories could be with some of the same elements.
If they're present in everything she writes, I may - may - feel differently.
Despite the story being from Sky's point-of-view, I had no trouble at all connecting with or relating to Holder's character. His interactions with Sky, what he shares with her, and her observations of him really made him feel like as just a full character as Sky, the narrator.
At times the plot seemed to be going somewhere predictable, that the reader was going to be able to guess everything ahead of the characters. I liked that things didn't quite unfold that way. Things weren't simple but they stayed true to the characters, who they were and what they needed. Even when things got darker - or perhaps more so then - the story stayed very real.
It's usually more science fiction or dystopian novels that leave me thinking after they're over but sometimes a really good contemporary fiction leaves me thinking about it - and its characters - after I've finished. Hopeless is one of those books. I'm excited to let you know what I think about the follow-up, Losing Hope!