Thursday, August 1, 2013

Losing Hope ~ Colleen Hoover (earc-ish) review

Losing Hope (Hopeless #2)
Atria Books
July 8, 2013
(paperback October 15, 2013)
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

Losing Hope is one of the follow-ups where you really do need to read the first book, well, first. (Of course, you'll want to as well because Hopeless is pretty amazing.)

In Hopeless we found out all about Hope and Sky's life, both past and present; the parts that involved Holder and those that didn't. We didn't learn a whole lot about Dean Holder, himself, however. We learned of some pretty major events that took place in his life but because Hopeless was told by Sky and then so much was happening in her life, the Holder things weren't quite explored.

Here, in Losing Hope, they are. It's very much Hopeless - starting a bit farther back - from Holder's point-of-view. We see his view of everything we saw Hope share in Hopeless along with some new - and earlier - things as well.

The events that we've already experienced from Hope's side are, especially, what make me say that Hopeless needs to be read first. While it may just be that I can't take away my personal experience and know how it would be to read Losing Hope first, it seems that without Hopeless you would lose a lot of what's happening. There is a lot of emotion in Sky and Holder's story, in Dean and Hope's story but as most of both Hopeless and Losing Hope occur in the present, most of that is focused on the revelations about Sky's life in Hopeless and for Dean figuring things out in Losing Hope -- not their childhood.

Which means, Sky's story -- or the bulk of it is in Hopeless and supplemented in Losing Hope but you need Hopeless to really know all of what's what and have the full emotional impact of the story in Losing Hope. It also means that while we get some of Holder's story in Hopeless - enough to love him, for sure - his tale is really is Losing Hope. They're perfect companions to each other, but definitely to be read in order.

Dean Holder is a fantastic character who I loved in Hopeless and even more in Losing Hope. He wasn't the narrator in Hopeless, yet I had no trouble relating to him. It was great that we were able to see more of his story than what was mentioned in Hopeless and learn more about who he is -- and was. We see him as a brother and a son and a friend in this novel, not just Sky's boyfriend (though he's great at that, too.)

I liked that we were able to see some interaction with Breckin, as well -- and get a few surprises there. (I forgot to mention in my Hopeless review that I keep picturing Breckin as Felix, Sarah's friend on Orphan Black . . . )

I think I still love Hopeless more . . . just a teeny bit but maybe if you put the ending and beginning of this book on it somehow? Or smooshed them together? (So, just read them both!)

Rating: 9/10

thank you to Atria/Simon & Schuster for approving me on NetGalley for the digital galley -- though my Kindle didn't accept it, so the review is of the finalized version

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