Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: 10 Dec 2019
FOREWARNING. I LOVED THIS BOOK, SO NATURALLY THIS IS GOING TO BE AN INCOHERENT RAMBLE.
This was my first book by Colleen Hoover and won’t be my last (maybe? possibly?). Hoover’s writing has been praised by ‘all to Kingdom come’ for its originality and emotional impact in the YA/adult romance genres. I have to admit, the hype made me VERY skeptical but after reading Regretting You I have to admit there’s some merit there.
Regretting You kept me interested throughout as a host of family secrets unraveled to reveal life-altering betrayals. The story initially follows Morgan as a young seventeen year-old girl in the summer after she graduates high school. Her long-term boyfriend, Chris, was present throughout the summer alongside the remainder of their best friends quartet: Jonah (Chris’ BFF since childhood) and Morgan’s younger sister Jenny. When Morgan finds out she’s pregnant with Chris’ child, their world changes to an unrecognisable extent.
What truly captured my attention near the beginning of the book, and held it right through to the end, was CoHo’s choice to alternate POV from Morgan and her daughter Clara. Essentially, this was a book that explored love between a mother and daughter as well as their romantic relationships with others. While some of the actions of both characters had me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED this choice for alternating POV worked seamlessly.
Themes of grief, love, betrayal and second chances were intertwined to create a story that cuts to the heart of the matter and doesn’t fall prey to placating the reader with happiness through to the end. Instead, in the middle of the book I was SO ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and SAD. These emotions stemmed from my dislike of BOTH the characters due to their actions toward one another. Morgan and Clara COULD NOT GET ALONG and yet… this is reality isn’t it? Things are hard. Words are said that cut deep. White lies are told in the futile hope of protecting others.
It would have been easy to give this book 2 stars. It made me SO MAD and FRUSTRATED and yet… I couldn’t do that to CoHo. It was REAL and sometimes real is annoying and ugly and heart breaking. Sometimes teenagers are ASSHOLES and their characters should reflect that too. It was a love-hate (OMG this is GOOD) relationship between me and this book.
It was real. It was oftentimes ANNOYING. But it was real. For that alone I’ll give this book 4 stars. When you add in the characters of Jonah and Miller (the romantic SOs) this story gets bumped up to a 4.5 stars. I’ve refrained from the golden 5 Star rating as there were a few (admittedly small) issues the book should have dealt with better. I’m not going to say what they were (spoilers etc) but it was toward the end and some events/revelations felt like they were glanced over.
BUT… (there’s always a but)
I don’t know if I want to read any more books by this author. It was an emotional rollercoaster that was tiring to read (in terms of the emotional impact it had on me). If anything this is an outstanding compliment to CoHo’s writing ability.
Also… what if the other books are the same. I loved this one and if it turns out the other books are cookie cutter versions of this (as some authors inherently do this) I’d be so disappointed and this book would lose all of it’s shine.
Have you read any other CoHo books? Are they all the same as this one?