BOOK REVIEW: Confess – by Colleen Hoover

Title: Confess
Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
First published: March 10th 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Finished reading: July 16th 2017
Pages: 320

“Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they’ll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you make them feel.”

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Spoiler alert: I seem to be having a love-hate relationship with Colleen Hoover‘s books. I know contemporary romance normally isn’t my thing at all and you might ask yourself: why on earth pick up a book belonging to a genre that’s not for you in the first place? Well, mostly because Colleen Hoover is one of the few authors that has been able to give solid proof (a.k.a. November 9 and It Ends With Us) that I can actually love a contemporary romance story. So when I was looking for something completely different to read, I turned to CoHo again and decided to pick up on of her novels still on my TBR. I mainly picked Confess because I was curious about the anonymous confessions incorporated into the story. And now I’ve finished reading it, I still think this is the strongest element of this novel. I just love the idea of the anonymous confessions made into art, the symbolisms and the fact that the actual paintings are shown in the novel. The confessions, both anonymous and those of the main characters, play a big role throughout the story and the title is definitely spot on. I initially received mainly positive vibes as I was reading Confess and I really thought it was going to be another winner for me, but unfortunately this feeling didn’t last. It wasn’t the writing style, which was just as good as ever and one of the reasons her books are just so damn readable. BUT. And here come two big issues… 1. The characters. 2. Instalove. I was able to tolerate the main characters initially, mostly because the writing style is very enjoyable and I was intrigued by the confessions and paintings. I even forgave the cliches initially… But this all went south when both Auburn and Owen started to annoy me. Even worse: other characters started popping up that provoked even worse feelings and that was not even the end of it. Because Confess suffers from a very heavy case of one of the most annoying romantic tropes: instalove. Auburn and Owen… Sorry, I just wasn’t able to believe it and it was really hard to keep taking the story seriously when I couldn’t take serious their (inter)actions. I was about halfway through when Confess had officially lost me to an instalove overdose. Which is a shame, because Confess does touch some very important topics and brings to light just how toxic and manipulative human beings can be. I can really see why people would love this story, but Confess was most definitely a solid case of ‘not-for-me’.

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Auburn Reed has been having a rough couple of years and has moved to Dallas to try and rebuild her shattered life. She has been fighting for a long time and her goals seem to be very close now… But it seems like life will be never easy for her. Auburn was just looking for a second job to get more money, but she ended up finding a whole lot more when she walks into a Dallas art studio and meets the artist and owner Owen Gentry. They share an instant attraction and Auburn decides to take a chance and put her heart first. But Owen has been keeping secrets from her… Secrets that might ruin the last thing in her life that is important to her.

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First of all I have to say that Confess by no means is a bad read, and I’m probably partly to blame for this story and me not being a right match. The writing style is just so readable and I do love the idea of the confessions turned into art and the way confessions are incorporated into the story itself. Confess isn’t just another sappy romance story and has a few very dark themes, but in the end it was the instalove overdose and inability to tolerate the main characters that ruined the reading experience for me. Oh well, I guess we can’t like them all… And what I said before is true: Colleen Hoover is always able to provoke very strong reactions with her stories whether they are positive or negative. And that is always a good sign.


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28 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Confess – by Colleen Hoover

    • I personally didn’t like Ugly Love all that much; I prefer Maybe Someday (or actually Maybe Not even better). Good to hear we share the same favorites!

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  1. I didn’t mind this too much, though not my favourite and is filled with YA tropes more than many of her other works. Most of the appeal came from it being a little lighter on the feels – like the characters weren’t so damaged and didn’t have to go through a tragedy leaving them psychologically scarred that seems to pop up in her stories with frequency. Even though I have issues with contemporaries, I must admit, every now and then I enjoy a predictable read – like watching a movie you don’t have to think about – entertaining, a change of pace, and a happy ending. The strongest element were the confessions, and my favourite part of the novel. Contemporaries can be a bit of a lucky dip… but I always try to take something from them; either to improve my writing, or blow me away with prose. I’ve got November 9, It Ends With Us and Ugly Love on my TBR shelf waiting for the mood to strike.

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    • Yeah I can definitely understand that. If you want something ‘light’ I can recommend November 9 and It Ends With us is brilliant even though it is a lot darker… I’m not really into contemporary romance myself, but I always love finding exceptions that prove me wrong the genre simply isn’t for me. I hope you will enjoy these!

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  2. Great review… I don’t think I’ve read anything by Hoover… or maybe I did but it was a collab? something like Never Never? was that it? Yes, that was it 😀 (just googled)… I read the series but I ound it bland… haven’t tried anything else… but if you say some contemp by her is good, I may consider checking out 🙂

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    • I personally wasn’t really a fan of Never Never either (especially hated the ending) and her books tend to be hit or miss for me, but I did love November 9 and It Ends With Us! Most people seem to love those so these two titles might be the best to try if you want to give her books another go. 🙂

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  7. I remember feeling so disappointed when I read Confess, this was my first CoHo disappointment. I have loved all her others before that (Hopeless, Slammed series, Ugly Love) and when I got to this, I was saddened that it wasn’t a match for me. Just like you, the characters and instalove was a miss for me. Even the overuse of cliches had me rolling my eyes into another dimension. I felt like there was a little too much going on plot wise. I hope you enjoy your next read more!

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    • Good to know I wasn’t the only one! I haven’t tried the other titles (except for Ugly Love, which I sadly didn’t like either), but there were quite a few titles I did love… Confess sadly didn’t make it to the list, but fingers crossed the next CoHo book will be better. (I’m eyeing her newest Without Merit right now which seems to be receiving a lot of high ratings so far!)

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