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Fiction in Fiction in Fiction

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)

Hopeless - Colleen Hoover “I want to make it better but I can’t and I feel so hopeless.”This was so painful. My heart is still pounding right now. How can a book be so bleak, dark, haunting, heart-wrenching, raw, HOPELESS... yet so beautiful, full of love, faith and HOPE all at the same time?! I don't know how but Colleen has done it again.One of the most amazing books I've ever read. Hopeless dealt with so many issues perfectly, never overcrowding, but relentless in filling my heart with an endless stream of emotions.I laughed. A lot. I held my breath. A lot. And I cried. Hopelessly.There was just so much going on and I LOVED it - never has an author dropped so many bombshells, pulled so many twists and yet managed to keep the plot not only continuing, but flow seamlessly with those bombshells and twists. I’ve read so many books that tried to deal with too many issues simultaneously and it resulted in the characters handling too much and becoming confusing. Colleen managed to give our protagonist and her love interest so many problems to deal with, so many haunting secrets and each a past that overshadows and threatens to ruin whole lives (no I am not being dramatic – this is truth), in a perfectly relatable and understandable fashion. In the midst of so much conflict is the frail love that blossoms and blooms but could wilt at any moment. There is so much uncertainty and yet it’s filled with this gripping intensity that seized my heart.Everything about the characters was damaged, flawed, broken and at the cusp of the pain, seemingly hopeless. Yet they hold so much strength, love, understanding and faith that there was this all-rounded hope embracing everybody. From the beginning, Sky is known to make out with boys because it makes her feel numb. At first read, this seems ridiculous and slutty but I couldn’t help but accept her for this. In Sky’s voice, Colleen has made Sky’s actions reasonable which is amazing. Then we meet Holder, who manages to make Sky’s frozen heart beat again. There is instantly a spark but as with Colleen’s novels, there’s no insta-love, but realistic attraction and development of feelings. “I want to tell you exactly how I feel but there isn’t a single goddamned word in the entire dictionary that can describe this point between liking you and loving you, but I need that word.”“Live. If you mix the letters up in the words like and love, you get live. You can use that word.” They live each other. I loved that. The weight and importance of that word carries through to the end of the novel and it’s only near the end that we realise what living really means.Sky has got to be one of the strongest protagonists ever written. I’m filled with so much dread reading her – so many times did I go “oh god please no, let this not be real” as she’s had to endure so much. And she comes out so strong. Faced with betrayal of the strongest kind, nearly left with nothing she soldiered on. Never have I met a female lead so forgiving, so full of the capacity to love with a heart that should have died long ago – a heart shattered and in pieces yet still held together due to her perseverance. Her understanding, loyalty and COMPASSION are something I’m taking away from this book and taking upon myself to have. Yes her actions and feelings had THAT much of an impact on me. But she’s no saint, she hates too, and there is so much hate, fear, grief and just about every negative emotion thought of that I could associate with Sky. Some things are unforgiveable and realistically Sky doesn’t forgive but she learns to move on. All on her own. “The things that knock you down in life are tests, forcing you to make a choice between giving in and remaining on the ground or wiping the dirt off and standing up even taller than you did before you were knocked down. I’m choosing to stand up taller. I’ll probably get knocked down a few more times before this life is through with me, but I can guarantee you I’ll never stay on the ground.”That’s the beauty of this book and the romance – there is no co-dependence. Holder comes across as some delinquent bad boy in the blurb and I thought it would be something like Beautiful Disaster: two destructive people colliding and igniting (the fuel to one’s fire). However, each MC can stand on their own two feet because of sheer willpower and strength. And oh Holder really seems like the perfect love interest. He has this intensity about him that I was instantly drawn to. The words he said would sound extremely lame, cliché and stupid coming out of anybody else’s mouth, but in the light of the situations, his words provided a support for all parties involved – they held a power that gripped my heart and then made it explode. Holder himself is filled with so much grief, loss and hopelessness that every time he was able to smile and make others smile, I fell in love with him a little more. He’s selflessness incarnate.“And once again in my new world full of heartache and lies, this hopeless boy somehow finds a way to make me smile.”This is probably the most quotable book I’ve read since The Fault in Our Stars. Colleen’s writing surpasses the poetic brilliance that was Slammed and Point of Retreat, and reaches a new high point. Why stop at the sky when you can reach for the stars beyond? Because she did just that; the witty and sarcastic words made me smile and laugh until I cried while her passionate and hurting characters made my heart shudder and shatter. Her ability to combine different forms of prose into one is amazing – we had the poetry in Slammed/PoR but here we have memories/flashbacks. Having previously read a book with a flashback to a young child I was severely disappointed with the outcome in that book, but again Colleen delivers with a beautiful, innocent and scared voice of 5 year old Sky.“I don’t know what stargazing is, but it sounds like something I would like. I love the stars. I know my mom loved them, too, because she put them all over my room.”I’m not finished gushing about Hopeless yet because the best is yet to come: when I finished this book, everything just came together. The way Colleen managed to connect everything, to link every event, every character throughout was like an orchestra coming together as it reaches its heart-stopping crescendo in a symphony and you’re left with this ache afterwards that there’s no more.“The sky is always beautiful. Even when it’s dark or rainy or cloudy, it’s still beautiful to look at. It’s my favourite thing because I know if I ever get lost or lonely or scared, I just have to look up and it’ll be there no matter what...and I know it’ll always be beautiful.”