Photo Credit: Arba Bardhi
1/10, would NOT read it again
Ananya Handa, Staff Writer
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Where do I even begin? If you want to experience a rocky ride of absolutely nothing happening for 200 plus pages, go ahead and grab this book, you’ll have a great time! Never in my life have I loved to hate a book so much – so bland, so beige, so insignificant that it took me a week to remember what even happened in this book and, quite honestly, I’m still not too sure. I have to applaud Hoover for creating a main character who fits the idea of a ‘pick me’ so perfectly you wonder if she’s the reason they even exist in real life. Tate, our young 20-something protagonist in nursing school, has moved in with her brother, Corbin, and meets the guy who lives across the hall, Miles, who also happens to be her brother’s best friend. He is drunk in the hallway and calling out for ‘Rachel’ his long lost love – the definition of a bad boy with a heart of gold, so of course all of the plot, writing, and character flaws are immediately forgiven.
They meet, and Miles magically gets fixed enough to date Tate – or so it seems at the end, I quite honestly could not tell you because I may have fallen asleep by then. That is all. That is the entire story. The only mildly entertaining things about this book are the flashbacks showing Miles and Rachel’s relationship, but Hoover just loves to focus on the worse relationships (refer to: It Ends With Us). If you love a story with no chemistry, no plot, no goals, menial conflict, and even worse sex, by all means read Ugly Love. It managed to waste the 3 hours I deigned to spend on it and honestly, I would rather have written a U of T exam in that time.
Now let’s talk about the mildly entertaining plot in this book which didn’t even occupy half the pages (such a disappointment). Rachel and Miles get together in high school and the idea of an ‘Ugly Love’ comes into existence through Miles’s obsession with Rachel. It is concerning, to say the least, that they actually end up being step-siblings…who date…and have a baby. Yes, for some odd reason Hoover decided to make them step-siblings even though it added almost nothing to the story besides the ‘forbidden love’ trope.That trope could be done in so many better ways, but how dare I expect anything better from Colleen Hoover!? Quality writing would be a true travesty for her. Granted, Miles’s obsession with Rachel was communicated very well, which is high praise for anything in this book, but does that make up for anything else? No. Their relationship was interesting, it kept me hooked, and the few and far between moments I did get to witness that were ‘quality writing,’ or as ‘quality’ as I could expect from Colleen Hoover, kept me mildly engaged. I honestly think it was a trick because she knew they were the only good moments in this entire story.So what is the final verdict? Ugly Love is a literary masterpiece… in the sense that it’s a masterpiece for those who want a step-by-step demonstration on how to not write a book. I genuinely question if Hoover’s editors and publishers even proofread anything she writes before printing anymore. 1/10, would NOT read again.