Heart Bones and Without Merit by Colleen Hoover: Book Review // I lost my way in this Co-Ho edition

Title: Heart Bones
Author: Colleen Hoover
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Slightly warm
Page Count and Format: 338 pages, Ebook
Published: August 19th 2020 by Hoover Ink, Inc.
Source: Purchased
Trigger Alert: Death, addiction

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.

With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbour Samson throws a wrench in that plan.

Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.

She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.


Heart Bones is a story about hope and faith.

Beyah Grim’s life is literally grim with an addict mother who suddenly passes away and a father with whom she barely has any contact. Beyah keeps her mother’s death a secret while she calls her father who readily agrees to make her a part of his life.

Beyah was epically hesitant with her father and his family. Which was pretty normal according to me after all she has been through. Her father, on the other hand, is extremely rich and the new lifestyle comes as a pretty big shock to her. Although there were ups and downs, the family dynamics of the book touched my heart. I was glad to see no cliched evil stepmother or stepsister. Instead, we were given a family who was willing to try their best to include Beyah in their life.

Samson is introduced as the playboy by Beyah’s step-sister who bytheway is pretty awesome. Like Beyah, I thought she was going to be portrayed as one of those mean girls, but her being compassionate, smart and kind. When it came to Samson, I was hesitant as well, however as the book proceeded, I fell in love with him, just like Beyah. He is a layered character who sometimes frustrated me but also made me root for him.

The plot twist is another thing I did not see coming. As usual. However, Beyah’s understanding and faith warmed my heart. The ending just brought a HUGE smile to my face. The hope, ohmygod the hope this book made me feel. This book was worth the 3 AM reads so definitely recommend it.


Title: Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Slightly warm
Page Count and Format: 385 pages, Ebook
Published: October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books
Source: Purchased
Trigger Alert: Addiction, attempted suicide, physical and mental abuse, cheating 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.


The blurb speaks out the truth. The Voss family is terrifically not normal. Not at all.

It felt weird reading this book since the family dynamics were so messed up. Such a contrast to Heart Bones, that I felt out of place reading this. My mind was a mess. Merit is the epitome of the rebel kid. She has so much anger and frustration which is evident in her every action. I didn’t like her siblings much, I understand the lack of relationship among them but leaving her out of everything did not feel right, not when she hasn’t done anything.  ALSO, Merit’s father lives with his new wife while his ex-wife lives in the basement?! Like how is that relatively possible? The chaos does not stop.

Sagan was weird. NO, every character in this book was. He kisses Merit by thinking she is her identical twin, and later he just gives some justification which I honestly cannot remember right now, but it was based on- we were always friends. Um, okay, if you say so. Though I was glad he stood by her side when no one else was.

The biggest issue I faced within the book was that I didn’t quite understand what was going on. The story felt stuck along with the characters and I was bored. Then all of a SUDDEN, everything comes crashing down with the plot twist. The things which did not make sense in the beginning finally begins to clear up from this point onwards. I honestly sped read the pages since nothing was happening before this and everything was happening at once. The abuse came to light which broke my heart. However, I was relieved to see how the aftermath of the consequence and every else was wrapped up. Although I was not a fan of the characters, I was thrown aback by the plot which held my attention after the big revelations. 

This book focused on quite a few heavy issues, however, portraying them all at once did not play to the advantage of this book. This book is not thankfully not heavy on romance since it’s the last thing you need. Second chances and hope are the key messages to take away from this book, however, it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.



Hey guys? Have you read these two books or either? Do you read Co-Ho’s books? If yes, which one is your favourite? Any recommendations? 

Verity and Regretting You by Colleen Hoover: Book Review // Co-Ho: The Intense Shock Edition

Title: Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: Warm
Page Count and Format: 324 pages, Ebook
Published: December 7th 2018 by Hoover Ink, Inc.
Source: Purchased
Trigger Alert: Death, Betrayal

Blurb (from Goodreads):

*I would recommend blindly going into this book*

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.


This book is a complete mindfuck. I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling when I read the last few pages and closed the book.

Utterly mindblowing!

The plot twist was completely off the curve. Colleen Hoover has a habit of randomly throwing a plot twist when you least expect her to and it’s one of her elements I love. It’s always a knee jerk reaction. And this book completely blew the roof. To this day, the last chapter haunts me.

Lowen is the main protagonist of this book who is a struggling writer. She finally gets a break when she is offered to write Verity Crawford’s, a successful author’s remaining books since the author is in a coma for years after an accident where her daughter died. Lowen’s discovery of an unfinished biography of Verity changes her perspective about a lot of things. CoHo managed to develop such an utterly disturbing and layered character with Verity. This book has an alternative chapter of Lowen and Verity’s journal and ohmygod, it was, very much troublesome.

The novel takes place in Crawford residence where she slowly begins to develop feelings for Jeremy, Verity’s husband. The feeling is quite mutual and I enjoyed the chemistry between them. The build-up between the characters to a slow-burn romance was is definitely one of my favourites part of the book. The suspense throughout the book kept me on my toes. There’s always this lurking feeling and the author managed to create a creepy environment that matched the tone of the book. And there are bread crumbs throughout the book which further adds to the mystery.

I believe I finished this book in one sitting, so if you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend you to!


Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: Warm
Page Count and Format: 363 pages, Ebook
Published: December 10th 2019 by Montlake Romance
Source: Purchased
Trigger Alert: Accident, Death, Betrayal

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.


This book broke my heart. This is what Colleen Hoover does every time and I go back to her because of it. I was putting off this book since I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it like the rest of her books but boy, oh boy was I wrong.

The story introduces us to Morgan and her three friends. One is her boyfriend Chris who becomes her husband, the second is her sister and best friend, Jenny and her boyfriend, Jonah. The story takes a time leap of 17 years where we see Morgan as a stay-at-home mom and Jonah almost out of the story since he went (read: ran) away after Morgan’s pregnancy news.

From the initial first chapters, the chemistry between Morgan and Jonah was palpable, however, when it came to their significant others, not so much. The two meet again when Morgan’s sister Jenny announces her pregnancy.

When the two met again, my heart broke again! Their connection was something else, yet they stuck with someone, out of duty/comfort? Though, I kinda get it. Missed timings. 😦

The story takes a tragic turn with Chris and Jenny’s accident. It spins off Morgan and creates a further rift between her and her daughter. Clara is going through her own turmoil after losing her father and her aunt (who I was not a fan of from the very first introduction despite her being described as a loving sister) who she adored. Morgan was trying to prevent her daughter from making the same mistake and the chaos between the two spiralled out of control. Miller was her only comfort and I loved the slow-budding romance between the two.

I loved Clara and Miller, however, for me, it was Morgan and Jonah who stole the show. The plot twist broke my heart. The secrets broke my heart. I don’t know how Morgan handled the heartbreak, I was a blubbering mess while reading this. I could feel what was coming but I was not ready for the impact. However, the development arc of Morgan and Clara’s relationship was one of my favourite aspect of the book. I really loved how the ending connected everything, so yes please go read this book!


So, on my last review, I said that I would do a K-pop match vibe for my reviews. Do give this a listen! 

For this edition, I feel there are a lot of elements in both the books with resonated with Red Velvet’s song. Also, it’s one of my absolute favourites. 



Have you read any of these books? Do you usually pick up contemporary romance? Any recommendations?