Published November 2015
Genres: New Adult
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Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel.
Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
November 9 is yet another Colleen Hoover signature book, which was anxiously awaited. It is the standalone story of Fallon O’Neil and James Benton Kessler. James rescues Fallon from a very uncomfortable discussion she is having with her absent father in a café. While the two of them click, Fallon is reluctant to explore the relationship further because she will be moving to New York soon, and because she firmly believes what her mother told her: that she is too young for love. So the two of them make a pact: they do not exchange numbers, but agree to meet again on the same day in a year (in other words, on November 9) for the next years to come.
I was a bit disappointed since I did not get the usual CoHo feels when reading November 9. That’s mainly because I couldn’t fully relate to the storyline. “Plausibility” or “believability” of the story is something I find very important. Don’t get me wrong: I am not a total Cartesian and I do like a fair amount of magic and serendipity, but I know where I draw the line. And that would be at insta-love and repeated chance encounters – did I mention repeated?
“I finished falling in love with her almost immediately after I started, because it was a straight plummet from the top to the bottom. A woosh. An instant. Insta-Love.”
Would you believe that, against all odds, the main characters meet once a year, without failure? They may have known each other for years, yet they’ve only shared a couple of hours together. They meet only once a year and in my opinion 364 days without any further contact is a damn long time to not be thinking about something/something else.
And although the insta-love aspect of the plot was pushing it, the two characters had great chemistry which made up for some really great banter and humour. Fallon and Benton could hold entire conversation in sexual innuendos and I loved that playful Collen Hoover writing style. The rest of the writing style was perfect anyway. As always, Colleen Hoover managed to write in full Technicolor, and truly brought the book to life through flashbacks.
Benton was also the perfect gentleman and book-boyfriend, slowly helping Fallon to help accept herself and her past. There was actually a huge emphasis on Fallon’s “issues” in November 9, probably because they were visible in the form of scars. I would have loved for the book to focus just as much on Benton’s issues – the one that turned him into a depressive lost soul without any aim.
“From now on when you think about your scars, you aren’t allowed to resent them. You’re going to embrace them, because you’re lucky to be on this earth to see them.”
And if you can close an eye on the insta-love and serendipity aspects, the rest of the plot is pretty intriguing. Because it turns out that Fallon and Benton have a history. I hope this won’t spoil anything to you, but the subsequent plot itself reminded me a lot of Left Drowning by Jessica Park, and the final revelation in this book was definitely the same in November 9. So unfortunately, I had a full deja-vu during the last chapters, but I still very much enjoyed how Colleen Hoover executed the writing throughout the book (including her signature flashbacks).
I did actually get the full rollercoaster experience, especially around the 60% mark, where I suffered from severe heartbreak and the desire to punch someone (Benton?) in the face! But then again, I often wanted to punch Fallon in the face for denying herself something really great. But hey, what do I know!?
“Whoever said the truth hurts was being an optimist. The truth is an excruciatingly painful son of a bitch.”
Anyway – you need to take November 9 with a pinch of salt (and magic), but all in all it is yet a wonderful story that I certainly recommend!
Detailed Rating Storyline
All the feels