Series: Hopeless #2
Published by Atria on July 8th 2013
In the follow -up to Colleen Hoover's #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.
In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.
Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…
Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder's head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.
My review of Hopeless is a more balanced review dealing with both the emotion and the plot. I recommend you read that first as this is more a treatise of the effects both Hopeless and Losing Hope had on me as a reader. The plot of Losing Hope is stellar, that is beyond question, the emotion is devastating, the characters unforgettable. The experience…read on –
There was one word that described my experience reading Hopeless and writing its review: Brutal. I didn’t think anything could surpass that but Losing Hope has destroyed me. Every emotion that I drowned in whilst reading Sky’s story came flooding back and swept me under until by the end I felt like I was gasping for breath and could go on no longer. Needless to say I’ve pretty much curled up in a ball, trying to think all the happy thoughts since then.
I actually broke down sobbing at the dinner table telling my family about the book and couldn’t eat. I’m sobbing now writing this review. I knew it would be affecting after how I let Hopeless in but I honestly didn’t think Holder’s story would be as brutal and upsetting. To be honest for most of the book I was able to remain at a distance from the story, a curious observer. I knew what was coming so I felt prepared. I could cope with all the shocks, I had cried with Sky, I knew Holder couldn’t possibly be worse, after all, he was almost an observer like me right? Wrong.
Holder’s grief is palpable. A pulsing entity of pain and sadness from page one. Hoover with an unrelenting pace drags us along with Holder through his sister’s suicide, his guilt at not being able to save her, his heart’s momentarily leap of optimism when he first meets Sky and believes she is his childhood friend, the doubt that creeps in as he gets to know her and his joy at falling for Sky, his wish that Hope is at peace and that this exceptional young woman is someone he can forge a future with, a future with Sky filled with anticipation and belief in good and not a reminder of HopeLess – a life of regret.
There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the roller-coaster of emotional turmoil, happiness, fleeting joy, crushing blows and eventual peace that one experiences reading this book.
The story is familiar but there are small moments, moments where Sky’s perception of Holder’s actions shaped her story only for us as the readers to discover they were something completely different. At all times his goal was to protect Sky from a pain so immense surely no-one could survive it. Her strength coupled with his love formed a bond stronger than titanium and together they were able to face the horrifying events that tainted their combined pasts. Holder’s self-blame is heartbreaking to read and you can’t help but sympathise and rejoice as he discovers his own personal form of therapy, writing in his sister’s notebook, sharing his thoughts, paving his path to healing with moments of joy mingled with crushing pain. It’s gut punching at its best.
The chemistry between Sky and Holder is almost overwhelming when combined with his colliding wishes that she is indeed the friend he has never forgiven himself for losing and his desire that she really is Sky so he can protect her from the inevitable pain of coming to terms with a stolen childhood. It is beyond upsetting as the memories from Hopeless come flooding back and the feeling of helplessness as you watch two people desperately try to survive a pain that cuts deeper than the sharpest knife edge and struggle to endure it and come out the other side with scars that hopefully will heal.
There are moments of light relief which are a welcome distraction but never quite ease the heavy ache in the pit of your stomach. As the book progresses my role as curious observer became a struggle to maintain and then Chapter Forty-seven-and-a-half happened…
Holder says that Devastation is something that should only be allowed to refer to mothers who have lost children – by the end of this chapter I can honestly say that it can be used by readers of this book too. The past that we think we have finally got a grip on, the story we think we know is ripped from our trusting souls and turned completely on its head.
There are no words that can really do this book justice and my paltry attempt above is unworthy but suffice to say the story is one that will never leave me. I ended my review of Hopeless with a sentence that I think is only fitting that it be included as an edited version here too as it truly encapsulates all the FEELS –
This story of Sky and Holder captivated me from the stunning prologue of Hopeless through reveal after reveal after reveal until the ending of Losing Hope when I thought I finally had it all figured out and no way could I be bested again when my knees were taken out from under me and I was once again left me breathless, speechless but thankfully – not hopeless.