November 9 was no different from the other books of hers I’ve read. It features Ben and Fallon, two strangers who meet by chance the day before Fallon is due to move from Los Angeles to New York. They have an instant connection but Fallon doesn’t believe in getting into relationships before the age of twenty-three, so they decide to meet up once a year for the next five years just to see how things go.
So obviously, this being a CoHo book, there’s loads of angst and drama. There was one plot twist that caught me off guard, but the main one at the end of the book I saw coming a mile off. That was okay, though, because it’s still executed well.
Gotta say, I didn’t cry. No, not even when Ben’s back story is revealed. It takes a helluva lot to make me cry over a book, like, I am literally made of ice, but having said this, it was quite an emotional read. I bought into Ben and Fallon’s love story as well as their back stories and I really rooted for them. Colleen Hoover, I’ve noticed, does this thing where she seems to throw like the worst things at her characters, almost like she’s challenging herself as a writer to plot her way out of the most difficult situations. And that’s great - I applaud her for doing it - but I wasn’t sure if I really bought the way Fallon forgave Ben at the end. Maybe this is to do with my Ice Queen persona, but I think in Fallon’s position I’d have been a bit more like, ‘Nuh-uh. No way, matey.’
I liked Fallon, for all her overly dramatic ways she was still quite a strong character. I liked Ben a bit less, but I generally don’t like the guys in NA novels that much anyway. He rebuilt Fallon’s smashed confidence but he was super controlling: telling someone what to wear and putting your hand over her mouth when she’s trying to say something is not cool. And he comes out with a couple of lines when they’re doing the business that made me do a face like I’d swallowed vinegar.
I did like the idea behind the book - the whole meeting up once a year thing - but I felt that Fallon’s reasons for not wanting a relationship before she was twenty-three were flimsy. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased that she didn’t change her plans to move to New York just for some random guy, but seriously, when someone is as hot as Ben you Skype, or you have a phone relationship. Why should being in a relationship automatically mean you don’t achieve your life goals? Unless the person you want to be in a relationship with is stifling and controlling, in which case waiting five years ain’t gonna help.
So, I’ve given this book three and a half stars. It was perfectly okay romance novel, not haute literature, but it never pretends to be.