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***From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.***
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
An original and intriguing love story that whetted my appetite, but unfortunately left me unfulfilled.
I couldn’t get my jumbled thoughts in order, so I recorded myself, and then transcribed them. Here they are:
I’ve been sitting on this review for a couple of days now, because I just didn’t know how I felt about this story. Actually, if I’m honest, I know how I felt about the story; I just didn’t like how I felt. In general, Confess left me underwhelmed.
I don’t mean that in a purely negative way. I mean that quite literally. I think that once again, even though I tried to avoid it, the hype killed it for me. I believe that even though Confess had all the right ingredients, I felt like something was missing from it. I felt like it was missing heart. I do think that it’s probably her best written work – technically. I liked the prose (especially in the beginning), and I saw her growth as a writer, but it still felt disingenuous to me. It didn’t feel true. I didn’t feel like I was reading a Colleen Hoover book, and I hate saying that, because I’m always saying that I want authors to try new things, and I try not to judge them on their previous work. I don’t think that I’m judging her on her previous work, I just think that this book felt like someone else wrote it. I started feeling that way about a 1/4 in, and I continued feeling that way for most of the story.
Let’s break down the plot: So, this story was about a Auburn and Owen. I will say that I was engaged in the beginning. I loved how they met. I was very much intrigued by the secrets they were both keeping. I loved the serendipitous element to their first meeting, and I really loved their chemistry early on. But something happened as the book went along…
I don’t know…I mean, obviously most of these romances are insta-love, although I don’t want to use that phrase, but I didn’t connect with their love story. I felt like all the words were there, but I just didn’t buy it, if I’m making any f*cking sense. I just didn’t connect.
I loved the premise. I loved that these were her most mature characters – even though it’s New Adult, this wasn’t the typical college romance. They had grown-up problems. I can’t give too much away, but I liked that Auburn had already experienced loss, and was struggling to rebuild her life after going though a truly, truly heartbreaking experience with her first love – but that’s another thing, I didn’t buy her love story with her first love either…I just think, overall, it felt like I was reading a story, and I wasn’t feeling a story, and that’s the worst to me.
…Owen experienced this intensely tragic event, and there didn’t seem to be any ripple effects with him, personally. I identified more with his father than I did him. There could’ve been more character development there. Similarly with Auburn, I understood that some of her actions were a result of the pain she experienced when she was younger, and she did do some dysfunctional stuff, but…I don’t know…the angst just wasn’t there. I wanted more emotion! It just didn’t rip me apart, and it could’ve, because these two experienced some pretty f*cking traumatic things.
The chemistry…it’s hard to explain these two together. I was so into them initially, but I lost interest somewhere in the middle of the book. I’m not quite sure what happened, and I sure as hell can’t pinpoint exactly what it was, other than just the quick progression of their relationship. But I’ve read other books that I loved with quick love, so that can’t be it. I did regain some interest towards the end, but then it was over, and I was sitting there like…um…I needed at least 50 more pages.
I don’t really know what I’m saying. I’m rambling. I think my overall feeling about Confess is that I didn’t feel it. I wanted more. I was so stoked about this concept, and I LOVED the art, and the confessions – actually, that’s another thing, I felt like Owen could’ve been this tortured artist, and he just wasn’t. It was just too light. That’s what it was. It just didn’t think this book had depth. To me. I think a lot of things were glossed over, a lot of stuff that could’ve made it so amazing, and it was just…I don’t know…I was given the Top 40 version. I need reality, and I need emotion. I need raw feeling.
As I said before, something of Colleen was missing. I didn’t feel her heart. Even in the dialogue…as I always explain to other readers, the reason why I love her books is because I love her voice. I LOVE her voice, and with Confess, I just didn’t feel like I heard her voice. I didn’t feel her voice…I don’t know…I’m not making any f*cking sense, but this is how I read books. That’s probably why it was so hard to maintain my attention…I mean, it’s not a bad book – I was entertained for the most part…I just wasn’t swept away. Yeah…
I obviously know that a lot of people are going to love it, and that I’ll probably end up in the minority once more readers devour this, so you can ignore my ass if you choose. In fact, definitely read it, and make up your own mind. I’m just sad and disappointed right now. I hate this feeling.
The story rates 3 hibiscus for me, since I probably won’t reread it, but I loved the paintings, and I keep going back to look at them, so I’m rounding up my rating.