Meet Tate – a beautiful, innocent young nurse, recently moved into her older brother’s apartment while she studies medicine. She’s hardworking, studious, and too busy for love. Enter Miles – her brother’s handsome, brooding friend, colleague, and neighbour. Miles has a past that he doesn’t want to speak about, a past that has made him put up walls around his heart. Walls that Tate wants to break down. Miles only wants a physical relationship however, and has warned Tate that he has two rules that she must follow if she wants to keep seeing him – don’t ask about his past, and don’t expect a future. But can Tate really be satisfied with a meaningless fling?
The more I think about this novel, the less I like about it. It’s not a bad novel, at all, it just really didn’t do it for me. I’ve read a few of Colleen Hoover’s novels, and that, teamed with the fact that almost everyone in the book community seems to be raving about her, gave me such high hopes for this. Alas…
I sadly found the plot quite predictable – there were no major twists, and the ending came as absolutely no surprise to me. I felt it was a story that I’ve read so many times before, in different variations. Honestly, I think I’m growing tired of this trope – the ‘naive, innocent woman falls for the “bad” boy (who is usually quite clear as to his intentions, might I add..) and is devastated when she can’t change / fix him’. We’ve all read that story before, and it rarely deviates. It’s getting stale.
I think this is one of the main reasons that I couldn’t connect with the characters. Tate just left me exasperated – I understand that you can’t choose who you fall for, but she just kept putting her hand out to be slapped (figuratively speaking). I was internally screaming at her for the vast majority of the book. Seriously, you’re a grown woman, stop simpering and moping around after the hot neighbour. I just felt that her character had no depth, no back story, and I wasn’t invested in her, at all. Her arc was non-existent in my opinion.
Miles on the other hand, does have a back story, and does have quite a full arc. We see Miles’ story both in the present day, and through flashbacks of his life 6 years prior. The flashbacks are written in a poetic style, presumably to separate the present and past Miles, but also to show how much younger and happier he was then. Again, not something I was a fan of, I would have rathered his flashback chapters if they were more fleshed out and told more of that story – his past was the most interesting part of the novel for me. Present day Miles is still struggling to come to terms with the events of his past, and is doing all he can to prevent himself from getting hurt again. I didn’t dislike his character too much – I didn’t particularly like how he treated Tate – pulling her in one moment, pushing her away the next – but at least with his backstory, we had some understanding of why he acted that way. We learned far more about his character than Tate’s – to the detriment of the overall plot.
In terms of the actual plot – nothing really happened. We just followed Tate – lusting and moping after Miles, occasionally spending some happy times with him (when she wasn’t dodging the advances of her brother’s lecherous colleague – what was the point of his character anyway?) or listening to Miles’ tormented inner monologue, as he fights his feelings for Tate (when he’s not flying around being the worlds youngest flight captain – another thing that irks me about this, and other Hoover novels, her characters all seem to be massively successful at ridiculously young ages..but that’s a topic for another time.) until it all comes to the inevitable conclusion.
The final chapters are this novels saving grace. Yes, they’re predictable, but they’re satisfying and add a lot of depth and well needed warmth to the story. Did I roll my eyes at the ending? Yes, quite a bit, but I also smiled and when I closed the book, the negative feelings I had towards it had dimmed slightly.
So, would I recommend Ugly Love? Reluctantly. It’s just ok. I wouldn’t advise rushing out to buy it, but if someone was willing to lend it, or you could pick it up in your local library, then it’ll kill a few hours. There are far better Colleen Hoover books you could be reading, however.
I rated Ugly Love 2.5 stars.