Thursday, October 8

[Review] Confess - Colleen Hoover

Author: Colleen Hoover
Original Title: Confess
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Finished Date: April 9th, 2015
Pages: 306
Read in: English


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…
Source: GoodReads


Yes. This book finally made me understand why people seem to praise Colleen Hoover so much that they almost treat her as a GOD. This was so much better than what I anticipated, I can't even put it into words. It wasn't perfect - there were some things that didn't really set quite right with me, but it was powerful. It was moving. It was beautiful.
As in Maybe Someday, which I've also read and reviewed (click here to go see that review), Colleen decided to transcend the written word as a way to tell her story. In Maybe Someday she used music to complement the story. In this book she used paintings. Beautiful, soulful paintings. And I don't even like paintings all that much.
The story was heart-wrenching, and even if it was a bit too much at times - which, lets face it, is Colleen's style - it still managed to throw me off with a big revelation that changed everything.
If you're looking for a good NA, go pick this one up.

The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

The book starts out immensely tragic with Auburn spending the last moments of Adam's life with him. Cancer is a very sad reality of many people's lives, but I think it always hits harder when it's a kid.
«We've known for six months that it would end this way. Of course we all prayed for a miracle, but this isn't the kind of miracle that happens in real life.»
Given that his family was horrible to her during what I imagine must have been a really emotionally draining situation - the death of her boyfriend (and yes, you could argue that they were going through worse, but just because you're hurting and mourning doesn't mean that other people's feelings mean nothing and it certainly doesn't mean you're the only one who is entitled to do so) - I couldn't understand why exactly Auburn would have kept in close contact with them and why she seemed to be so desperately seeking approval from them five years later. It never occurred to me that she might have had a child. Adam's child.

The circumstances under which Owen and Auburn meet are kind of unrealistic, yes, and the fact that they seem to know each other already was annoying and felt a bit like insta-love until I actually realised they did already know each other.
«I could tell her how I know her. Make her realize why I have this overwhelming urge to protect her. But some secrets I'll take to my grave, and this is definitely one of them.»
And that's the thing about this book. Most of the things I didn't really understand until Colleen wanted me to understand. And it just made the punch this story packs much stronger.
It is also when we meet Owen and he offers to pay a hundred bucks an hour for a really simple and easy two-hour job (uh, where can I sign up for one of these?) that we get the impact of the first paintings. And boy, was I moved.
These are beautiful paintings, really. Props to the Danny O'Connor, the artist. And to the readers that provided the confessions which served as inspiration.
And it's such an original, creative idea. To turn confessions into art. It's basically an unending pool of inspiration for an artist, it's hard to believe it's never been done before. I have no drawing or painting skills whatsoever - in fact, my drawings could easily be confused with a pre-schooler's -, but I remember thinking what a great idea it was.

This wasn't all great though. Like most of Colleen Hoover's work I've had a chance to read, this novel is a tad overly dramatic and exaggerates a lot of things. For example, when Auburn invites Owen into her apartment and automatically her train of thought is,
«What the hell am I doing? I don't do this kind of thing. I don't invite guys into my home. Texas is turning me into a whore.»
She is a whore because she invited a guy into her apartment. Wait. What? Where did logic go?

I hated Lydia and Trey. And I mean hate as in wish-you-were-dead hate, not I-hate-you-but-I-kind-of-love-hating-you hate. But still, everything felt very... unresolved in the end. The way Auburn and Owen's father dealt with them felt rushed and not really handled. I mean Lydia is a mean controlling bitch, I don't think she'd be any more trouble, especially because she cares about AJ in her own way. But Trey... I don't think this would be a stable solution for him. Really, the guy tried to rape her. He would have if it weren't for Emory. I just seriously doubt this will stop him. Because unlike Lydia, he doesn't really care about AJ. He's just a desperate, controlling and abusive man. And desperate men do desperate things. The hold over his job won't stop him forever.

And Owen's dad... That was incredibly sad to read about. But he did come through in the end, which made me so happy. No child should have to go through what Owen did for his dad. The painting of him was my favourite out of them all.

«"I'm scared I'll never feel this again with anyone else," I whisper.
He squeezes my hands. "I'm scared you will."»
Did you read this book? What did you think? Let me know! :) 


  1. I've heard so much good things about Colleen Hoover, but I haven't actually read anything by her yet. But after reading this, her books are going to be bumped up on my TBR list!
    Great review!
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

    1. Thank you Erika! :)
      I've actually read quite a lot of her books, and this is my favourite so far, so I would recommend giving this one a go.
      Thanks for stopping by!