“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else”
Blurb via Goodreads:
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
She “loved me” in quotations
She kissed me in bold
I TRIED TO KEEP HER in all caps
She left with an ellipsis . . .
Cue in Colleen Hoover humming Britney’s “Oops! I did it again!” because YESSSS, CoHo most certainly did it again. But no, I really cannot imagine CoHo humming to it. Hmmmm…
“Whoever said the truth hurts was being an optimist. The truth is an excruciatingly painful son of a bitch.”
November 9 was surrounded with so much promotional hype months before the release date that the excitement and anticipation surrounding it was heavily palpable. It was really pressure upon the novel itself because everyone was looking forward to it. But knowing Colleen, this woman can never go wrong. I have followed her career from Slammed and devoured her works unfailingly as they came out and she is one of my automatic reads, my go-to author. Colleen is synonymous to brilliance, nothing less. And this novel is another masterpiece.
“One of the things I always try to remind myself is that everyone has scars. A lot of them even worse than mine. The only difference is that mine are visible and most people aren’t.”
November 9 tells the story of Ben and Fallon, who agreed to meet at the same time and date every year. The story weaves from the first November 9th the two have met and the last November 9th. Chapters are divided into a different November 9th of every year and narrates what transpired on each meeting and told in a dual POV.
“You left with my soul in your fists and my heart in your teeth, and I don’t want either of them back.”
I instantly loved Fallon’s character. She is beautiful as she is witty. Though life was a bit hard on her, making her withdraw and feel insecure with her looks, she, at that time, on the very first November 9th, was making the biggest decision of her life by moving across the country to New York. Fallon is a beautiful soul. She has humor and is driven; she is fierce and loyal. Tragedy happened but knowing Ben made her gain her confidence back. She was able to let the light back in her life. After two years of drowning into the cards she has been dealt, she slowly made her way up, gaining confidence and stitching bits and pieces of herself back.
“She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for.”
On the other hand, we also have Ben who may or may not have easily made his way into my heart at page 78 *airport scene*. (Sidenote: Most people say that their favorite CoHo boyfriend is Ridge. Mine is Will, until Ben came along, that is.) He has a boyish charm that is simply endearing and he truly made me smile just a few pages in. While other novels I have read are still establishing premise within the few chapters, Ben got me hooked on the first pages. He made me swoon and his character made me want to jump in and give him a more than 10 book-worthy kiss! He is nerdy yet engaging, a bubble of positivity and wisdom.
“I thought I was stronger than a word, but I just discovered that having to say goodbye to you is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
The novel started lightly enough on the very first November 9. Reading the first few pages made me realize how much I have missed reading a CoHo novel. I found myself smiling and laughing throughout the witty banter. I enjoyed their interaction and how they relate to one another. But don’t let that light feeling soothe you because CoHo once more worked her magic on this as she slowly built the story up. What started as light and fun slowly became a gripping, heart wrenching, emotional story of two broken souls who found saving and light in each other. This is a story of two imperfect people, who had to wade through their imperfection to find something as beautiful as the love they have nurtured.
“This is real life, and in the real world you have to bust your ass for the happy every after!”
I do not read a lot of reviews before I read a novel especially something as highly anticipated as November 9 for fear of stumbling into a spoiler that might kill any beautiful book moment for me. I just read the blurb and let me just tell you that there is more to it than what it is letting on when it said “for the sake of the ultimate plot twist”. I knew there was a twist coming because, well because it’s CoHo and she loves her darn twists. I somehow predicted it making me feel all smart about it but a few pages later shocked me in a way only CoHo could. It was unexpected and a few more pages after was another twist that just made me brace myself to see how my heart was keeping up. Another thing I loved about this novel is that the author do not have to inject a lot of sex just to keep things interesting. Yes, it has its steamy moments but everything was done in moderation and in a realistic dose. I love how she made me like instalove and in a time and place where loyalty is scarce, this novel was made to be unique and unconventional.
“It felt as if the second we joined together, a tiny piece of our souls got confused and a piece of him fell into me and a piece of mine fell into him. It was by far the single most intense moment I’ve ever shared with another person.”
On a lighter note, I was surprised when another well loved CoHo couple made a cameo and it was nice to see how this particular couple progressed. Another couple I actually wished to see more of is Amber and Glenn. Glenn was almost a non-character who I could easily forget but the bar scene just made me remember him every time I will think of this novel. And of course, people have to watch out for Theodore and his pants. Just.Wait.For.It.
Where the book took Trish: It took me to a place where beautiful things happen to people who patiently waits. It brought me to a place where love stands strongest even in the face of heartache, pain and brokenness.