November 24, 2015

Audiobook Review ~ November 9 by Colleen Hoover

This is my first-ever audiobook, and I think I’m already addicted. Now that I have two jobs that occupies most of my time, audiobooks are great for me to keep up on my reading list. I can listen while working. However, though I’d like to listen to more, I don’t think I’ll be hearing novels often. The paperbacks are just much cheaper. Anyway, on to my review.

If you want the short version of my thoughts, I’ll indulge you. While listening to this audiobook, I was like:
1st November 9: Interesting.
2nd November 9: This is weird. *some minutes later* I’m falling in love with words.
3rd November 9: WHAT THE HELL? *speechless*
4th November 9: Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DO THAT.
5th November 9: I can’t even.



Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before 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.

Purchase links:
amazon | B&N | iBooks | kobo | book depository | audible | iTunes (audio)


This has been a half-pleasant-half-annoying experience for me. I didn’t like Angela Goethals’s narration. I don’t think her narration technique (and even her voice) fit Fallon's character. I got the impression that she was trying to sound seductive and husky but failing miserably. She sounded awkward. I can’t really imagine her as the Fallon in the book. It’s a little contradicting. Her reading speed is also too slow, enunciating each word down to the last sound. It annoyed me for two reasons: 1) I got impatient and the slow reading was wasting my time, and 2) I had to keep changing the reading speed every chapter because I listen to Fallon’s POV at fast-forward and Ben’s POV has to be normal speed because then Zachary’s narration would be too fast. Zachary Webber’s narration was okay for me.

The Story:
A book within a book—I feel like everyone who has read November 9 is sharing some kind of an inside joke.

What I like about Colleen Hoover is she has a knack in sucking me into her story whether I like it or not. There’s always something keeping me immersed in the world she built. No matter how cheesy, annoying, sweet, or heartbreaking it becomes, there’s still something in her words that makes me stay even when all I want is to leave that story and never revisit it again. Her writing style is flexible. If someone gave me this book to read without telling me who wrote it, I wouldn’t have pegged it as Hoover’s work. It’s amazing.

November 9 is mostly about redemption, but it’s also about finding yourself and falling in love in two different ways. It’s full of beautiful words. I liked it so much that when the bomb dropped, it felt like it dropped straight to my heart.

What didn’t work for me was Ben and Fallon as individuals. Their story happened in the span of five years, but it didn’t feel like it. It felt like they were never separated at all, not just because of their ease in each other’s company but because of the lack of character development that should have been there since it was always a full year before they see each other again. A million things can happen in one year, yet this book failed to show the changes in the characters, or even the things that happened to them in the year they’ve been apart. I’m not satisfied. It was always them, a lot of them and not enough her and him.

I have a love-hate relationship with the plot twist. Now that’s what I call a plot twist, but it ruined some of the story’s appeal. I am convinced with Fallon’s reaction to it all, and how she handled it, but. . .that plot twist dampened Ben’s sincerity about his feelings to Fallon. Suddenly I was wondering if his feelings was genuine or he was just confusing it with some other emotions. (It hurts to be cryptic but I don’t want to spoil it any more than I already have).

The ending felt a little rushed, but overall, I liked this book. Hearing it in audiobook heightened the experience because some of the lines were golden and the way the narrators delivered it was epic. I am glad I listened to the audio version first.

I love Colleen Hoover, but this book gave me so much heartache that I’m starting to rethink my feelings for her.

~ Zee

1 comment:

  1. CoHo's army has been raving about this book for months. But.... there have been many of her fans that have said the same as you about the character development and the romance. Now that I have read what I feel are "honest reviews", such as yours, I can go in without high expectations. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! More often than not, an author's lifelong fans will say they loved a book just to be saying it.