Publication Date: 5 August 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Ugly Love was a romantic, gut-wrenching book. The mystery behind the love interest’s life kept me reading.
After Tate moves in with her brother, she meets their neighbour Miles, who is a pilot. The plot focuses on Tate and Miles, who begin a relationship that only involves sex. Every second chapter flashes back to six years ago when Miles was in high school and in love with a girl named Rachel, and the readers learn why Miles does not want to deal with commitment.
‘I want to ask him about everything. I want to ask him a million questions, starting with when his birthday is and then what his first kiss was like. After that, I want to ask him about his parents and his entire childhood and his first love. I want to ask him about Rachel.’
There was quite a unique mix of characters. I really liked Tate and Miles, even though I thought Miles was a little bit mean at times. I spent most of the novel wondering what terrible thing could have happened to make Miles act so horribly, but when I finally found out, it made sense. His treatment of Tate was worrisome, especially before the end when we do not know what occurred in Miles’s past. Cap was a creative character, although his presence was somewhat tedious and repetitive, and it was apparent to me that he was solely there to act as a plot device. I found him to be a bit annoying, and that was maybe because the reasons for Tate and his interactions were so far-fetched.
As there was so great a focus on Miles’s back story, there was little on Tate’s. I would have liked to know more about her life, but it made sense that Miles was the focus. The novel made me realise that some people are just unlucky, as Tate presumably had a normal life, whereas Miles’s was difficult.
Tate’s and Miles’s stories were told in alternating chapters, and both were equally enjoyable to read about. Miles’s was slightly easier, though, and that was because the chapters were shorter and I really wanted to know what happened to Miles. The way in which Miles’s chapters were written was also quite well-done and creative. The prose flowed differently to portray his emotions about Rachel, which was a sweet way to show that teenagers usually have fleeting, instant feelings about others.
Because the focused couple in the novel had more of a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of relationship, there were quite a few sex scenes. Occasionally I had an urge to skim over them, which probably meant that there did not need to be so many. This no-commitment relationship made the romance aspects less sweet, and by the end of the novel I did not feel so attached to them as a fictional couple.
I did find the twist shocking, and while reading the novel, found many parts to Miles and Rachel’s relationship to be quite surprising. Compared to It Ends With Us – another book written by Hoover – Ugly Love was slightly messier when it came to the quality of the shocking reveal. I preferred the way that It Ends With Us dealt with the twist and the past/present, but that just shows how Hoover has grown as an author.
Overall, Ugly Love was a compelling read that I thoroughly enjoyed, even though I found a few flaws to point out. I recommend this book to people who like a romance where there is some reason that keeps the characters apart.
- Do you have a favourite Colleen Hoover book?