Confess by Colleen Hoover

So, I have to admit that I am a CoHo virgin. Well, was. My first Colleen Hoover read was Confess, as it was picked for the book of the month for the Bookaholic Alliance. I didn’t know what to expect at all.

confessFirst, a synopsis from Amazon:

From bestselling author Colleen Hoover, comes a new novel about risking everything for love – and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.

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 that Owen is keeping some 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…

So, first things first: I was a little annoyed with Auburn, the female protagonist, but I guess (after having a few days to think on it), I understand her a little better than I did while reading the book. Wait, no, something popped into my head that just did away with that. I’m flip-flopping here.

So, this book is told from alternating points of view. One scene you’ll have Auburn’s take on things, and the next, Owen’s. It’s eye-opening, interesting to get inside two different characters heads, and creates some of the most frustrating situations.

IF THEY ONLY OPENED UP TO ONE ANOTHER.

I guess it’s more understandable after realizing the characters only know one another for about 24-48 hours before being separated for about a month and a half and meeting up again, only to be separated again. They even make a joke about it in the book – they had only truly spent about 7 days around one another, speaking to one another, actually getting to know one another. Some of the things they would have had to let each other know aren’t the most fun things to talk about, but maybe it’s because I’m a different type of person: I often let people know the hardest stuff first when I meet them. I think it’s a good up-front disclaimer: This is what you’re dealing with. If you can’t handle it, get the hell out. The man who is now my husband stuck around. The guy I dated before him did not (obviously).

Enough about me. So, the word “confess” is used in this book a great deal. First, it’s what draws Auburn to Owen in the first place. His art studio – and his “thing” (no – not THAT thing – his gimmick) – is confessions. He runs an operation almost like PostSecret. He paints the ones he finds speak to him the most, runs an exhibition every month of the paintings he makes, and sells a majority of them. He wrangles Auburn into being his assistant for the evening of his exhibition and it all kicks off from there.

Auburn is in a difficult position where she so badly wants to get involved with Owen because he reminds her of her first boyfriend, but she is unable to because of her first boyfriend. Confused? Sorry, I’m trying not to spoil the book. Well, I guess that’s not an actual spoiler. Her first boyfriend dies of cancer.

Insert her first boyfriend’s older brother who is a police officer and is STALKING HER. Sorry, that really got my hackles up. NO ONE HAS TO PUT UP WITH BEING STALKED. I had a stalker. Long story short, I realized I didn’t have to put up with it, so I got a restraining order. Then I moved country.

That part of the book annoyed me, but I guess I understand how it had to come into play, but GEEZ.

Sigh. Anyway, the book, I think, was put together well. The storyline is interesting, everything is uncovered slowly (and I couldn’t guess anything except something vague about Owen), and there’s a lovely chapter at the end that wraps everything up and shows you how EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.

It was enjoyable (except for the stalking), but the romance didn’t really capture me. I know it did a lot of other people, though. Definitely pick up if you want an artfully put-together narrative with ILLUSTRATIONS! (Yes, I got excited about the book having pictures) It’s also a quick read, and would be perfect for a rainy day indoors.

I picked up some more of her books on a friend’s recommendation, so I’ll be reviewing those sometime soon.

Check out the author’s website here.

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