November 9 by Colleen Hoover is a romance novel about a spontaneous meeting of two teens on a day that’s usually tough for them, an anniversary of a tragedy. They decide, after spending the day together, to meet every year for the next 5 years and decide to have no contact at all between meetings. Somewhat cute premise, but the ensuing story is full of misunderstanding, hurt feelings, guilt, and lots of steamy scenes. I stuck with this one because it came highly recommended (I can’t remember by who!) and I had added it to my wait list forever ago, but this is not my favorite genre. Maybe it’s my sheltered and conservative upbringing (I mean, my parents made me close my eyes for all kissing scenes in movies or just would fast-forward through them! That kind of sheltered!), but I just can’t read romance without cringing the entire time.
I’ve read one other book by Hoover, It Ends with Us, and while it also contains a lot (too much for me) of steamy scenes, it addresses the issues of domestic violence and emotional and physical abuse in such a real and emotional way. I have not personally lived through these things, but I have read how realistically the situations are portrayed in this book. It’s such an emotional book and I felt like the characters were well developed and that the story really shed light on the multifaceted and layered aspects of being in an abusive relationship and how people can come to the point of accepting and justifying the actions and behaviors of the abuser.
If you like romance novels, read these books. I just wish the steamy scenes were eliminated or given the PG treatment! Then again, these books with be about 1/3 shorter!