Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (What the heck happened here?)

Ugly LoveUgly Love by Colleen Hoover
Published by: Atria Books on August 5, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
Book Details
Rating: ★★★

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Oh gosh, you guys. My feelings for Ugly Love are so weird and complex! Do you ever feel like you’re really starry-eyed and EVERYTHING IS AWESOOOOME, then suddenly a veil is lifted and you see all the imperfections? That happened to me while reading Ugly Love.

At first I loved Ugly Love! I got sucked into the characters, the story, and the romance. Mostly, I was addicted to Miles’s back story. We know that SOMETHING bad happened with a girl named Rachel but we don’t know what. We get a flashback into his past, then slowly work our way forward to figure out what happened. Man, I was hooked! I so desperately wanted to know what happened!

And holy cow, the sex in this book was… well… it was intense… and raw.

Then the veil was lifted

Somewhere around the 60-70% mark, it’s like a veil was lifted. Suddenly I wasn’t blissfully ignorant. All of the problem with the book were glaring at me. I literally think I recoiled a little and thought to myself, “Do I really like this?”

Miles: the mystery guy

I feel like Miles was a girl’s interpretation of “mysterious”. It’s the kind of mysterious that’s supposed to be all hot and sexy, but really it was just kind of blank.. The guy had no personality, he never smiled, he never laughed, and he refused to talk about his past. I feel like we were supposed to get off on this “mysterious” persona, but it was a little too empty for me.

Is it really attractive if a guy NEVER smiles? Is that where we’re at these days?

Miles: the poet

All of Miles’s flashback chapters are from his point of view and they’re so poetic and deep. So was most of his dialog during these flashbacks. I didn’t think much of it at first, but after a while it just hit me all at once. A guy doesn’t talk like this. Okay maybe I’m generalizing. Guys can be poetic. But I read his “poetry” and his deep dialogue and it didn’t feel real or natural to me at all. All I could think of was, “I’ve never met a guy who would talk like this.”

            Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.

She’s like poetry.
Like prose and love letters and lyrics, cascading
Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.

These are Miles’s thoughts. It was actually written in that format too. Is this how guys think in their heads?

Tate — who are you? Why are you special?

Miles describes Tate as, “the only girl who has been able to reach me in more than six years”. But I kind of had that feeling of WHY? Why is Tate so special? The problem here is that Miles and Tate don’t have a relationship rooted in personality or discussions or anything like that. All they do is have sex. All Tate thinks about is Miles. She doesn’t have much of a life or personality outside of him. So I felt like: who is this girl? How can she have affected Miles so strongly if she doesn’t even have a personality or interests outside of him? All she does is go to work, come home, have sex.

Even as a reader, we didn’t get to see a whole lot of her personality. Every thought in her head was just about how delicious Miles is, how she misses Miles, how every word out of his mouth is her new favourite word, etc. If you were to take Miles out of her life, she’d practically be an empty shell. So why is she so special to him?

Tate: the clingy, annoying girl

Ugh, okay. So Miles comes outright and says:

“Don’t ask about my past,” he says firmly. “And never expect a future.”

He’s always SO upfront with her. He basically says, “I will never love you. I will never give you hope. You and me will never happen. It’s just sex.”. And yet Tate is the annoying girl who agrees to the terms and then tries to make him fall in love with her.

I’ve been holding out hope that if I take it slowly enough with him, he’ll eventually break through whatever it is that’s holding him back.

Does anyone else find that annoying? It’s like she’s saying: “Okay I promise we won’t have a future…. yet *wink wink*. As if there’s some inside joke that they both know he’ll change his mind eventually. Who does that?

Oh, the tragedy!

Okay this bit is spoilery. View Spoiler »

So many problems, but I did still kind of like it

I don’t know, guys. Ugly Love is kind of like crack. There are so many things I took issue with, but I still kind of enjoyed it. That’s why I gave it three stars, which is still a decent rating. Does that ever happen to you? Even with all these problems and annoyances, I can’t deny that I was into Ugly Love for a huge portion of the book. And even after I started noticing the problems, it was still un-put-downable for me. I guess that has to count for something.

The Verdict


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    1. That’s an excellent idea!

      The guy just sounded so…. pussy whipped. It was almost kind of a turn off, you know? Lol.

  1. Yes!! This is exactly how I felt! It’s like I was enjoying the book for a while and then – BAM! It just hit me – I don’t really like this. I actually really liked Miles’ story from the past – and I was even okay with the poetic part. But the present tense story? Uh uh. I totally agree with you that there was no actual relationship between Miles and Tate – why was it all worth it (especially to her)? I just didn’t get it. And I totally agree that I kind of liked it while I was reading it – but the more I thought about the book, the less I liked it. It’s still that way. I enjoyed it, but I just can’t think too much about it. LOL!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: Review – Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
    1. OMG it’s so cool that we felt the same way!!

      I liked Miles’s past story as well (except the poetry). I was really intrigued by it. So if I ignored all the poetic stuff I really liked it, haha. That’s the main thing that kept me reading because I was DYING to find out what happened!

  2. Lol this is EXACTLY how I felt about Ugly Love. I loved loved loved it while I was reading it, and then, after I was done and I took a step back from the all the emotions, I could see the glaring holes in it, especially the character development, and I was like, “Wait, why did I enjoy this so much?” Weirdly though, I’m pretty sure that if I read it again, I’ll still become all gooey with the feels 😀

    Fahima @ I Read, Ergo I Write recently posted: Book Cover Changes Before Publication
  3. This one has so many conflicting reviews. (I loved it, I loved the ugly parts)
    I do have a comment on the formatting 🙂
    I thought it was weird at first too until it was pointed out to me that the first Rachel chapters are centered because he’s so obsessed with her. Like infatuated more than actually in love with her (I thought so). She was his whole world. Then the spoiler happens and his life is out of control, which is why the format gets all wonky again, all over the place. When he finally lets Tate in, the end chapters have the centered format again. His found his center with her.
    I thought that was a pretty cool touch.
    And holly hell those sex scenes were hot! I’m so picky about sex scenes, most of them are cheesy and unrealistic, but these were well done.

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: Audiobook Review: Nothing But Trouble by..
    1. Thanks for the explanation! I guess that is cool but it’s not really for me, you know? I’m just not into that much metaphorical stuff in books. I prefer it straight, I guess. 😛

  4. I really loved this book and tried not to analyze it too much. There were definitely issues with it. I enjoyed her Maybe Someday and Hopeless series much more (I am not a Slammed fan and it took me a long time to finish the second book in that series, not sure I’ll read the third). I think it had much more control with character development and such. Miles is kind of flat in this book, Tate annoying. I have to agree with that. I definitely see what you are talking about, though. When you point the things out they are glaringly obvious. And I love how you say it’s like Crack. I kind of feel like that with most of her books and I think I tend to overlook things because of it. Your reviews are always so insightful!

    Brooke recently posted: Stacking the Shelves #35
    1. I wasn’t a Slammed fan either. I mean, I actually kind of liked Slammed (not loved) but then I really didn’t like the second book.

      You’re right that a lot of her books are like Crack! Haha!

      1. I think my biggest issue with Slammed is that I read Hopeless and Maybe Someday first. So I can tell Slammed is her earlier writing and it’s just not written as well (obviously before publisher and their editors). The storyline was interesting but if she were to write it now, I think it would be much different.

        Brooke recently posted: Stacking the Shelves #35
  5. You know, I kinda felt exactly the same way about Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I’m pretty sure I don’t recall you reading it, but I feel sooooo similar about it – how at first I loved it (well, not really, but I kinda grew to) and then suddenly I thought, “Jeez. Not sure HOW I feel anymore.” So I feel you there.

    Sierra recently posted: Write Drunk; Edit Sober
    1. You’re right, I haven’t read it. I thought it sounded awesome but then I read so many mixed things about it!

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