ROMANCE: 4.5/5
THEMES: Romance Novel, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

“Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”

–        Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love

Ugly Love reminds me so much of my old self – the 16-year-old girl whose nose is always buried in a Wattpad book reading about high school, enemies to lovers, slow-burn romance, intense physical attraction, the secrets we harbor, and many more. 

As a 23-year-old though, I have completely fallen in love with a new genre – historical fiction, and have mostly stuck to books of that kind, but sticking to one genre is quite boring and monotonous. 

Therefore, I pondered the idea of rekindling my affinity for the genre that had once held the status of being my personal favorite. Hence, here we are, halfway into the book and completely hooked.

My first impression is that it looks like a cliché kind of a read, and I was somewhat hesitant to dive in because I believe that I have read so many of these kinds of stories – best friend’s sister, stepmom’s daughter – on Wattpad. 

I thought to myself – I will not be able to enjoy this genre again, but for some reason, calling it curiosity if I may, I continued reading this one even though I have a strong sense that my predictions will come true. 

The story as it goes

In their initial encounter, Tate Collins and airline pilot Miles Archer find themselves devoid of any instant romantic connection. They hardly consider each other as acquaintances, sharing only a powerful and undeniable allure that they cannot explain. But when their desires are openly acknowledged, they come to an understanding that suits them both perfectly. Miles harbors no intentions of love, while Tate lacks the time for it, leaving them with the sole option of just physical intimacy. 

Their arrangement appears to hold promise, reliant upon Tate adhering to two fundamental guidelines set by Miles – don’t question the past & never look forward to a future.

But then the reality quickly dawns upon them—they are ill-equipped to navigate such a precarious path. And that’s when everything falls apart.

Now judging from the title, we all know that it is going to be a love story. 

But what kind of a love story? 

This is where the mystery lies. It is not the usual kind of love story, but it is so much more. With its fast-paced plot, a lot of things happen at the same time but within different timelines. 

While it does hold the suspense, it is irritating because I cannot seem to be able to read fast enough to know mysterious muscled-minded Miles. I believe this technique keeps the reader hooked, and the suspense is already killing me within a few chapters of the book. 

Furthermore, the overwhelming aura of enigma enveloping Miles proves to be excessively burdensome to contend with. He is this handsome, tall pilot with muscles that will melt you, ironic right?

A man’s muscles are supposed to crush you, but not Miles’s. He is a man who gives away nothing when it comes to getting close to a person. He is so guarded within himself because of his traumatic past, and therefore any chance of someone moving closer to his boundaries seems quite impossible. 

His present seems too dull, and his past seems to be a little too dark. Allow Tate the task of meticulously peeling away his layers, a feat that hinges upon her success in establishing proximity to him, for we are well aware that Miles is not one to readily embrace intimacy with just anyone.

This love story is so dark and twisted that at times, you feel disgusted by the scenes in front of you, but most times, you will cry in pain because of the chaotic and turbulent lives that our dear characters have had to live through. 

The journey of knowing and trying to learn why they are what they are in the present situation will completely shatter you. It certainly did for me. I feel so much for them, that at times I forget that they are fictional characters that have been created by the author’s creativity, and are not real people like you and me.

Moreover, Ugly Love makes you feel like you reading two books simultaneously. They are so different yet so familiar. We get to see a young Miles, in love and so full of life, but at present, all we get is a stone-cold hard exterior without any signs of a once joyous human inside that guarded façade. 

I think one of the most important messages that is being passed through from this novel to all readers is that the past cannot define us. We cannot stop ourselves from being happy because we believe our past actions made us undeserving to love and be loved. 

But we must learn to let go of all that was and be ready to accept all that will be. 

We are all human beings, and we are created not to be perfect but to make mistakes and learn from them. Ugly Love exemplifies the epitome of such an instance. Accept and forgive ourselves for all the wrongdoings that our younger selves have committed, lest it hurts and ruin our prospects of being redeemed. 

On a lighter note, this is my second Colleen Hoover book, and she never disappoints. She knows to hit the readers right where it hurts the most. I would recommend this one to my fellow readers because, as cliché as it can be, it is still one of the most beautiful love stories I have read despite it having a rocky, and twisted beginning. 

But I believe the difficult process is what makes a person come out stronger and better when they eventually decide that it is time to come out of the other side of the tunnel with a new outlook on life and an adventurous spirit to grab all that life has to offer. 

Being a beginner in the Colleen Hoover world, I am going to start browsing more books by this author because it is always a pleasant read with her, no matter what kind of story she decides to present to us readers. Until then, I do hope you add “Ugly Love” to your reading list and let Tate and Miles accompany you for some time. 

Cannot wait to read it? Buy your copy of Ugly right away!