Friday, January 8, 2016

Confess by Colleen Hoover

* * * 1/2

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 Owen is keeping 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…

Colleen Hoover is the queen of putting her characters in the worst imaginable situations ever. The kind of tear-your-heart-out, will-they-won’t-they, should-they-say-something, it’s-too-tempting positions. You feel desperately bad for them. For me the urgency in reading her books is how her characters extricate their way out of these seemingly impossible messes. It’s not always a neat and tidy ending, and lord knows the in betweens are wrought with strife and tears. No matter the outcome, the process to get there is quite the experience.

Confess is no different. I was instantly taken with Auburn and Owen and waited patiently for their secrets to come out. Both have been visited by personal tragedies and have the scars as reminders every day. Even though they have an obvious, inexplicable attraction, it’s a precarious dance for them as their attempt at a relationship is thwarted before it has even started. This is where those pesky secrets become hindrances or game-changers. Their hands are tied and it seems that Auburn has more to lose than Owen.

I liked the beautiful artwork that is included in the book. Auburn and Owen felt more accessible to me when I got to see the paintings they were seeing. And they are gorgeous paintings, too. Luckily for us, we can see the colour prints on Hoover’s website!

Confess ranks high up there for me and it solidifies Colleen Hoover as one of my favourite authors. The scenarios she writes about are not always comfortable ones – some even left me with mixed feelings – but in her hands I feel I have the open-mindedness to explore these moments despite my reservations. She's a fantastic writer and Confess is just further proof of of how much heart she puts into every word on those pages!

~ Bel

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