Regretting You by Colleen Hoover. An emotional read. This review is not going to be as long and detailed as they usually are. This is because I’m going to try as much as possible to express my thoughts and opinions without giving away spoilers. Furthermore, I did not enjoy this novel as much as I wanted to and expected to. Starting this off by being clear this is by far not Colleen Hoover’s strongest work. A satisfying read, however might be considered disappointing to big fans of the author’s work like myself. Setting the bar so high for herself, this novel did not meet expectations for me. I have mixed feelings about this novel. Certainly, There are parts I enjoyed and characters I liked, but overall the decisions made by the characters, and some scenes absolutely did not do it for me.
“Nothing has changed in my life recently to explain this profound emptiness I’ve been feeling. Or maybe it has, and I’m just too afraid to notice it.”
~Excerpt from Regretting You by Colleen Hoover.
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover; PLOT.
Centered around a mother-teenage daughter dynamic, the story splits into the narratives of both the mother and daughter. Although that of the teenage daughter occupied way too many pages in the novel, it was tedious. I am not a fan of the typical teenage drama, would’ve appreciated less of it. Firstly, this novel got off to a bit of a wobbly start, as opposed to what I’m used to from the author. It did not have that mysterious element that makes Colleen Hoover novels gripping and engrossing from the start. Secondly, there are two factors I feel were not well structured, the emotional manipulation the plot entailed and the self discovery journey the author implied. The heartbreaking narrative is fairly predictable, it was clear where it was going.
One factor I strongly commend CoHo for is sticking to where the story was going without ever retracting. I kept anticipating a “It’s not what I thought” reveal, this is most likely the only factor of the novel I felt the author stayed true to her brand. CoHo did a fair job depicting grief and how it was dealt with. Lastly, the ending came off a bit superficial and amateurish, albeit sweet and emotional. To clarify, because the novel started with heavy issues that were not resolved the way they could have. In conclusion, CoHo could have done so much more to improve the story line and characters.
Regretting You By Colleen Hoover;Characters.
The story centers around a mother (Morgan) and a daughter (Clara) with warring personalities and conflicting goals trying to figure things out. Although a fan of the mother-teenage daughter dynamic, I’m not a fan of what it entails in this novel. When I look at the way the author explored the grief, anger and confusion of the characters, especially Morgan and Clara. From a perspective of empathy towards their struggle with grief, albeit there were parts that fell flat for me. I can agree she did a good job.
I didn’t like the way Morgan and Clara treated each other. The misunderstandings and resentments between them were infuriating. I was incredibly annoyed with Clara’s character, I don’t like her that much. She tried to be both responsible and rebellious, albeit expected because it was age and grief appropriate. I believe Clara’s rebellion was her way of navigating through the grief.
I prefer the adult characters in this novel. Although they could’ve done with more that a little character development. Also, I would have loved to have read a chapter in any of the male characters’ narrative.
Morgan sacrificed her dreams and settled for the people she loved. I felt so sorry for her. There were a lot of things I felt she handled quite immaturely, making her character seem naive and a tad bit unlikable. However, reading her narrative from an empathetic standpoint made her deserving of a pass. It was clear, prior to the unforeseen circumstance that changed her life, Morgan was struggling with her ideal self. She seemed lost. This is one of the heavy issues I mentioned not being resolved the way they should have. I thought I was reading about a woman going through a self-discovery journey while struggling to come to terms with her new reality. It ended up not being the case.
This is why I found the lack of resolve of her self-discovery journey infuriating. If anything, CoHo owed her that.
Struggling to rebuild their lives when it was difficult for them to coexist was not easy for the mother-daughter duo. However their efforts to try to make peace made for an emotional and heartfelt ending.