My confession: this book was not for me. 2.5 / 5 stars.
The blurb: 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…
Though I can only give this book 2.5 stars, it wasn’t all bad. I loved the idea of the anonymous confessions and the paintings they inspire. This was the best part of Confess for me. It’s an original idea which Hoover uses in a thoughtful and effective way.
I can also understand why Colleen Hoover has such a loyal following. Her prose is compelling, bordering on hypnotic in places. At times the first person voices are magnetic and if a reader were to connect with her characters I can imagine they would happily forgo sleep to find out how things will work out for them.
Sadly, I did not connect with the characters in Confess.
My recent experience with Disclaimer, 24 Hours and now Confess, has made something clear to me: I don’t read to suffer. I read for adventure, excitement, romance, love, drama, mystery, thrills… But I don’t enjoy getting an in-depth, first-person account of ongoing trauma or spending time with broken, highly-damaged characters. Particularly when said characters make choices which mystify and frustrate me. I found myself wishing they’d stop dithering, grow a spine and sort themselves out.
I can tell you the exact moment I began to lose patience. Auburn (main female character) has met Owen (main male character) about 15 minutes ago. She looks at him and thinks the following:
“His eyes don’t seem like the eyes of a twenty-one-year-old. They’re dark and deep, and I have a sudden urge to plunge into their depths so I can see everything he’s seen.” (page 25)
I stuck with it until “Part 2”. Then I skimmed to the end just to find out what happened even though I didn’t really care.
Can anyone who has read more of Hoover’s works tell me if I might have a different experience with another of her books? Do all her characters have traumatic pasts and serious hang-ups? Do they all fall in love/have a mysterious attraction to each other within minutes of meeting? Help!