Monday, February 3, 2020

Book Review: "All Your Perfects" by Colleen Hoover

"If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim."

Then: Graham and Quinn meet on one of the darkest days of their lives. Quinn returns home early from a trip and heads to her fiancé's apartment to surprise him. She finds Graham pacing outside the door, because his girlfriend is in the apartment, sleeping with her fiancé. Quinn cannot believe that her life has essentially fallen apart, but why can't she take her eyes off Graham?

Now: Graham and Quinn's marriage is falling apart, a little more each day. It seems like the things they've said—and even worse, the things they haven't said—have taken too much of a toll. How could they have gotten to this point given the intensity of their love for one another, their vows to do things differently than the relationships which have come before theirs? Is there anything that can be done to save their marriage?

"It's strange how I can miss a person who is still here. It's strange that I can miss making love to a person I still have sex with."

In All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover traces the arc of a relationship, from the first spark until the moment where the participants have to decide whether to keep on fighting or to throw in the towel. Using chapters which alternate between past and present, she illustrates the minor faults and major cracks that threaten a relationship—the hurts, the mistakes, the lies by omission, and the overflow of emotions that sometimes get in the way of rational thought.

I found this book moving and powerful, yet frustrating at times. It deals with the issue of infertility and the emotional anguish it inflicts, so that may be a trigger for some who have dealt with similar issues. The characters are complex and flawed, and not always as sympathetic as they should be given what is transpiring. But Hoover's storytelling ability once again shines through, making this emotional story tremendously compelling even as your heart aches for these characters.

I can't believe I read my first CoHo book just last fall, and this is now my fifth. I love the way she pulls you into her characters' lives and immerses you in their emotions. While All Your Perfects wasn't quite perfect for me, I still devoured the book in just a few hours (thanks, bronchitis-related insomnia) and felt emotional when I was done.

Haven't read CoHo but love this genre? What are you waiting for?

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