Discover more from Tropes & Cheese
by Colleen Hoover
While my confession that I’m not a Murderino wasn’t quite the big reveal I thought it was, this one actually might be.
I’ve had a really hard time getting into Colleen Hoover.
I know, CoHo stans, don’t whip out your torches and pitchforks just yet.
I started reading a few of her books and have always had to jump ship early because I just couldn’t get into them. Not saying she’s not great - the woman has a single-handed stranglehold on the romance novel industry. Every time I go to Target I swear she has another new release on the shelf. I don’t think she has left the NYT Best-Sellers list since her (self-published!!) debut novel in 2012. The woman is clearly a juggernaut and her success speaks for itself.
But for some reason, the Coleen Hoover books I’ve read just weren’t my cup of tea at the time.
However, just as I continue to try olives hoping one day I’ll suddenly like them, I continue checking out her books, and I finally found one that I enjoyed! Let’s dig in.
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Book: November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Spice Level: 🔥🔥
Content Warning: fire, death of family members, suicide.
Tropes: slow burn, hidden identity, fake-ish dating, fated mates.
November 9 is presented in one of my favorite styles. We visit our characters each year on the same date. In fact, the story itself gets a little meta, as Ben, our male protagonist, decides to write a book about the yearly encounters with heroine, Fallon.
What’s It About?
As I mentioned, we watch our fated mates, Ben and Fallon, for five consecutive November 9’s as they meet at a pre-determined time and place. The first day they meet, Fallon is about to move across the country and knows that if she gives her number to this handsome stranger, he’ll distract her from making a name for herself in New York. So, she promises to fly back and meet him a year later, never once communicating on any date except November 9.
They continue this arrangement, flying back and forth across the country for various November 9 dates with no communication in between, and of course, life things get in the way, signals get crossed, emotions happen, the uszh. They meet as 18-year-olds and by the time they’re 23, they’ve known each other for years, but really, only a handful of hours.
Trauma seems to be a major throughline in Colleen Hoover’s books, and November 9 is no different.
Fallon was trapped in a house fire as a teenager and is left with permanent scarring all over her face and body. Ben is the child of a deceased mother, whose death, we later learn, is the catalyst for many major plot points throughout the story. There are estranged family relationships, more death, and plenty of emotional trauma to go around.
Colleen Hoover knows how to write trauma. Maybe her subgenre needs to be traum-coms.
Now, how to make your reading experience a bit more fun?
🍦 Food Pairing: Find your local frozen yogurt place (bonus if it’s the kind of place where you do your own toppings because you deserve the extra cookie dough) and take yourself on a cute little date. There’s a scene where Fallon suggests they go out for frozen yogurt, and Ben’s inner monologue is so cute I had to include it: “I hate ice cream. I hate yogurt. I especially hate yogurt pretending to be ice cream. But I’ll be damned if I don’t grab my laptop and my keys and follow her wherever the hell she’s willing to lead me.”
🎭 Activity Suggestion: In the story, Fallon is an actor turned acting teacher, and Ben is a writer working on his novel. So why not add some of these skills to your own bag of tricks? Masterclass has some fun classes on writing and acting taught by some of the bests in the biz. Or if you’re looking for something in real life, check out your local library and community theatre groups!
🛍 Etsy Listing: For true CoHo and November 9 fans, this cute little sticker might be right up your alley! I love a good oddly specific sticker that only your fellow fangirls and boys will appreciate.
As always, I encourage you to see if November 9 is available from your local, indie bookstore. Don’t know where one is? Try this Indie Bookstore Finder! You can also purchase it directly from Colleen Hoover’s website - looks like you can even get signed copies!
Your local library is also a great place to look for this and other books. And, of course, all the big-name booksellers will certainly have what you’re looking for.
If you’re a Colleen Hoover fan, I’m sure you’ve already read this cute little story. On the other hand, if you’re like me, and just haven’t been able to get into her books, give this one a try - you might enjoy it!
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!