I think I may have overhyped this book in my head. I think somewhere during the wait for the book to be published I convinced myself that since I loved Confess and Maybe Someday, I just had to love November 9. It was to be Hoover’s newest masterpiece. But somewhere along the line something happened. I like it. But I don’t love it. And maybe that has something to do with me. Because everyone else is loving it. So why not me.
November 9 captured my attention from the very first sentence. Within the first few pages, I just figured I would love it. But that obviously didn’t happen. I don’t know where exactly I stopped loving or “really like”-ing the story, but something I know for sure is that the first November 9th is my favorite. Maybe that’s where I stopped loving the book. Maybe every other November 9th failed to live up to the beauty and newness and magical-ness of the first November 9th. The characters weren’t bad, but as the years passed and they grew and changed, their dynamic grew and change until I could no longer see the happy, joking couple I fell in love with in the beginning. I didn’t expect Ben and Fallon to remain the same forever, but they changed so much. <Semi Spoiler Alert> Fallon’s mother was right: a person does change a lot between eighteen and twenty-three. <End of spoiler>
I don’t think I disliked Ben and Fallon’s personal development, I disliked their relationship development. Things went from playful to serious to more serious to angsty to “You guys shouldn’t even be together. Let’s move on now.” By the end, I just missed what had captivated my attention in the beginning.
I also should have known I wasn’t going to like this story when I wasn’t taken on an emotional rollercoaster. In Confess and Maybe Someday, I laughed and cried and swooned and repeated, but not necessarily in that order. But with November 9, I just laughed a little bit. I didn’t cry and I didn’t fall in love with Ben and I didn’t want to be Fallon’s best friend and those should have been signs that this book wasn’t for me. I never wanted to stop reading; I was continuously curious about what was going to happen next, but I didn’t get emotional. If anything, after awhile I just figured it would be easier for Fallon and Ben to be apart than to be together.
Anyway, November 9 isn’t bad: clearly, a lot of people love it. But it didn’t satisfy me the way Hoover’s other books did.