Colleen Hoover clearly has a way with meet-cute and witty banter, so a light, fluffy romance is something she does well. But when she adds angst to her stories, traumatic events instead come across as contrived for drama’s sake.
My usually-vague memory surprisingly remembers a lot of annoying things about Finding Cinderella, though I read it over a month ago:
There is a lot of entries and exits via windows. I’m not familiar with Texan window fixtures, but my Australian house’s windows wind out, and there’s a flywire screen. No such winding-windows or screens in this book. Perhaps Texas is a magical oasis in which insects, bugs, and whatnot can’t enter the house via open, screen-free windows.
The high school lacks security. Again, I have no experience with Texas schools, but in my school staff locked and unlocked each room’s doors as they were needed. Thus no unlocked maintenance closet. Alas, in this novella the janitorial room is free for all. I would’ve thought Texas schools would have way more security. Huh.
People, we need to talk about logic. I know, this book is fiction, but in order to fully enjoy a story, it has to make sense to me, even if I don’t necessarily agree with the characters’ actions. And this novella does not make sense. Admittedly, it’s been so long since I read Hopeless that I don’t remember if Six’s storyline featured there. But it is here. And it does not make sense.
Oh, and there’s a hell of a lot of slut-shaming in this novel. Six slut-shames herself. But then she reclaims the word, or whatever, and doesn’t get fussed when addressed as such.
Now, Six doesn’t want to be a slut. She just wants to be loved. And she thinks guys will love her if she roots them. Or she already thinks they love her, so she roots them and then learns that they don’t. Or whatever. I’m not saying I understand, but let’s just go along with this for the time being.
She doesn’t know his name. She doesn’t know what he looks like (though she’s felt him up, so she knows he’s fit). They’ve talked somewhat (without identifying information), and made out more in these few, brief sessions in the dark room while they’re wagging class.
Would a slut root a bloke she barely knows in the school’s maintenance closet? I don’t know, but Six does this. Yes, there may have been a condom, but I’m pretty sure there’d be fluids from the female, and she was lying on the guy’s sweatshirt, and used it to clean up afterwards, and then he puts it back on to wear. So I can’t help but find this illogical, because he was probably walking around school with a cum-stain on his top. Of course, because this is romance, no cum-stain was mentioned. BUT WE ALL KNOW IT’S THERE.
Not long after, Six moves overseas for a year, or something. She returns to Texas a changed woman. Something traumatic happened in Italy. (My guess was incorrect: that she was sexually harassed, or assaulted, or raped. She was not.)
Though a condom was involved, the school closet sex resulted in pregnancy. Not sure why she didn’t abort, but Six gave up the baby for adoption in Europe.
That could’ve been a really interesting plotline, because I have no idea of the legalities of American women adopting out their babies in Italy. This would’ve been a great learning experience.
Instead, it’s just a throwaway thing, because supposedly details don’t matter as we should be distracted by the feels.
Giving up one’s baby is not something to be taken lightly. It is a serious issue. And the way it’s treated atrociously in the context of this story. What should be trauma is treated as drama. All romance stories need something to break up the couple before bringing them back together (i.e. drama). THE ADOPTING-OUT IS TREATED AS DRAMA. It has the facade of pain, but it lacks depth, as if spinning a wheel of fortune to decide what traumatic back-story a character should have.
Daniel feels heartbroken, and betrayed, and angry. He flips out because HOW DARE SHE ADOPT OUT HIS CHILD?! WHY DIDN’T SHE TELL HIM SHE WAS PREGNANT?!
Uh, because she didn’t know your name, so she couldn’t contact you. And you didn’t know her name, so you couldn’t contact her. You both decided to be anonymous, and the adopting-out was the consequence of that choice.
DANIEL THROWS HIMSELF ONTO HER CAR’S BONNET. This is hella creepy, and totally frightens her, too. She forgives him, though, and he forgives her, too, because:
Some other things that sucked:
-Daniel’s nickname for Sky
-Pretending they’re “in love”, and “making love”
-The annoying banter that may have been cute if there was less of it
-Why they keep their relationship secret
-A family that banter about masturbation may stick together, but FOR FARK’S SAKE – NO!