To say that the book community loves Colleen Hoover would be an understatement. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about her and her books, so when I found her novel Confess at Books-A-Million on sale for $3, I picked it up without knowing what it was about. The cover was gorgeous, and it was Colleen Hoover. I knew I had to have it.
Since this was my first Colleen Hoover book, I wasn’t too sure what to expect going in. Sure, I knew that the book community practically worships her, but that didn’t mean that I myself would love her books. But I went in with an open mind and heart and began the first page of Confess.
And what a game changer it was and is. Colleen Hoover, you are now my new favorite author.
I started Confess at around noon on the last day of April, and finished it later that afternoon. I seriously could not put the book down. I was expecting to spend a couple of days on this book, but I needed to know what happened. Like the overused, cliché line in so many New Adult books (which was thankfully not in this one!), this book was a drug, and I was addicted.
This review might contain spoilers. If you have not read this novel, read the rest with caution.
The book follows Auburn Mason Reed, a twenty-one-year-old struggling to find her footing and make a home in Dallas, Texas. One night, on her way home from her job as a hair stylist, she sees a “Help Wanted” sign. Desperately needing the money, she, reluctantly, inquires about the job.
The job is with an artist, Owen Gentry, at his art studio that night. For two hours, he needs Auburn to ring up customers once they buy his art. However, the attraction between the two makes for an instant spark, and the two form a bond, even in the short span of one night.
Owen bases his art off confessions that people leave at his door, something that surprises Auburn as she views his art for the first time. Nevertheless, she finds this intriguing and believes it makes Owen’s art more marketable and unique. The two, in their own minds, both have confessions that they know they need to make, and the entire novel deals with their pasts and how the pasts have effected their present.
Things that surprised me in this novel:
- Owen knew Auburn before, but she didn’t know him.
- Auburn had a son with Adam, AJ, but she didn’t find out she was pregnant until he died. Lydia, Adam’s controlling mother, had custody of AJ because Auburn was 15 when she got pregnant.
- The instances of fate and just how insane the connections of fate in the novel was so creatively intertwined with the characters.
- Owen’s past of having his mother and brother killed while he was driving. They were hit by a drunk driver.
- The artwork in the book—it was captivating and beautiful.
- The lack of racy sex scenes in the book. It was actually refreshing to read a novel that was more focused on the relationship than the sex.
- How much I hated Adam’s family in the present—his mom Lydia and his brother Trey.
- How Trey weaved his way into Owen and Auburn’s business and created tons of plot twists just by breathing!
- The artwork in Auburn’s apartment and how Owen stated he was connected to it.
- The many, many confessions that were in the novel and how huge of a role they played.
- Owen’s arrest for possession of drugs when his defense attorney father was really the one using.
- Owen’s selflessness.
- The many, many parallels and how they related to each other and made for such interesting plot points and twists.
- The epilogue and how Owen watched Auburn with Adam and created a painting (his first painting ever) for Adam and Auburn. It’s the one that hangs in her apartment. Also, in this chapter, Adam told Owen that it might be fate for he (Owen) and Auburn to be together.
I don’t want to give so much away that it’ll completely ruin the novel for anyone. However, here are the things that I enjoyed.
The two main characters, obviously. Owen and Auburn were both incredibly scarred and had issues that ran to their cores, but the way they dealt with them, separately and apart, was executed so well and developed so wonderfully. These characters were not one-dimensional, and I loved how the novel focused on their complexities rather than sex. Colleen Hoover really fleshed out their characters and their relationship instead of focusing on the racy parts that could’ve easily been a huge part of the novel, and I think that made Confess much more impactful and emotional.
The supporting characters were executed really well, too. Lydia, though I hated her, in a way, I understood where she was coming from. She was controlling, yes, but she did lose her sixteen-year-old son. By hanging on to AJ like she did and controlling when Auburn could see him and interact with him, she was grasping on to the only thing left of Adam. How she went about this was completely wrong and hurtful to Auburn and AJ, but in a way, I understood her actions.
Trey, though he was executed well and played a major part in the story…I hated him. I loathed him with everything in me! He was manipulative, controlling, jealous, dangerous cop who attempted to not only ruin Auburn’s life, but as well as Owen’s. He was willing for Owen’s entire life to be ruined so he could keep Auburn for himself, and his character was completely disgusting.
I loved how confessions played such a role in this novel—other people’s confessions and Owen and Auburn’s own confessions. Confessions played a role in Adam and Auburn’s relationship, Owen’s artwork, Owen’s past, Auburn’s past, and so much more. Without the confessions, this novel would, literally, be nothing. To me, it was unique how Colleen Hoover used people’s own confessions of the past to develop a relationship between Owen and Auburn. It really developed their histories well, and even helped develop the overall plot and setting.
My favorite part about this novel, and I’m sure it will be in many Colleen Hoover books to come, was the writing. Colleen Hoover can turn a phrase and make it punch you in the heart, make you laugh, or just genuinely make you smile by how beautiful it is. Every word has a purpose—there isn’t anything extra or too fancy. It’s real, true, raw writing that is meant for the heart, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
If you haven’t read a Colleen Hoover book before, this is a good place to start. However, I may not be the best at giving Colleen Hoover advice, considering this is the only book I’ve read by her (so far!)
I hope this review didn’t spoil anything too much for you. It’s difficult to discuss this book without giving away too much, so here’s the main thing you need to take away from this review and discussion: go buy a Colleen Hoover book, any book, but especially this one, read it, and it’ll change your life.
5/5 amazing stars for Confess! I can’t wait to pick up my next Colleen Hoover book to read!