Book Review: Hopeless

Author: Colleen Hoover
ISBN: 978-1-4767-4355-4
RRP: $17.99

Hopeless is one of those books that started near the end and then skipped back in time, a hook I have never been particularly fond of because it gives you the end and then you have to work your way up to it. In Hopeless it absolutely hooked me because the further I got into the book the more I began to wonder how in two short months we got to that point, none of the signs or character development pointed to a scenario that could include that behaviour.

Sky is a 17 yr old girl who has been home schooled all her life and kept far from technology, all because of the beliefs of her adopted mother Karen. She is just about to start her senior year of high school and has finally convinced Karen that doing her final year in a public high school is a good idea, because it’s about time she learned socialising skills. The only real friend she has is her next door neighbour Six, also a senior and known to be quite promiscuous. Sky finds herself hooking up and making out with guys she has no interest in just because they are mates with Six’s flavour of the month. Sky has managed to get herself a reputation to match Six’s and this could make starting public school a little more hellish.

The problem is Sky finds herself making out with these guys but never feeling anything. There are no butterflies, no warmth, no tingles, just nothing so she lays on her bed and counts the glow in the dark stars on her ceiling. This did raise some issues for me, there were times I wanted to shake her thinking that she really needed to just not let these guys near her if she really wasn’t enjoying it, she needed to take a stand. The more we got into Sky’s head the more we came to understand the reasons she gets into this situation.

Sky’s fight for a public school senior year may have been one she won but it’s a hollow victory because Six is off on a student exchange program and won’t be there by her side. She would consider backing out if she weren’t so stubborn, but a victory that well won could not go unfollowed through. Sky prepares herself for the onslaught and the trouble that she is sure to attract because of the reputation she hasn’t earned.


Soon after starting at school Sky meets resident bad boy Dean Holder. He too has a reputation for promiscuity, but that’s not the worst of it. Rumour has it that he’s just spent a year in juvenile detention for bashing a homosexual boy. Their first few meetings are fraught with misunderstanding and leave Sky feeling extremely confused and yet also possibly attracted to this totally unsuitable boy, then Dean re-enrols at school and the two are thrown together more often. This doesn’t help Sky’s confusion, or her attraction.

It doesn’t take long to realise that there is much more to these two than meets the eye. Many of Dean’s worries are reasonably well known, and it isn’t long before we discover that what rumour has, is often far from the truth. But there is something going on here, Dean’s presence in Sky’s life is helping her to remember elements of a long buried past, but sometimes the past is buried for a reason. Sky’s presence in Dean’s life is causing him to be even moodier, and more unpredictable.

We move into a little bit of predictable territory with Dean being the first person Sky is ever attracted to, first guy she has ever liked and thought about taking a chance on, and he treats her like dirt and breaks her heart. None of which he ever did on purpose, he only ever wants to protect her and see her happy. There are strange things afoot here, and you can tell that there is a mystery involved but it’s difficult to unravel. The pieces slowly start to come together and it’s Dean that helps Sky remember all of her past, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Hopeless brings together two teens who have suffered heartbreaking trauma, the types of experiences many of us will never face, and would never want to. I wouldn’t wish these experiences on anyone. Having said that, both Dean and Sky are realistically written and lovably flawed. Colleen Hoover has written a scenario that is a little too far-fetched for me to think it would actually happen but it is totally believable and definitely could happen. I can not wait to see what’s in store for us with the sequel Losing Hope due for release later this year.

Colleen Hoover is definitely one more author to add to my must watch list.


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