A Book Review: Hopeless

    Hopeless by Colleen Hoover explores the resolution of the past trauma of a teenage girl who fell in love with a reputed bad boy.

    Even though she's rumored to be a promiscuous girl,  the seventeen-year-old Texan continues to just make out with boys to make rumors stay as rumors, enjoying the numbness she felt from their kisses and touches. None of the boys she made out with gave her butterflies in the stomach until she met Holder, the hopeless boy whom she fell in love with and became her boyfriend.

    From the moment she met him at the grocery store,  she saw the different sides of him including his short temper. Holder went ballistic when Sky couldn't say who gave her the bracelet she wore one day; for a month, they didn't talk. She only remembered it when she came by Holder's house after they patched things up.  Her painful past unraveled as she found herself in the room of Holder's twin sister, Lesslie.  They were best of friends from childhood. It was Lesslie who gave her the bracelet.

    Sky didn't only find out who she really was but also the dark past involving her adoptive mother and biological father. Facing her past led to her father's tragic ending and her hopeful new beginning with the family she knew and Holder.

What I Love/ What I Didn't Love

    I loved how Hoover painted the scenes and the story as a whole with specific descriptions of the places, characters and their thoughts and feelings, and events. The dialogs made me feel the intensity of the character's emotions. The twists toward the end tore down the guesses I made in the beginning,  which made reading Hopeless an even more surprising experience. 

    The double meaning of  Holder's tattoo is a little awkward for me. Tattoos are permanent and having the word hopeless tattooed on one arm is too negative for me.  After he found Hope, and after everything went well, Holder was not hopeless anymore, I hope so.  It would've been nice if the word "hope" is tattooed on one arm, and "less" on the other,  or hope and less are separated by a star. In this way, the tattoo would imply the two important people in his life. The star also refers to the sky that Holder thought about whenever he was sad.

Discussion Questions

1. Hopeless is the combination of the two important people in Holder's life, Hope and Less. How do you relate this title to the larger theme in the novel?

2. Holder has a short temper. What do you think shaped this side of him? What made Sky continue to spend time with him despite his personality?

3. The novel touches on sensitive topics of self-harm and sexual abuse. Describe how these affect Sky, Holder, and their respective family.

4. What does Hopeless tell us about secrets and lies?

5.In the end, Sky learned who she was. What future do you think is in store for her?


Further Information

Title: Hopeless
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Colleen Hoover (December 18, 2012)
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Print length: 418 pages