Colleen Hoover Returns the Angst in “Reminders of Him”

Reminders of Him
Genre: Contemporary Romance

I’m gutted. I’m going to keep this review spoiler free, but just know that this book affected me so much, I’m having a hard time picking up another book. The book hangover is real, y’all.

Reminders of Him, the latest book by Colleen Hoover, published this week. This romance novel tells the story of Kenna Rowan, a young mother who just spent the last five years in prison. Newly released, her number one mission is to find Diem, her four-year-old daughter she’s never met. The problem? The reason she was in jail is also the reason she’s never met her daughter, and the whole town would break out the pitchforks if they knew she was back. Everyone but Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and a link to Kenna’s daughter. Ledger has every reason to hate Kenna…except for the undeniable electricity growing between the two of them. However, to be together means to lose everything, including Diem.

I was nervous going into this novel. Every book I’ve read by Colleen Hoover has twisted my gut in tiny pieces. I’m one of the loyalists who started reading Colleen Hoover near the start of her career, devouring her angsty YA novels like candy, then emerging from my room teary-eyed and unable to pick up another book for at least a week while I recovered. When it came to writing books with angsty characters and impossible scenarios, Colleen Hoover was (and is) the queen. I read her book Finding Cinderella first, since it was free. Then I went on to read Hopeless, then Finding Hope, then the Slammed series, and then every damn book she wrote as she published them because I couldn’t get enough. Each book I read was my new favorite (though there’s a special place in my heart for Ugly Love). 

(Find all of Colleen Hoover’s books here)

Find every post where I idolized Colleen Hoover here.

In the early years, most of Colleen Hoover’s books were lighthearted and sweet, even when her characters had tough backstories. But as her popularity grew, her style began to branch out. I remember my stomach twisting as I followed Sloan’s romance with the dangerously violent Asa in Too Late, and the heartache I felt about the domestic violence in It Ends With Us.  

And then she wrote Verity, a psychological thriller that is so shocking, it was impossible to put down. I read that book in one sitting. I loved that book. I will never read that book again. 

This is when the world took notice. Or rather, BookTok

Suddenly, Colleen Hoover went from being a successful indie author to being the author every reader was obsessed with. Currently, three of her books are sitting on the New York Times Best Sellers List. As they should be! 

However, readers seemed to think that Colleen Hoover only writes super tense novels with major plot twists. I came to realize this when Reminders of Him published, and the less than stellar reviews said things like this: 

Since this is a Colleen Hoover book, I was expecting something shocking or some sort of twist somewhere throughout the book, but nothing like that happened.

No famous Colleen Hoover twist or massive reveal. 

Maybe coho now writes like that because she knows her audience is now full of teenagers on ‘booktok’ as she mentions in her acknowledgments.

Here’s the plot twist – Colleen Hoover was a romance author first, and her hook was putting her characters through angsty hell and then giving her readers something to cry about. 

And I cried. Oh yes, I cried. Everything about Reminders of Him felt so hard and tragic to me, and like every other Colleen Hoover book I’ve read, redemption seemed impossible. Except Colleen Hoover knows how to make redemption happen out of impossible situations. 

So if you’re looking for plot twists, psychological suspense, or danger lurking around every corner, Reminders of Him is not that novel. But if you’re looking to read a redemption story with heartbreaking angst, this is it. 

And keep the Kleenex handy. 

Note: This year, I’ve set a goal to read 100 books, and plan to share reviews about some of the ones I especially love. These are unsolicited reviews, and my opinion only. Affiliate links may apply, which provides me a small kickback if you buy through the link.

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