Date Published: November 10, 2015
Book Author: Colleen Hoover
Summary reviewed by:
Bachelor of Arts (BA), University Of California, Santa Barbara 2019
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Are you ready to fall in love with a love story that will redefine your notion of romance? Dive into the mesmerizing world of "November 9" set in various cities across America but mostly anchored in Los Angeles.
The tale unfolds through the eyes of Fallon O'Neil, a once-up-and-coming actress whose career came crashing down due to a terrible accident, and Ben, an aspiring novelist with a mysterious past. Meeting purely by chance on November 9th, they feel an electric connection but also understand that they're both in transitional phases of their lives. They decide to meet only on this date, every year, no contact in between—no texts, calls, or emails. It’s a pact.
A literary experiment for Ben and a new start for Fallon. As the years go by, Fallon and Ben navigate through love, heartache, and the kinds of plot twists even Ben couldn't write. But what if the perfect love story is not so perfect after all? The intrigue isn't just in their romantic escapades but in the secrets they're hiding. As November 9s pass, we watch two people wrestle with their flaws, aspirations, and most importantly, their love for each other, each meeting revealing another layer to their complex relationship. It's the kind of love story you’ll never forget—one that makes you question everything you thought you knew about love.
Spoilers (click here to reveal spoilers)
Fasten your seat belts for this heart-wrenching finale. As another November 9 approaches, secrets unravel that threaten to shatter the unique relationship between Ben and Fallon. It turns out Ben started their annual meeting as a way to seek atonement. He's the one responsible for the fire that disfigured Fallon, a dark secret he's been carrying all along. When Fallon finds out, she's devastated but ultimately understands that Ben has been punishing himself, too. After some soul-searching and forgiveness, they come to realize that true love is not about perfection but about embracing each other’s flaws. They decide to end the November 9 pact, choosing instead to build a real, daily life together.
Fallon O’Neil: Once a promising actress, now scarred from a fire, she values personal growth and exemplifies this by taking risks like the November 9 pact with Ben.
Ben: An aspiring writer with a hidden past, he values redemption and shows this by using the annual meetings to create a love story that both mimics and redeems his own tragic narrative.
Love and Forgiveness: The story explores the complexities of love and the power of forgiveness as Fallon eventually forgives Ben for his dark secret.
Self-Discovery: Both characters go through significant self-discovery; Fallon reclaims her self-worth while Ben comes to terms with his past.
The Subjectivity of Truth: The narrative plays with the concept of truth as both characters keep secrets, teaching the reader that people’s actions are often influenced by their hidden battles.
Fate vs. Free Will: The November 9 pact raises questions about destiny and choice, examining whether love is a matter of fate or an active choice.
The Power of Storytelling: The book demonstrates how stories can shape and redefine realities, exemplified by Ben turning his and Fallon’s relationship into a book.