This Girl by Colleen Hoover, published June 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK.
Read: June 2015
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult/Romance/Contemporary
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about Will, even though he makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist Lake’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.
Companion novels told from the perspective of each protagonist in a relationship seem to have become a thing. I don’t know who is responsible for this fad, but it is (or at least was) popular for a while, particularly among the YA/NA romance genre. Here’s the catch – they never usually work. The story is often highly repetitive, the inner workings of the second protagonist’s brain always seems to be disappointing, and we never feel that we, or the story, benefits in any way from having a second book. However, Hoover strikes again! Full disclaimer – I don’t know if by this point I would read a cereal box written by Hoover and give it 4/5 stars, or if she truly does bring something unique and fabulous to the table, even when it comes to dual perspective novels. I’m beyond being able to see past my own adoration, so take from this review what you will…
I love novels told from dual POV, which is a technique Hoover has used with her more recent offerings, but back in the day, she wrote single POV novels in a companion or series, where each book is from the POV of a different main character (see also Hopeless and Losing Hope). As I’ve already mentioned, this method usually isn’t that successful, mostly due to the insane amount of repetition, but Hoover does it so well.
In This Girl, Lake and Will are reminiscing together about their relationship, with chapters alternating between present day and, essentially, their memories. Lake is digging to find out what was going on in Will’s head during some of the pivotal moments from Slammed, and I found myself grinning like an idiot throughout most of the book. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like couples actually do this! When you’re comfortable together, secure, you do try to find out what was going on in the other persons head during those will-they-won’t-they moments. It was trés cute, and more than that, because there are new scenes to be devoured, it also gives the reader more
Will, which no one can complain about.
Overall, Slammed could have stopped at being a standalone, and with Point of Retreat it could have been a great companion series, but really, This Girl rounds off this series so well, I can see why Hoover made it a trilogy. Each novel in this series serves a purpose, and we got to spend a considerable amount of time with these characters, which in the end makes them all feel like confidantes and friends, as opposed to just people on the page. I rated Slammed 5*, and Point of Retreat 4.5*, This Girl will be getting 4*, because it is my least favourite out of the series, but it was still a great Hoover read!
““Sometimes two people need to fall apart to realize how much they need to fall back together.” I take her hand and rest it between us, then stroke the back of it with my thumb. “Let’s not fall apart again,” I whisper.”
“The line isn’t so black and white any more. I’m pretty sure grey just became my new favourite colour.”
“I want to be your soulmate, even if I don’t believe in them.”
Have you read the Slammed series? Did you love them as much as I did? Let me know in the comments!