Colleen Hoover and I share a toxic relationship – I disapprove of her choice to dump explicit trauma in novels. Then again, I jump at the opportunity to read another work of hers just for the sake of it.
Surprisingly, that was only part of why I picked up the first novel, Hopeless, from the bookshop the other day.
Growing up with parents whose jobs required us to move from one country to another, my friends lived within the OG Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series pages. I found solace in these golden trios’ friendships because I was their third-person friend.
Each book in this series felt like another adventure in those long-term series that never existed. With time, their adventures ended, and it was time for me to find solace in new pages.
All thanks to the 2010s teenagers, I discovered the baddest boy of all bad boys (also the hottest), Edward Cullen of the Twilight novels, in my preteens. I’ll admit that I watched the movies first.
I mean, come on, Cedric Diggory as the main character in a supernatural romantic movie – what kind of imaginary girlfriend of Cedric would I be if I passed the opportunity to swoon over him all over again?
From being the third-person friend of the golden trios to becoming the ultimate book girlfriend, I reached the full coming-of-age moment in the Twilight series with the help of my smoldering love, Edward Cullen.
Fine… fine, I’ll stop gushing over my book boyfriends and get to the point – my desire to commit to a classic Colleen Hoover series like Hopeless stemmed from my nostalgia for lengthy book series.
Imagine how giddy I was with joy when I discovered the main male character was Edward Cullen-ish (more on later).
If being a book nerd taught me anything, it is to not judge a book by its cover. Hence, I solemnly swear to the book lords that I will not let the white-washed book covers and my beef with Hoover on how she ruined Verity for me cloud my judgment on the Hopeless Series in order.
Spoiler Alert: I failed to keep my oath to the book lords (may they forgive me), and you’ll see exactly why in my “Best attempt” at a non-biased review of the Colleen Hoover Hopeless Series book.
Sorry, not sorry.
Hopeless Series in Order and Character Introduction
I am a person who lives by the blurbs of a book and didn’t think deceiving readers by defining the book with one genre, but then the plot turns out to be nowhere near the said genre could ever be a thing.
So far, Colleen Hoover made me question all of these book norms, and I wasn’t happy about it, to say the least.
I was curious to explore the uncharted territory of Colleen Hoover books in order. My excitement for the Hopeless series stemmed from the promise of something new from Hoover’s end.
The beginning of the Hopeless book series became that ray of light shining at the end of the tunnel for me. For the first time, CoHo delivered to her audience what she promised – a proper young adult romance that involves teenagers, with the high school setting being the perfect cherry on top.
Right off the bat, I enjoyed the fact that Hoover brought out the close bond shared between girl best friends through Six and Sky. It reminded me of the beautiful friendships I used to share with the neighborhood kids, no matter how short-lived they were, unlike Sky and Six’s.
My initial distaste for characters written by CoHo changed because of Sky, Six, and Breckin. I could read a series where they attend high school!
I guess I’m still hung up on the golden trios. sigh
The main male character, Dean Holder, came off as very Edward Cullen-ish. However, his persistence to win over Sky instantly reminded me of Patrick Verona from 10 Things I Hate About You.
Mysterious and charming almost dropout who only opens up to Sky, AND he’s funny? Talk about the whole package.
Sky’s witty remarks to Holder as she resists her fascination with Holder and his instinctual care for Sky make them the perfect book versions of Kat Stratford and Patrick Verona.
In the transition from pining and bickering to the love bombing that comes with first love, Hoover perfectly portrays the high school romance of Holder and Sky.
Not only did Colleen Hoover execute Sky and Holder’s romance to almost perfection, but she also wrote one of the best unconventional love stories shared between the two important people in their lives in this series.
To get a detailed character analysis and a breakdown of the plot in each novel, follow this list of Hopeless series in order:
- Hopeless (2012)
- Losing Hope (2013)
- Finding Cinderella (2013)
- All Your Perfects (2018)
- Finding Perfect (2019)
While All Your Perfects was marketed as a standalone novel, including it in the series gets the “Whole” Hopeless book series experience.
Brace yourself for a whirlwind of emotions in this series!
1. Hopeless Colleen Hoover Summary and Characters
It has been a while since I read about a delightful friendship like the one Six and Sky shared. I was disappointed to see so little of her in the first novel. Female characters as fiery as her are a rare treat to find in Colleen Hoover’s novels.
Can you imagine rebelling against your name and changing it to Six from Seven? I laughed for four minutes straight.
It was the most realistic portrayal of a teenager rebelling. Not every teen goes through the phase of abusing substances like most Netflix shows want us to believe. Some dare to change their name from Seven to Six.
Sky, on the other hand, was not my ultimate favorite character in the beginning because of how convoluted she sounded when talking about her indifference towards sexual arousal and feelings.
Since it didn’t add anything to the plot until I reached the end, the constant mention of it felt kind of annoying. Without any foreshadowing or mentions of how it should’ve affected her before reaching the climax, it turned into an annoying plot filler.
Instead of being an ominous forewarning of the plot twist, her lack of sexual feelings reflected Colleen Hoover’s subpar writing skills.
Another thing that ticked me off initially was the constant slut-shaming, especially from Sky herself. I understand it was a ploy to reveal she is a baddie. But was it necessary for her to slut-shame herself?
Considering the year it was published, there wasn’t much of an awareness of slut-shaming and bullying in high school. I didn’t mind the bullying since it showed us not all homeschooled kids are weirdos. Some are the coolest, like Sky.
Would I enjoy this plotline if it was set in this day and age? Not at all. But if Netflix can release shows like 13 Reasons Why that ran its course till 2020, I don’t see why anyone should crucify CoHo over this.
Can we talk about the underrated characters in this short Hopeless Colleen Hoover Summary for a minute?
I never knew I could love a character so much until the day I met Phoebe Buffay.
Sky and Holder’s relationship was more mature and realistic than any other couple Colleen Hoover has written before.
Imagine how in awe I was when Hoover decided to bless us with the mom version of Phoebe in this novel. Yes, I’m talking about Karen, Sky’s adoptive mother.
If you’re a Friends fan and ever wondered what Phoebe would be like as a mom with all her little quirks, you need to read Hopeless. Karen is the spitting image of Phoebe with her ban on technology and homeschooling. If you disagree, go talk to the wall.
Next on the favorite underrated list is Breckin. Breckin is the modern-day Damian from Mean Girls, and I’m all here for it!
Who doesn’t need a gay best friend to take us under their wing? I most certainly do!
Breckin was the highlight for me regarding Sky’s high school experience.
Let’s talk about the main characters now.
Holder was by far the most supportive and understanding boyfriend I’ve encountered in any CoHo novel. Sky and Holder’s relationship transition from flirty banter to pining for one another was beautiful and realistic.
That was not the case for Holder. Throughout the novel, he is supportive and caring about every aspect of Sky’s life. The way he handled Sky’s inability and detachment when it came to sexual feelings was heartfelt.
That scene alone showed that Holder and Sky had a much more mature relationship than any other couple in Colleen Hoover’s novel.
Hopeless was the one romance novel by Colleen Hoover that was shaping up to be my ultimate favorite. But like always, our beloved CoHo just had to ruin it with the ending or what she likes to call a “plot twist.”
I was gutted to see the entire plot come crashing down with such a vile excuse of a “plot twist.” I refuse to even acknowledge it as a plot twist.
It is one thing to write dark and twisted plot twists in a novel that has been foreshadowing it from the beginning and another thing to hit your audience with a disgusting and graphic plot twist just for the sake of it.
Some may argue that traumatic plot twists are a signature move in every Colleen Hoover novel. While I agree with that, Hopeless was a beautiful novel to some extent and would’ve been a success with or without it.
My problem wasn’t with the trauma and revelations from Sky’s past. The confrontation that followed. Holder’s love for Sky was proven even further by how delicately he handled and supported Sky through one of the most gut-wrenching and traumatic situations imaginable.
The way he held her and sat beside her while she confronted that monster was the one thing I chose to focus on instead.
Writing skills were never Colleen Hoover’s strong suit. To write about such realistic trauma and incidents, her unfurnished writing skills have failed to execute them tastefully in many instances. Sky’s childhood is one of them.
Was I surprised? Not at all. Thus, I focused on Holder instead.
Dean Holder was the best book boyfriend of all time until he wasn’t.
To think that Colleen Hoover can get away with writing such vile sexual scenes that were incited after witnessing a death was astounding to me.
In a second, Holder went from being the dreamy book boyfriend to an absolute sadist. God, I hate Colleen Hoover for ruining every good book for me.
Even For someone who entitles herself as a hardcore realist, only to make her character go through one of the most traumatic things ever, only for it to work as a gateway to write about “smut” is cheap, to say the least.
Dearest CoHo, please give simple happy ends a chance instead of writing plot twists that add nothing to the plot.
2. Losing Hope Colleen Hoover
Losing Hope is the second installment of the Hopeless Colleen Hoover series. The novel retells the romance of Holder and Sky from Holder’s perspective.
But who are we kidding? It’s just another novel that our beloved CoHo convinced us to waste our money on to earn some more profit.
Writing companion novels that narrate from another main character’s perspective is always challenging. Companion novels are based on major revelations and plot twists that set character developments in motion.
Characters in Colleen Hoover’s novels either have zero character development, or in Holder’s case, I wish he had none.
Beware of the spoilers ahead as I delve further into the character analysis of Dean Holder and how Losing Hope was destined for doom from the get-go.
Colleen Hoover successfully evoked every frustration and grief Holder went through after enduring the loss of Hope and Les in me.
Forgetting the fact that Holder is a creep who “steals kisses” from a girl who is asleep when they weren’t romantically involved, his letters to his sister were the highlight for me.
Writing to his sister, who passed away, was possibly the most heartbreaking way I’ve seen a character deal with grief.
However, for a character whom I have seen deal with the aftermath of his grief and his struggles as a child in the previous book, I was not required to read about it more in another novel.
His loss could’ve been his character arc. Instead, it consumed him whole, and there was no longer the witty and funny Dean Holder. He was a carcass of his dreadful past.
To fall in love with someone hard enough to bear through the pain of them not remembering your existence is rarely seen in Young Adult novels.
Surprisingly, Colleen Hoover executed it to perfection.
Before this novel, the titles never made sense to me. I wondered what major meaning this Hopeless tattoo could hold to entitle the whole series afterward.
Finally, it all tied together:
“I’ve loved Hope since we were kids. But tonight? Tonight I fell in love with Sky.”
Loving someone even when they forget your existence and the times you shared is a difficult trope in itself, but executing it to perfection in a young adult novel requires a whole other level of skills.
If anyone told me it would be Colleen Hoover who managed to write it impeccably, I would never believe you. Guess what she did. In her second year as an author, no less. Losing Hope is proof of it.
Now… before you think I’ve changed my mind about this novel, let me show you why that will never be true.
Nothing can top the biggest plot hole fumble of Losing Hope.
Do you want me to believe Hope has no recollection of the encounter with Les and their mother? Pfft! It was one thing to remember nothing of the abuse or kidnapping.
To not remember anything when Karen was begging the other family not to tell anyone when you’re a fully grown child is unfathomable.
As much as I enjoyed witnessing Sky and Holder’s realistic love story, Losing Hope was the complete opposite.
Stripping Holder from the chance of having a character arc, but for CoHo to give me the ick about who was supposed to be my ultimate book boyfriend is a felony; nay, an unforgivable curse.
“I’ve loved Hope since we were kids. But tonight? Tonight I fell in love with Sky.”
At the end of the day, my opinion still stands. Losing Hope was an unnecessary filler novel in this series that would have sufficed as a novella.
3. Finding Cinderella Series: The Savior
In honor of the gatekeeping queen, Karen (if you know, you know), I present the hardest thing I had to gatekeep when reviewing Losing Hope, Daniel.
Only our CoHo can publish back-to-back series installations all in the same year. Finding Cinderella is a novella and the third installation of the Hopeless series.
Unlike Hopeless and Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella follows the story of Holder’s best friend, Daniel, and his mystery girl.
I will spare the spoilers to let you experience my newly found favorite book by CoHo.
The novella is written from Daniel’s perspective and how a chance encounter with his Cinderella changed his life forever. Thanks to this book, I’ve found my niche, aka novellas, in the world of Colleen Hoover.
If you thought Holder was the funny one, Daniel would outbeat him in a heartbeat. Forget Hopeless. Daniel was the ray of light at the end of the tunnel I’d been searching for all along.
His nicknames and ability to make me laugh out loud – I can gush about him all day. CoHo finally managed to get me kicking my feet in the air like a teen falling in love for the first time.
Who knew one nightstand in a closet could be a meet-cute too? In only 176 pages, Colleen Hoover crafted this beautiful, unconventional love story with a plot twist that puts all of her other plot twists to shame.
The surprising comeback of one of my beloved characters from the first novel, Finding Cinderella, topped my charts.
Colleen Hoover proved my point – Impeccable novels do not require trauma dumps and smut as their plot twists. Sometimes, all they need is Daniel and his Cinderella.
4. All Your Perfects (2018): The Standalone
Published as a standalone novel, All Your Perfects ties the loose ends of the Hopeless series together while depicting the story of a couple navigating their marital problems posed by infertility.
The book features Quinn and Graham faced with the most challenging time of their marriage. Their story unfolds by alternating between their past and present lives, providing a glimpse into what’s become of their relationship today.
Colleen Hoover shone a light on the reality of most marriages – whenever I was getting choked up with emotions, CoHo made sure to switch gears and bring out all the happy times Graham and Quinn shared, which instantly brought me to ease.
Hoover would’ve been the last author I would’ve expected to handle sensitive discussions like infertility and adoption with such elegance. Yet, she’s proved me wrong once again.
“If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.”
The best part about All Your Perfects is that you can read it as a standalone novel if you don’t want to commit to the whole series.
5. Finding Perfect Summary: The Cherry on Top
Finding Perfect is the fifth and final installment of the Hopeless series. This perfect cherry on top of a novella proves that Colleen Hoover never fails to outdo herself.
The story is narrated from the point of view of the coolest character from Losing Hope and Finding Perfect, Daniel. It features one last look into all of our favorite Hopeless series characters and gives that much-needed conclusion to Daniel and his Cinderella’s love story.
Since this is the final novel in this series, brace yourself for some spoilers ahead.
Finding Perfect did not surprise me because I knew it was Six and Daniel’s baby when Quinn and Graham adopted the child in All Your Perfects. What surprised me once again was how beautifully Colleen Hoover tied their stories.
The story is set a year after Daniel and Six sparked their romance and retells the story of Daniel and Six.
I’m gonna admit I was kind of hoping for her to fail – most series installments can be a hit or miss, but CoHo put all those stereotypes to shame.
Within just nine chapters and 128 pages, Colleen Hoover dealt with sensitive issues like adoption and adoptive parents. She raised awareness by providing realistic insight through these four characters’ adoption journeys.
All in all, Finding Perfect was about the Hopeless series’s perfect ending.
My Thoughts on The Series
As a big series fiend, I have often witnessed the first novels always being better than the last. It’s hard to outshine your work that is loved by the masses.
But for Colleen Hoover, my expectations were already low. Despite being swooned over by Holder and comforted by Six and Sky’s friendship, in classic CoHo fashion, the ending came crashing down.
The first book’s ending was the cue for the entire series to be a dumpster fire — or so I thought.
I was disappointed with Hoover’s lack of character development in the second novel. I didn’t want to forget he turned into a total creep when he “stole” that kiss. Eugh!
There’s just no excuse for the monstrosity Losing Hope was. It made me lose my will to read through the end of the series. I wish this book never existed in the first place.
I began procrastinating with the third book, Finding Cinderella, and kept finding reasons to put off reading it.
To give this series a fair shot, I began reading it without any reviews clouding my judgment.
Thus, after being disappointed with CoHo all over again because of the first two books, I just couldn’t bear the thought of witnessing Sky and Holder’s romance get muddled in the third book, too.
I finally gave it a chance, thanks to my curiosity about the novella. Lo and behold, I found my favorite type of book by Colleen Hoover — her novellas.
If I knew all it took was for her to write less to not mess up her endings, I would’ve just read her novellas and forget about the rest.
Daniel and Six’s unique love story transformed my entire impression of this novel. Their chummy banter and silly disagreements almost made me forget that it all began with Sky and Holder’s relationship.
Finding Cinderella was the high point in the Hopeless series, where things began to look up for me.
All Your Perfects is a must-read for anyone who doesn’t enjoy smut in books all the time and is looking for realistic love stories like Quinn and Graham.
Reading Verity and All Your Perfects made me form a controversial opinion — I might just enjoy reading romance and other genres by Colleen Hoover that aren’t meant for young adults. I’m waiting for BookTok influencers to cancel me. Yikes!
My respect for Colleen Hoover as an author went through the roof after seeing how she concluded the stories of the characters in the Hopeless series in just 126 pages.
While I didn’t find Finding Perfect any exciting because Finding Cinderella and All Your Perfects kind of gave away the plot, I did enjoy reading about my favorite characters one last time.
It allowed me to witness Colleen Hoover’s growth as an author over the years. I can safely say that I somewhat understand the Colleen Hoover hype now.
What Do I Have to Say at The End
The Hopeless series by Colleen Hoover is a must-read. I rate it an 8.5/10. If you know me, you know what a high rating that is coming from me.
It is a true Young Adult book because it doesn’t contain explicit smut apart from the first book. The Hopeless series is set to be a realistic high school romance and how it progresses as they turn into adults.
If you’re looking for a novel with realistic characters and romances full of pining and banter, don’t forget to read the series.