Before I mustered up the courage to pick yet another Colleen Hoover masterpiece (I was obviously not influenced by the booktok community), I went in with zero expectations.
I already read her bestselling book ‘It Ends with Us.’
Now, if you are familiar with Colleen Hoover, I do not have to explain much; you already know she writes romance novels for teens and young adults. I’d recommend her if you are new to the world of novels.
But if I have to be brutally honest, her writing style suits young adults. You know, people who grew up on Wattpad stories and dream of an ideal romantic world with fictional characters.
CoHo’s writing style is easy on the eyes. Still, the storyline is something we used to enjoy back in the 2010s, except the protagonist was Harry Styles from One Direction, who happens to be an underworld mafia whom I was hitched to by my parents.
It’s been more than a decade. Wattpad took over from One Direction to BTS fan fiction, and writers like Colleen Hoover have started selling hard copies of her version of a similar storyline – which leads us to summarize and review one of the most loved books of all time ‘Ugly Love’ by Colleen Hoover.
My Quick Take on Ugly Love – What I Got from the Book?
Barely took me a whole day to finish it. The delivery and the writing style are easy to read. The synopsis and Ugly Love SparkNotes are also perfect for young adults and, to some degree, predictable. That’s good for someone who’s looking for a casual read.
Well, if I am being honest with you, I couldn’t predict SOME elements of the story.
I kept my promise. Like I said, I did not have any expectations from this one.
The blurb had some interesting wordplay going on … I suggest you read it before you proceed with my heavily opinionated ugly love review.
C’mon, it’s just a few words.
I trust you came back with all the pieces of information in the blurb. How do you feel? Can you guess anything?
Whatever you guess, the story is exactly that. Yes, it’s that common with the attempted ‘Rupi Kaur’ poetic style.
The writer introduces you to the world of romance. Still, the twist is trauma – that’s classic Colleen Hoover for you – everyone just happens to be traumatized.
At least one of the characters acts like a douchebag only to unravel their past relationships that made them who they are and the reason they act in a certain way.
Remember I said twists are unpredictable?
If someone finds you in the Hooverworld being weird, just guess that every other character has this ‘Oh sorry, I didn’t know you have trauma, you can continue to be mean to me now’ persona. That’s how you know you’re reading her work.
BUT… She actually dug deep when coming up with Ugly Love’s story. I just gotta talk separately about every character I found admirable.
Ugly Love Summary If You’re in a Hurry
I have decided to keep the ‘Ugly Love’ summary spoiler-free because I really need some of you to save your precious time and decide right away if you are the right audience for this book or not.
Chances are gray if you ask me. What can I say? I too am just a mere audience of rom-coms.
The story starts with our female lead, Tate Collins, starting her move-in with her brother in a new apartment where she meets our ravishingly, strikingly handsome mystery man named Miles Archer (Not my choice of adjectives but the writer herself).
I loved how Colleen included both the POVs, and that’s how you know who’s thinking what. I could dive into their characters’ thoughts, which made me feel present throughout the book.
This is a love story between Tate Collins (a nurse in the making) and Miles Archer (a pilot), but oh boy, can you make this more complicated in a generic way.
Tate and Miles are attracted to each other physically and not emotionally, as they confess as the story progresses. Therefore – they agree to be in a friends-with-benefits relationship where Miles has his priorities straight – nothing more than a physical relationship.
But Tate imagines this to be an ideal world where she thinks she can make Miles fall in love with her. Her choices make up the whole storyline.
This is 2023. We know friends-with-benefits don’t work; things might not be like that anymore. We certainly don’t for the entitled guys.
She caught feelings, but he didn’t. It’s a classic tragic love story. Unless he falls for her too but can’t be with her for tragic personal reasons. Could this hint at something that happened six years ago? Who’s Rachel now?
Rachel is someone, according to Mile’s own words, who made him fall in love instantly and made him want to start a family. Basically, it was his first love. Miles is said to have an instant mental and emotional connection with Rachel when he sees her.
But boy, maybe, could the tiniest possibility be, because you guys SHARE A PARENT?
Rachel is Mile’s stepsister and that didn’t stop them from pursuing a cordial relationship. Now if you are comfortable with this, you can read the book and if you don’t, most of the part involves this relationship so be warned.
Things escalated and now we have a situation that traumatized our mystery man so badly that he swore to not love anybody and anyone else ever again.
Does this plot sound familiar to you? Can you guess what happened next? I’m gonna spill it in the spoiler’s section!
Buy Ugly Love:
Ugly Love Story Spoilers (Beware)!
Yeah, so Rachel and Miles have a baby boy and the writer made a predictable monologue including the fact that this alone was a weird relationship.
In the present time, Miles is jealous of Tate’s male friend from nursing school and then she finally confesses her feelings to Miles. To which his reply was to remind her of his no-dating rule.
Tate stopped communicating with Miles. Finally putting an end to the ‘I love him he doesn’t respect me so I should leave but he’s so hawt omg’ personality.
The past that actually matters was when Rachel gave birth to their son, Clayton. Their car crashed in the lake and Miles unfortunately saved Rachel instead of Clayton. In short – Clayton died a tragic death and Rachel blamed Miles and left him.
That’s kinda rough. One of the heart-wrenching moments in the book for me.
Years later, Corbin and Ian convince Miles to meet his ex Rachel to deal with his past in a healthy way. Miles finds that Rachel is married and she even has a daughter now.
Now this inspired Miles to find his own happiness again, when he ran to Tate’s apartment and proposed to her in an airplane with Cap.
They get married and have a daughter later on. They named her Cap, after the charming 80-year-old guard, Tate’s first friend in the building.
And they lived happily ever after. Basically, a happy ending.
Ugly Love Character Study for Nerds!
There’s no ‘Hooverse’, I made that one up. But if you see Ms. Hoover use this one someday, you know where she got it from.
Analyzing Tate as a Character!
I referred to the characters of Ugly Love as the heart. Now each of them has a different (different from each other in the book, you’ve seen these tropes everywhere else in rom-com books) personality to begin with. Let’s start with our main characters; Tate and Miles.
I must admit, Tate can be annoying at times – I mean I liked Miles more. I definitely have my reasons.
At times, I was enraged with Tate; she was an extremely one-dimensional character in parts of the story. I’ve heard readers calling her ‘Delusional’ at times.
However, to me she seemed like a career-focused, hardworking woman who’s more at ease with her brother’s friends than her own. Well, except Miles.
She lets him do whatever he wants, however he wants, and without any commitment whatsoever. She was on this mission to make him fall in love with her, even at the cost of her self-respect at times.
I don’t know if that’s in line with the modern sentiments but I am merely the reader.
And her manifestations even worked somehow (because it’s fiction obviously, don’t try this in real life). You’ll know when you read it. Her lack of self-respect had me facepalming in secondhand embarrassment.
Apart from all that, if I had to pick positive sides of her, I’d say I liked how positive and optimistic she was about certain situations. This is something that should inspire the youth.
Getting into the Psych of Miles
My slightly favorite character Miles, except his development was way too rushed. I’ll be honest on this one, I felt really bad for teen Miles. He was just eighteen when he had to go through all that. Grown men mess up and he was just a kid then.
I can’t really get mad at him for doing what he did. He was a troubled young man with the ability to make terrible decisions. But I will forgive it, he was a kid and naive and things could’ve been handled in a better way.
As I read through the book, I noticed CoHo made the trauma to be a mistake on his part resulting from his kid’s death. But she could’ve easily portrayed it to be heavy on his heart as well.
If you really think about it, he has messed up relationships with his step-sibling, his ex-girlfriend, and his parents now and basically everyone around him judges him for his actions.
The worst of all (spoilers) the feeling of guilt of seeing your own child dying in front of you while you had pick between him and your wife. I admit it’s a hard choice but Clayton deserved better.
Miles’ six-year-old past opened up the reasons why he is the way he is. I, as the reader, could sympathize with him for his past.
I still would not justify his behavior just because he has past trauma. Colleen Hoover has this thing to romanticize trauma and write trauma-driven characters which really is not … cool. At least people with real-life traumas don’t find it cool.
Miles deserved more time and a storyline on the healing process. I think he just got a free pass seeing Rachel so happy and fulfilled that he thought he deserved it that way.
He did what he had to without even thinking for a second. That just shows a lack of character and the difference between real and fictional trauma.
The side characters like Tate’s big brother and Ian did a pretty good job of keeping the storyline interesting. I wouldn’t mind reading their love stories someday.
Love the sweetest Cap. Glad he was involved in the latter scenarios even when he was not there.
Let’s Discuss Ugly Love Ending
This one will have spoilers! Obviously.
Ugly Love’s ending, as I explained, felt rushed. It was not bad, it was predicted. At least Tate’s falls impressions worked and they had a happily ever after ending. My heart was not broken – if you look at the bright side. They had a daughter after they got together.
I really want to know what goes on Mile’s mind now. His healing process was rushed. Has he healed from the trauma of losing his first child and later got blamed for it? Does he still have that guilt and fear for his second child? Has he truly recovered?
As much as I am happy that they got what they wanted in the end or as people took it – you need to taste both good and bad in love/life and when you finally get the taste of good, you’ll soon realize that the ugly part of the story was worth it to make the rest of it enchanting.
I don’t quite agree with that statement. Other than that, I’m happy that that weird sibling relationship was over and Miles got into a normal stable relationship whatever the cost was.
Would I Recommend Ugly Love to You?
I will recommend this to someone who is obsessed with or likes Wattpad fan fiction of any kind. If you are someone who enjoys fantasy romance novels, this one might be feasible for you.
Also, if you are someone who has just started reading and wants to start with romance (I know, that’s the easiest genre), this book has incredibly easy vocabulary.
Fast and predictable, yet in your comfort zone. You’ll feel fuzzy, cozy, warm, sad, and happy at the end. Oh, I recommend this on a winter night with hot chocolates and marshmallows!
But if you are someone looking for healthy and real romance, pack your bags up from here. But you can read it anyway to have a good light-hearted laugh just like I did. Pretty fun, if you give it a try.