Title: Losing Hope
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless series
Companion novels make me hesitate. As much as I love the original story, I always worry a companion will be a rehashing of the original and won’t be its own book. Even if the original is one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read, if the companion novel doesn’t have its own story, I’m not going to love it.
Losing Hope is what a companion novel should be. Yes, it retells Hopeless from Holder’s point of view, but it also tells Holder’s story. Not only do we get to see him fall in love with Sky, we see him dealing with the suicide of his sister. It may be a companion novel, but it can stand on its own.
Holder is the one who finds his sister after she overdoses. He feels as though he let her down by not being what she needed. He second guesses his choices when it comes to her, trying to figure out where he could have done something different to save her. His guilt eats away at him slowly.
When he moves back home with his mother, he runs into a girl who reminds him of the first girl he let down, Hope. Her name is Sky, though, and he tries to convince himself that who he sees is false and that he needs to let go of Hope and focus on Sky. From reading Hopeless, I knew this part of the story, but I still enjoyed reading it from Holder’s point of view.
I think what made this novel so amazing was Hoover’s split focus. Part of the novel is spent telling Holder’s point of view of Hopeless, but the other half, the half that really made me love this book, is about Holder coming to terms with his sister’s suicide. He writes her letters and through those letters, he works through his emotions. It’s easy to see how much her death has affected him, but how he’s able to work through his grief and find a way to move beyond seeing her death every time he looks at her room.
Companion novels are just that…companions. They still need to have their own story. Simply retelling the original doesn’t give you well developed characters or plot. It doesn’t give you a book you can sink into. Losing Hope is everything a companion novel should be. It makes the series stronger, the story more meaningful. It is a heartfelt, touching story that enhances Hopeless, but stands on its own.
This is a definite must read book, and a must read series as well.
Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.