Book Review//Layla

Layla by Colleen Hoover

Layla book cover

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

[Amazon CA] [Book Depository]

My Thoughts

This is the first book that I’ve read by Colleen Hoover, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think this might turn into a harsh review, and that’s not my intention at all; I’m trying to work out my thoughts surrounding this book. I don’t think that this book was for me, it’s not my ‘cup of tea.’

Let’s start with the characters – Leeds and Layla. I wanted to like them, but I felt a disconnect from them, and I’m still trying to figure out why that is. Layla was… Annoying? She certainly wasn’t a likeable character for me and Leeds was also very lackluster. I believe there was limited character development, the whole ghost/spirit aspect was interesting and did add some depth to the characters, but it wasn’t enough for me.

Atmosphere was the one aspect that I believe Hoover got right. I liked the setting of being in a Bed & Breakfast where they first met, and staying there for a while because it was for sale. The isolation was the perfect setting for a haunting/spirit. So, points to Hoover for achieving that atmosphere and setting of being in the literal middle of nowhere, where the nearest town is far away.

Now to the writing… For an author who has written a lot of books I was expecting to be blown away by her writing prowess. Sadly her writing did nothing for me. I was shocked when I read the first page and wondered how the writing could be so… Mediocre. That threw me for a loop right away. The insta-love is not my cup of tea… At all. I don’t like it. I need that slow burn, the build-up to a relationship, not the moving in together after knowing each other for 2 months; that doesn’t make sense to me.

The plot was okay to me. I think maybe it was a bit overly complicated when everything was revealed in the end – it made sense and I guessed what happened fairly early on so it wasn’t a huge shock to me when it was finally revealed. There were areas where it could have been improved – I felt like it dragged a bit in the middle, and I struggled through the beginning as well. The intrigue was there for me, and it was tied into who this ‘Willow’ person is, why she was in the Bed & Breakfast and trying to piece everything together. I did like how the narrative was framed around an interview, it left me guessing who the interviewer was, and what role he played in the narrative.

Overall… This book was just okay. I wasn’t floored, I wasn’t shocked or wowed by it. I enjoyed the atmosphere that Hoover created, I liked the Bed & Breakfast – I could picture it in my bed but there was some repetition about the isolation which irked me. This was a decent read, I would not spend money to buy this book so I’m glad I got a copy from my library. I heard that Verity is one of her better novels so I’ll be giving that a read in the near future. In the meantime, I’m off to finish up Deathly Hallows!

See you on the next post…

Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕

Publisher: Montlake

Published: December 8, 2020

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