Well I got lured into reading this book because I absolutely loved “Verity.” “November 9” was nonsensical though most of the book and when we get to the twist/reveal I was rolling my eyes. I am sorry, no one in the history of the world would be rooting on these two (Fallon and Ben) to get together. Also at times it felt like Hoover was slightly mocking “One Day” which I also didn’t like, but that was still better than two people only communicating/seeing each other one day a year. And there also just seemed to be too much tragedy for one book after a while.
“November 9” follows Fallon a young woman about to move to New York to continue to pursue her dream of being an actress. Due to a tragic accident when she was 16, Fallon was left with scars after being burned over 30 percent of her body. Fallon had to give up acting in LA due to the industry being focused on looks and hopes that trying for roles on Broadway or off in some cases can land her back into the world of acting. Meeting her father for a goodbye lunch and dealing with the cruel remarks he makes about her continue to try to be an actress, she meets a young man named Ben who pretends to be her boyfriend to her father. Ben is an aspiring writer and is attracted to Fallon and wants to spend more time with her. Only catch is that Fallon is leaving that night for New York. So she and Ben have what some would call is a perfect day together (it’s really not) with the promise that they will reach out to each other next year, with no calls, emails, etc. in between and that Fallon will try to go out with guys and not hide herself away.
So the book follows these two for five November 9ths. I just cannot. Who would agree to this?
I didn’t get why Ben was so focused on Fallon (until we get the reveal) and I found myself feeling a bit repelled by the whole thing. Ben is quite quick to tell Fallon that she can’t say that she loves him since he won’t be able to let her go, forces her to make a choice and says if she does so and so that’s it for them. And then shows up with life bomb after life bomb on a freaking yearly basis. I really wanted Fallon to just be done with Ben since he didn’t seem like a real person. He got to pretend to be this great dude for one day a year.
Fallon didn’t do much for me either. I liked the side characters of her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend more. And it didn’t help though that Hoover has this character from the age of 18 through 23 who supposedly knows more about acting than anyone and supposedly had other actors coming to her for help. It seemed so farfetched I was just shaking my head.
The 180 that Hoover took Fallon’s father didn’t work for me either based on what we know. We don’t get much with Fallon’s mother, just one scene really, but here how great she is. I think that’s another problem with this format, no one gets developed (and I use that word loosely here) beyond Fallon and Ben. We just have to hear about other characters via them and so they feel very apart from things.
The writing didn’t do a lot for me. We have the book switch from Fallon to Ben and back again on November 9th for a 5 year period. Neither character seems very realistic and I think that only showing them on one day a year for a certain time period didn’t get you a chance to feel invested in them as readers. They are both 18 when this story begins and both of them talk like 40 year old people, i.e. the maturity level there didn’t feel quite real and I thought I was reading a “Dawson’s Creek” episode after a while.
The flow doesn’t work since sometimes we stay fixated on a particular day for a long time and then we jump forward another year. Then Hoover will do a quick and this has changed for me via the characters and then we have them both at anyone time obsessing over each other.
The setting of the book jumps around, but mostly all of the action is in Los Angeles, with a few choice scenes in Ben’s childhood home.
The ending fell flat for me. I maybe went what the world once things are revealed. This more than anything had me going just stay away from each other.