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Regretting You – Colleen Hoover

Regretting not reading this sooner

When Regretting You by Colleen Hoover originally came out in December 2019 , I read about it everywhere. It showed up on my friend’s Goodreads feeds. It had a pretty photo in a magazine I read in my doctor’s waiting room. It even showed up in a candid photo on the amazing Humans of New York Facebook page. But I didn’t read it. I have no idea why; perhaps as I was hovering over a “buy” button my cat slammed his butt in my face or I dropped everything to catch the newest episode of The Mandalorian. Don’t be like me. If you were thinking of reading this but haven’t got around to it for whatever reason, go do this now.

Life is messy and complicated, and this what Colleen Hoover does well–she writes about messy lives, but in a realistic way that isn’t so overdramatic it’s unbelievable, but interesting enough that you want to keep reading to the end. Regretting You is the story of a mother and daughter whose lives are upended when tragedy strikes their family. Teenaged Clara, in her grief, flees into the arms of a new romantic relationship her family formerly forbade her to pursue, while her mother, Morgan, is left to deal with the shattered fragments of her own life–a possible new romance for herself lingering at the edges of her disillusionment and betrayal.

Part of the reason why Regretting You found so many fans across a huge age range, I think, is because of the duel nature of this book–chapter point of views switch back and forth between young Clara and her mother, making it feel a bit like a Young Adult novel and a Contemporary Fiction novel smashed together. Teens can identify with feeling smothered by their mother’s rules and apparently overbearing concern, and older adults, especially parents, will understand Morgan’s frustration of just wanting their children to not repeat the same mistakes of their youth, knowing all the while that mistakes are a vital part of simply growing up. Meanwhile, Colleen Hoover expertly weaves the same themes of lost trust and discovering oneself throughout both Clara and Morgan’s stories together in a way that exposes how, no matter our ages, we all struggle with the same human questions of identity and self-reflection. Morgan muses in the first line of the book: “I wonder if humans are the only living creatures that ever feel hollow inside,” a sentiment I think both moody teenage me and disillusioned adult me can could find herself pondering whenever things seem bleak.

Before deciding that you don’t want to engage in a depressing story with a mother and daughter who can’t figure life out, perhaps because you’re at a particular crossroads of life yourself, I leave you with a little quote of hope from Regretting You: “…People who make mistakes usually learn from them. That doesn’t make them hypocrites. It makes them experienced.” If only we could always all take that lesson to heart.

Disclaimer: I checked the e-book version out from my local public library for free and read it on my 10th generation Kindle Oasis. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own.

Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Original Publication Date: December 10, 2019
Print Length: 365 pages
Marie’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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