All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Standalone. Women’s Fiction/Romance
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover was probably my most anticipated read of 2018. Colleen has been one of my top favorite authors since she first published Slammed (She was at the very first Wicked Book Weekend in February 2013). So I knew to expect amazing writing and a TON of emotion. And I got it, that’s for sure. All Your Perfects is not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination. While the ending made it worth it, I am super glad I didn’t read it on vacation like I planned, because it put me in a bit of a depression for a couple of days.
I am married for close to 28 years. We have had some really rough patches in our marriage, so maybe some of it just hit too close to home for me. But All Your Perfects was so well-written, despite my melancholy mood, I couldn’t stop reading it. Colleen was genius in the way she told the story alternating past and present. Just when the present gets to be too much, we jump to the past, where Quinn and Graham fall in love.
“I haven’t felt alive inside in years. I’ve slowly been rotting away, and that rot is now eating at my marriage to the point that I can no longer hide it.”
Quinn is going through hell. And though she still loves her husband, she is feeling so much guilt and hopelessness, she has just been retreating into herself and her depression.
“I call it the divorce dance. Partner one goes in for the kiss, partner two isn’t receptive, partner one pretends he didn’t notice. We’ve been dancing this same dance for a while now.”
Oh, I so get that dance. We’ve done that dance at several points in our marriage. It’s so much easier to pretend than confront the real issues. I think reading this book brought back those feelings for me and perhaps they were just a little too much because I am starting to sob as I pull the quotes to write this review.
When they first connected, sigh, Graham….he was so awesome. He was so confident that Quinn was the one. He wanted to know everything about her, and I loved this:
“What did I miss while you were sleeping?”
I wish we had a little more of the good times. That’s when Colleen’s fun and quirky sense of humor comes out, but as soon as I started smiling and swooning, we would jump back to depression. Quinn and Graham were so great together at first!
“I promise that I will love you more during the storms than I will love you during the perfect days. I promise to love you more when you’re hurting than when you’re happy. I promise to love you more when we’re poor than when we’re swimming in riches. I promise to love you more when you’re crying than when you’re laughing. I promise to love you more when you’re sick than when you’re healthy. I promise to love you more when you hate me than when you love me.”
And the thing is, the love didn’t go away, circumstance and depression pushed it to the back burner.
“I miss you, Quinn. So much. You’re right here, but you aren’t. I don’t know where you went or when you left, but I have no idea how to bring you back. I am so alone. We live together. We eat together. We sleep together. But I have never felt more alone in my entire life.”
I am so torn on rating and reviewing this book. The story is important and unique, the writing is brilliant. The couple is so relatable and so REAL that perhaps that is the problem. Maybe just a little too real. I loved the “then” chapters of the couple meeting and falling in love, but I couldn’t totally get lost in and enjoy them fully because I already knew what a mess they become. So while going back to the good times was brilliant in breaking up the rough times, at the same time, the rough times took away from the good ones.
People are led to believe that a marriage ends only when the love has been lost. When anger replaces happiness. When contempt replaces bliss. But Graham and I aren’t angry at each other. We’re just not the same people we used to be.
- So well written, despite my emotions, I couldn’t put it down.
- Real and flawed characters.
- Even though I knew the story arc right from the beginning, I still needed to see how it played out.
- I think any couple will find something relatable in this story.
- Some amazing quotes.
- Graham’s politics (I had to mention it because they are EXACTLY mine).
- One of the best pieces of marriage advice I’ve ever read given by a couple married 60 years:
“Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is perfect. There were times when she gave up on us. There were even more times when I gave up on us. The secret to our longevity is that we never gave up at the same time.”
- It was a very difficult read and put me in a bit of a depression.
- Counseling was poo-pooed as “boring”. If anyone needs counseling, it is this couple. There could have been a bunch of other reasons counseling didn’t work for them, but boring kind of felt irresponsible to the storyline.
- I wish there was more of the good times to balance out the bad.
- I started getting annoyed that she was just stuck and didn’t look for ways to help herself, but I only went through something similar (but perhaps worse) for a short time, and I haven’t walked in her shoes.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4 Stars, 4 Heat
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