Review: November 9

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

I laughed, I cried, and I got annoyed.

There’s a lot of feelings with this book.

I’d leave it at that, but I do have more thoughts. I just needed to get those out first. It gave me various feels in good and bad ways. My annoyance was mainly with some of the characters’ decisions; not the book itself. Of course, that’s to be expected.

Let’s start with the premise of the book. I love it. And it was done so well. I mean, in the age of technology and constant contact, who would think to only meet up once a year with no contact in between? That’s insane! But that’s what Fallon and Ben do. They meet for the first time on November 9th – a day of bad memories for both of them – and since Fallon is leaving that night for New York, they agree to meet up on that date for the next five years to see where they stand as time goes on. They also give each other homework assignments – Fallon to branch out and go for her dreams, and Ben to write his novel.

“Did you just say sigh? Out loud? I
nstead of actually sighing?”
“Eye roll.”

So, Fallon and Ben. I thought they had good chemistry. The way Ben swoops into Fallon’s life was good for a laugh, and them keeping up the charade was even better. Their banter had me laugh out loud at times. It was witty, fun, and just made me love both characters. They never seemed to have an awkward moment when they were together. Obviously, what goes up must come down, so they did have a hiccup during their agreement. And it wasn’t one that I expected.

I loved Fallon’s development. She was very insecure about herself until Ben because of her scars from the fire she’d been caught in two years prior. After graduating high school, she decides to go to New York to try out for theater now that she no longer is a Hollywood actress. Her father thinks it’s a bad idea, but Fallon doesn’t care what he thinks, as her relationship with him is strained. As the years go on, and thanks to Ben, her confidence grows and she’s able to find a dream for herself and her life. The only thing she’s unsure of is if it includes Ben in her future.

Ben is adorable. He’s very excitable and such a guy at times. He’s got a troubled past that we don’t really learn the details about until the end, and it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. While I’m conflicted about that particular plot twist, it helps you understand why he was drawn to Fallon on that fated November 9th in the restaurant. There’s one decision he makes after Fallon leaves for New York again, telling him that he needs to be there for his family after an incident, that I just wanted to reach in and smack him around for.

“Whoever said the truth hurts was being an optimist. The truth is an excruciatingly painful son of a bitch.”

The annoyances of this book are what’s keeping me from rating the book five stars. Well, that and I’m still unsure of how I feel about that plot twist and ending. Like, I love how at that point the Ben chapters are told through his manuscript, but the content… it left me with mixed feelings. Aside from that though, Fallon’s use of bookworm terminology was a bit weird. It seemed forced, in a way, how she said those things. Then the way her and Ben kept referring to their first time as “being inside of me” or “being inside of her.” Like, who actually describes it like that? Multiple times? Maybe it’s just me, but that annoyed me quite a bit.

Overall, this was a good read. A real, angsty romance that, again, gave me various feels throughout the book. Not a bad choice for my first CoHo book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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