I vow not to spoil anything in this review and …it will be difficult as the synopsis is fairly vague about major events but let’s do it!
First, I will begin by telling you that not all of Colleen Hoover’s books appeal to me as some had triggers and others are darker but I am happy to report Regretting You was just one of these favorite reads for me.
If I had to put a label on this book though I would be very puzzled as it’s not exactly YA nor mainly adult so maybe NA? There is romance yes but also some secrets. You also have heavy feelings and lots of tears. And if it wasn’t enough this story gives you many things to think about as far as mother/daughter relationship are concerned!
No label then!
In this story we will alternate between Morgan (the mom)’s point of view and her daughter’s (Clara). All are faced with a drama and will have to learn to go on with life, make the most of it all while struggling to communicate.
You will also have some romance and the male characters were really great guys but my only regret is that we did not have any chapter from their insight. Yet these men were so interesting that I would have loved seeing the story through their eyes.
What did I learn in this story? I am borrowing this idea from Lili @lilisblissfulpages as I think it’s perfect not to spoil anything!
- I learned that you never know people close to you and that they can always betray you or hide some secret feelings;
- I learned (but from my personal experience I already knew this) that relationships between a mom and her teenage of a daughter is a very hard exercise! Communication is difficult between Morgan and her daughter Clara.
When life is great this is intricate to communicate properly and navigate the slippery paths of teenage years but when something dramatic happens to shake your world to its core it becomes an impossible task!
Now THIS is a quote that I will use with my kids when they tell me I can’t give them advises as I made these mistakes while young: “It means people who make mistakes usually learn from them. That doesn’t make them hypocrites. It makes them experienced.”
- I learned that when you are dutiful and selfless like Morgan it’s easy to get subjugated by your beloved ones and forget who you are in the process. After some years you will realize that you have lost yourself and don’t know the person you’ve become anymore.
“Little did I know, that routine would go on for a long time. Me being Chris’s devoted wife, taking care of his house and his daughter and his needs. Me being loyal to my little sister, helping her study her way through nursing school, cleaning up the messes she made of her twenties, giving her a place to stay every few years when she’d need help getting back on her feet. The day I found out I was pregnant, I stopped living life for myself. I think it’s time I figure out who I was meant to become before I started living my life for everyone else.”
- I learned that when you hurt and feel betrayed you can think about any way to rebel against authority when you are a teenager. You just lash out because you are in pain. But when you are also a good person you will regret it pretty quickly because you are just not that bad girl. That’s what happened with Clara. She is a very mature and grounded girl but when everything is falling apart she needs something to numb the pain or make her forget. It did not help that her mom, Morgan, was determined to protect her daughter and did not explain some very important things.
- I learned that even if the truth is painful and you want to protect your kids by staying silent this will cause more damage in the long term. Because we have to trust our kids and because they’ll always feel something is amiss.
When Clara suspected that Morgan hid something, she imagined the worse and lashed against her mom while all Morgan wanted to was to protect her daughter, even if she had to play the bad guy and be the one Clara despised.
- I also learned that as long as you are not with your someone “special” you’ll have a content life but not the amazing life you could have experienced. Yet some people are ready to shoulder their responsibilities and make the most of it like Morgan while others won’t be able to stay honorable. I particularly love this quote as Colleen captured perfectly the working of relationship if you intend to stay with that person.
“Attraction is fun. So when you decide to commit to someone, you aren’t saying, ‘I promise I’ll never be attracted to anyone else.’ You’re saying, ‘I promise to commit to you, despite my potential future attraction to other people.’” I look at Clara. “Relationships are hard for that very reason. Your body and your heart don’t stop finding the beauty and the attraction in other people, simply because you’ve made a commitment to one person. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re drawn to someone else, it’s up to you to remove yourself from that situation before it becomes too hard to fight.””
This story and its character were wonderful and painful at the same time.
From the very first pages Colleen drew me in Morgan and Clara’s world. And honestly after the first chapter I feared that I would have a very frustrating book as Morgan made a sensible choice but one that I could already see was wrong for her or rather, asked a big sacrifice of her.
I was relieved to see it would not go as I expected and yet I felt ashamed for feeling happy as what launched the story in a totally different direction was an event that cut very deep into Morgan and Clara’s happiness.
This story is heavy with grief, with regrets, with unspoken truths and secrets. Yet this is also a very realistic story as this might happen (and probably happened in someone’s life) and that’s what made it so relatable.
The characters were complex, conflicted and battling their way through these hard times.
Both Morgan and her daughter had to learn something, to become different. They had to live their lives to the fullest, even with what happened.
And that’s another lesson here: when life is hard, YOU make the choice of making peace with it and go on stronger or you choose to resent life for throwing such a curveball at you and stay bitter, never going forward.
Would I recommend this story?
Absolutely if you are not afraid to deal with some sad topics and are looking for flawed but courageous characters living their life the best they could: imperfectly but selflessly.
Most relatable quote as a true bookworm (Clara is speaking here): “He’s right. When I’m here, I don’t have a clue what’s going on around me. Sometimes I sit here for two hours reading, and when I close the book, I’m surprised to look up and see that I’m not at home.”
Many thanks to Montlake Romance for this copy of Regretting You sent through Netgalley! This had no influence on my willing and always honest review.
Colleen’s Question and Answers
You are ‘label-less’ in the fact that you write in several genres. Readers never know what to expect next. If someone asks, how do you label yourself?
When I self-published my first novel I had no idea what genre to put it in. I thought I had written a drama but it turns to that I had written a romance. I’ve learned a lot since then, but I still don’t put a lot of weight in genre when I write. When your best friend is begging you to read a book, it’s not going to matter what genre it is when someone you trust is passionate about the story.
To keep all of your stories and characters straight, you must be very organized.
I’m the most disorganized person you will ever meet! I have no schedule. I can’t wake up before nine in the morning. I probably don’t go to bed until like three in the morning. I usually work about 16 hours a day.
What happens if you get blocked when you are writing?
If I get stuck writing, I go for a drive and play music. Music really helps me plot. I love The Avett Brothers, X Ambassadors, Airborne Toxic Event…I could go on and on.
What can you tell readers about your latest release Regretting You?
I would spoil it if I told you about it! Most of my books are like that. I can’t say what they are about or it spoils it. But I can say that Regretting You is told from a dual point-of-view centered on the inner lives of both a teen and adult protagonist.
Sounds like lots of different types of readers will be interested!
Absolutely. I wanted to write a book that bridged the gap between young adult and contemporary romance so that mothers can read with their daughters. I think it’s exciting to see people sharing reading experiences.
Have you read Colleen Hoover’s books?
Thanks for reading.