Colleen Hoover’s Confess is told in the alternating viewpoints of Auburn and Owen, two people who meet when Auburn enters Owen’s Dallas-based art studio in search of a job. The two find themselves immediately attracted to each other, but they soon learn that Owen is guarding secrets that could keep them apart.
I’ve read other books by Colleen Hoover before (see my review of Maybe Someday), and by now I pretty much know what to expect from her. I’ve enjoyed the previous books by her that I have read; the way she plays up emotion and pulls you into the complicated lives of her characters make for satisfying reads. With Confess, Hoover once again attempts to create a relationship that will pull you in and have you compulsively turning the pages. But, ultimately, the story falls flat.
Hoover usually has a knack for writing male leads that you fall in love with right along with their female counterparts, but Owen is simply very hard to like. I didn’t really start to feel for him until probably halfway through the book, and even then I found him annoying. Owen is a talented artist who apparently cares a lot for Auburn, but his point of view, especially in the beginning, comes off as kind of creepy. I found myself wondering why Auburn liked him so much, aside from the physical attraction. I liked Auburn as a character a lot more, and I felt more for her and her problems in the novel than I did for Owen.
Confess is a quick read. It definitely feels too rushed at times, which I think ads to that feeling of “why do these two characters like each other.” Still, the plot that Hoover sets up is interesting and kept me engaged enough to want to finish it. The book improves a lot toward the end as more layers of complexity are revealed. The ending is way too tidy in some ways, and not wrapped up enough in others, which makes me think there will be a sequel, though I haven’t been able to find anything online to confirm this. If there is, I will probably read it. Just maybe not on release day.
Overall, Confess is a book that had a lot more potential than it ultimately delivered. The interesting plot and the inclusion of real art and confessions aren’t quite enough to make up for the rushed and oftentimes weak writing. If you are already a fan of Colleen Hoover, then you will probably still enjoy it. But, if you are new to her work, Confess isn’t the best choice to start with. Try Maybe Someday or Slammed if you want to get a real taste for what she is capable of.