This Girl: A Novel

This Girl  - Colleen Hoover 3 STARSWe're born into the worldAs just one small piece to the puzzleThat makes up an entire life.It's up to us throughout our years,to find all the pieces that fit.The pieces that connect who we areTo who we wereTo who we'll one day be.No snazzy gifs or pictures, I feel bad enough writing this.Before I get pitchforked and stoned to death I have to explain my love and faith in Colleen Hoover. I LOVE this woman. If you've read her blog posts, her books, her poetry, how can you not?! Seriously. I love all her past work beyond 5-stars (I status-ed Hopeless to the ever living annoyance of my friends). She has this way of sneaking up on you ever so subtly, without gratuitous melodrama then Bam! you're crying over the magic purple hair clip (it still got me this time, btw). Just as a precaution, waterproof mascara or bust when it comes to Colleen Hoovering in public.Which was why when I heard that her next book was going to be Will's POV from Slammed I was quite a bit wary. I do not usually enjoy these alternate POVs because it feels a bit dangerous messing up with beloved characters.Sometimes, it's what's unsaid that usually tugs the heart hardest. I'm not sure if I want to know what Will was thinking while he performed that beautiful poem about oceans and lakes. But I figured if there's anyone who can prove me wrong, it's this author.What I took away from this book is that Slammed isn't Will and Lake and the reasons that I fell head over heels about the book wasn't solely because of them. It was what Julia and Eddie and Kel and Caulder made of them when they interacted with these characters. Connections I sorely missed in this 256-pages long of Will mooning over Layken and how much he wants to kiss her but can't. Telling the story in this manner felt like the story was just restricted to the two of them, and most of the time except their fight about Taylor when they pop up at the beginning of each chapter they just come across as making off-hand, unnecessary comments ("Gavin knew?" "You went out on a date?" and so on) they tend to get annoying. I feel if the story was told with Will having a conversation with anyone else other than Lake (maybe Kiersten or Kel), the variety and humor would've vastly improved the book.I loved the first chapter but after that, it was endless, lengthy soliloquies of Will's overwhelming love and raging desire over Lake (though I guess this is keeping up with his character, since he is a poet). Which was sweet, and I liked it for a while, but it just got too relentless for me to feel anything else but fatigue over that emotion (gasp! Did I just say that?). For a while I tried to alternate reading the scenes here and the equivalent scenes in Slammed but go too lazy and figured, this should stand on its own merits outside that book.This is probably the most un-Colleen Hoover book I've read (and I've read a few that try to emulate her) and save for the first chapter and the last 25%, Will just alienated me so much. The addition of the scenes with Taylor was interesting at first because it led to that great scene at the hotel where Lake was baring her insecurities to him. But then, right at the scene in Slammed where Lake agrees to go out with Nick, we get a sneak peek at Will's thoughts while he bears witness to the conversation between Lake and Eddie. Lake could have at least had the decency to agree to a date when she's not standing five feet from me.This after he went out on a date with Taylor, which he kept as a secret from Layken until their honeymoon. I'm going to forget that ever went through this lovely boy's head because, seriously why are you asking me to hate you, Will?What I loved about this book are the ones that were already in Slammed (Layken's 'Schooled' poem still left me a bawling mess), the break up scene with Vaughn, the fact that I got to near-buddy read this with nearly everyone in my feed and every damn scene Julia was in right to that last, gutting star. I wish there were more Julia and Eddie scenes and less of Will wanting to be a coffee cup or Layken's knees and teeth (those last two were weird). I wish he'd had a life outside of Lake while still being in love with her. Because apparently, the moment he met her, the world ceased to exist. Literally.Don't be mistaken, I'd still recommend this to fans of Will and Layken. They had great moments together and the epilogue was wonderful. If this will make fans of Slammed as a whole (like me) happy as an addition to an already perfect duet of books, is a good point of discussion, I think. Right now, I am looking at Holder, with crazy nervous eyes.