I’ve not read any of Colleen Hoover’s titles, something I need to remedy right now! When I chose this novella, it was purely on the statement that it was a stand-alone, and fairly short: I had heard good things about the series, but wasn’t ready to commit to a full-on novel.
Daniel and Six are the best friends of Holder and Sky, characters that are predominantly featured in the first two books. As characters, these two are wonderfully complex and well developed, with quick wit, humor and heart. I did not expect to be grabbed and engaged in the first minutes of this story, but that is exactly what happened.
A year ago, these two met and “playacted” being in love for an hour: no strings, no recriminations. I love that concept and that an 18 year old boy would be so open to try something so very romantic and unusual shows much of his heart. He can’t quite let go of the hour though, it was everything that a relationship could be: perfect. But that is only for songs and movies, never in his life.
Now Daniel is nursing a broken heart from yet another bad relationship when he runs into Six. Something about the girl with the strange name and even stranger approach to life is intriguing, and then he remembers. But those feelings? They may not have been pretend after all…. What is he to do?
I loved the initial connection points, and the new interactions as the two test out one another again. Daniel’s attitude and approach at the moment is all from hurt – so he hates everything and is unwilling to open up. But underneath, in the part he won’t reveal easily, is a hopeful romantic who wants to be in love, to give everything to someone and have it returned. There is something so wonderfully open about Daniel even as he is trying to be hard and difficult. Which is a real stretch, as Daniel has a wickedly sharp sense of humor, and says the funniest things in the best moments: he’s that goofy friend that is ride or die, and you know it.
Together, the two have sparks like no one’s business: they interact well with a rhythm that feels musical as one liners bounce between one another. They met and pretended for an hour- baring their hearts honestly, and now life has them hesitating as they test the waters, but nothing is ever easy.
Jason Carpenter is the narrator for this story, and he is just marvelous. From exuberance to anger, bringing energy and perfect timing in delivery of lines he IS Daniel, and the performance fits the character. I loved his softer moments in recounting Six’s words, searching his own feelings, and proclaiming himself to his best friend Holder (the I Love Holder scene is laugh out loud funny) and his all-in approach to life. Despite his reservations, Carpenter brought that ‘all in’ approach to life that is so Daniel, not unlike a puppy with a new toy. He doesn’t stint on the moments for readers to absorb emotional moments either, Hoover’s writing is emotionally charged and leads readers from laughter to tears in the span of a few moments. Carpenter’s narration choices and slight pauses allow the listener those moments, without making it obvious or forced. A truly wonderful combination of author’s words and performance.
I now have to grab the first two books in this series, and hide away to devour them.
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: Finding Cinderella
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless #2.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Jason Carpenter
Published by: Atria Books
Published on: 8 July 2014
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 2 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone.
A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.
When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.
One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.
Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.
See the Hopeless Series on Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.