Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover

Initial reaction: To sum up my thoughts about "Maybe Someday" - it was much better than I thought it would turn out to be, though I personally felt that while it had me initially with some cute moments and intriguing points for its characters - the overarching story lost me after a time. The characters became far too predictable and somehow shortchanged as the narrative went on. It felt too orchestrated emotionally and telling versus showing its respective conflicts for my liking. I also didn't like the way, in places, this narrative presented its disabled characters - it reminded me of the issues I had with Megan Hart's "Broken" in that the portrayal somewhat reduced the character with a disability from the portrayal.

The usage of songs in this (at least from their inclusion with key scenes and weight standing alone) were mostly mediocre save for a few that really stood out, including "Trouble" and "Hold On to You". I may tip this rating up depending on how I feel once I listen to the songs that compliment this book, but we'll see.

In the meantime, I'll also be brainstorming a creative way to write this review. Might go with the usual lyrical/poetic review encompassing the whole story or do something like a radio scenario, where I have different sections/pieces of alternate tones representing parts of the book and my reflections on it.

Just depends on how I decide to do it. *crosses fingers*

Full review:

Reviewing Note: To cover my bases, the following's intended to give a fun/creative review of my thoughts and sentiments surrounding the events of Colleen Hoover's "Maybe Someday." These lyrics all belong to me and are a product of my (*cough* odd *cough*) imagination. I sometimes do these lyrical reviews based on key emotional moments in a narrative and try to reflect in song how these events came across to me. Usually, I'll do this for books that either have a musical component to them or to make light of them if somehow they don't sit well with me. I was first drawn to "Maybe Someday" for both the fact it revolved around two protagonists who wrote lyrics together, but also an incorporated music components to it. I identify with it because I write lyrics all the time in terms of inspiration - even to melodies/progressions of well known songs. Unfortunately, I do not sing, never really had the biggest talent for it, but I've always had a passion for music.

I had mixed sentiments over the novel as a whole. The premise was great, but very formulaic progression after a time. The prologue didn't really impress me, but I did like parts of the initial characterizations of Sydney and Ridge. They had some cute moments together and the cast of characters *seemed* like they would have good development from the setup. But when Sydney starts living with Ridge after breaking it off with her former boyfriend and ex-best friend, there came the awkwardness and long drawn out melodrama of Sydney becoming the "other woman." I thought that presentation was too telling, not enough showing. After a time, I felt like Ridge became the parrot that kept telling Sydney what she really wanted, and Sydney became a weepy, sobbing mess to the point where it was overmuch. It was too juvenile in places for me, didn't treat the subject with enough depth or maturity for what it offered. I don't know if there was a single character that I really identified with in this entire narrative. I did like Ridge's initial characterization, but his indecisiveness and firmly pushing Sydney away during critical moments made me rage. Sydney I was okay with despite her punch happy beginning, until she started constantly joking about Ridge's disability. I didn't believe that was right at all, even when Ridge was shown laughing about it like he accepted it. I can't see how any person could let some of those comments slide, and Sydney referred once to saying that she didn't want to be one of "those" people. If by "those" she meant those who reduce people to their disability and made borderline ableist commentary - she came very close in places of this narrative. I did not like that at all, and it did affect my enjoyment of the novel.

This novel did include interactive songs alongside the printed lyrics in the book, which was an interesting inclusion compared to other novels that did the same thing, but I don't know if it really improved my perception of the novel. The songs were nice though, I just don't know if I liked how they were used in the novel since the emotion was so spelled out. I think it could've had a bit more subtlety and emotional resonance/image in many of the lyrics. I did like "Trouble" and "Hold On To You" though.

I decided to do 2 brief songs to highlight parts of the novel that were crucial. First song, "Girl Beyond the Glass" is one that's pretty straightforward. I tried to write from the perspective of Ridge's experiences through the novel, from the time he meets Sydney and his writer's block, to her discovery of his disability (he's deaf) to his respective infidelity and indecision. I stayed serious with this one. It takes a similar progression to the Poets of the Fall song "Everything Fades", but I took some liberties with it. Second song, "Messed Up Deal," is more snarky and critical of the novel itself. It's meant to be more peppy and upbeat. I wrote this close to the progression of the Queen song "Hammer to Fall." I'm going to apologize to all Queen fans for this (because my parody's just plain silly), though for what it's worth - that's one of my favorite songs.

"Girl Beyond the Glass"

Circles round the edge of a coffee cup
Plucks of strings on a song I can't give up,
On this perch, my heart gives a lurch
When I see you passing by.

Pen and paper close beside me
All smiles from him, but you don't see
Out of your mind, their legs intertwined,
All I can ask is why?

How can I see this girl beyond the glass?
Is there a chance to reach her, even if I don't know her?
Listen, please, my girl beyond the glass
This news won't leave you sober, but it's far from over.

Punches trade, relations burn away,
No home to return to and nowhere to stay,
Take you in, temptation of skin
Feel myself in a tug of war.

Words go unspoken, transcribed to text,
You realize I can't hear one thought after next,
Melodies felt, feelings leave a welt
Scars that mark hearts that soar.

How can I see this girl beyond the glass?
Is there a chance to reach her, even if I don't know her?
Listen, please, my girl beyond the glass
This news won't leave you sober, but it's far from over.

What I mean to say is there's already someone here
Not sure who to hold on to, the way isn't clear.
Don't wanna let you go, but can't beg you to stay.
Seems the more I take you in, the more I push you away.

How can I see this girl beyond the glass?
Is there a chance to save us, somewhere beyond lust,
Listen, please, my girl beyond the glass
Know I shouldn't see you, but I still love you.

How can I hear this girl beyond the glass?
Maybe she can't reach me, but I can make her see
Listen, please, my girl beyond the glass
This song once went unwritten, but with you is just beginnin'.

How can I see this girl beyond the glass?
Down and down we're fallin', don't you hear me callin'?

Listen, please, my girl beyond the glass
I believe beyond second glances, let us take our chances.

"Messed Up Deal"

Throwing punches at my boyfriend's jaw
Doesn't make a dent at all
Forgot my purse while storming on
Just wanted to be away and gone.

Why aren't you standing tall?

No place to live and no one to call.

They don't care how you feel.

Guess I've ended with a messed up deal.

See the girl across the way,
She likes to sing to the guitar I play,
But in this band, not a single verse,
This writer's block is such a curse.

Don't you know she has a guy?

He cheated with her friend, I wonder why?

She can help you with your song.

Guess a shower singer wouldn't be so wrong.

We write songs, our time is spent,
It's due payment for my rent,
He always texts, never speaks
His roomie thinks I've been deaf for weeks.

Why haven't you told her the truth?

'Cause she's weird and so uncouth.

And your other roomie's such a jerk.

Dude, we can still make it work!

This whole mess gets complicated
Cause loving Syd makes me frustrated
I have a girl, so why can't I confess
Before all this becomes a mess?

I didn't want to be the other girl,
Makes me feel like I'm gonna hurl,
Time and time, ever again
All I wanted was for us to end.

Maggie: (to Sydney)
It's too late to apologize...

You're taking this so well and wise.

Maggie: (to Ridge)
Because of my issues, we are through...

I just wanted to take care of you.

Sydney and Ridge:
What done is done, left to forgive,
Think that we should find a way to live,
What we feel, is all too real
Can't be that messed up of a deal.


Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.