Too Late by Colleen Hoover

Title: Too Late32972080.jpg
Author: Colleen Hoover
Pages: 383
Year: 2016
Publisher: Hoover Inc.
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis: Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves. And she does, every single day. After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she’s able to find a way out.

Nothing will get in her way.

Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he’d say he’s the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan’s disapproval of Asa’s sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan.

Nothing will get in his way.

Nothing except Carter.

This is my first Colleen Hoover book, and something tells me I maybe shouldn’t have started on this one. Okay, not something… Everything. Too Late was one of the most graphic novels I have ever read, depicting domestic abuse, rape, drug use, graphic sex scenes, murder, etc. From the very first page we are getting down in naked town, and it is SO aggressive. I get it though, sex sells. (And your sex cells make all the lost boys drool.) But seriously, give a girl a little warning!

Too Late rotates between three POVs. Weepy college student, Sloan, her “more issues than Vogue” drug-dealer boyfriend, Asa, and undercover cop and limp noodle extraordinaire, Carter. Sloan has been in a relationship with Asa for the past two years. Despite physical, mental, and verbal abuse and being repeatedly raped by Asa, Sloan pretends that everything is hunky-dory because he is paying for her brother’s care. She owes him financially, so she feels like she needs to stay with him. This is somehow portrayed as her being “strong” and “unyielding” but to me it just felt “stupid” and “weak.” As a victim of a mentally abusive relationship myself, I understand that sometimes you feel like you have no way out of that situation. Your partner isolates you, drains your confidence and self worth, and makes you feel dependent on them. They control every aspect of your life and make you feel helpless. However, Sloan is very much aware of what Asa is and what he is doing to her. She knows that she needs to get away, but she insists on risking her own life for the sake of her brother’s. To me, that didn’t come off as strong. It came off as stupid. Maybe I’m being insensitive here, but it really frustrated me to see Sloan lie down at Asa’s feet to be kicked over and over again. Not only that, but she had to rely on another guy to get her out of this situation.

Which brings us to Carter. Carter is an undercover cop who is looking to bust Asa’s drug ring. This story line is introduced in the beginning of the novel and then we get maybe a page and a half of updates after that. To be completely honest, I have no idea why Carter is even written as an undercover cop because it doesn’t add much to the story.  It was announced, dropped, and then kicked under the bed where we found it, dusted it off for a few pages, and then put back.  We get next to nothing about the investigation, its progress, and what the police plan on doing to bring Asa down. What we do get is a lot of mooning around and pining after Sloan. Carter meets Sloan in Spanish class, and decides that he is in love with her. YAWN. Insta-love is so Disney, and I am SO OVER IT. Carter’s character exists only to be a sidekick to Sloan, and gets little to no character development.

Asa was the most compelling character by far. Even though he might actually be the spawn of Satan, he was so complicated and interesting to read. We find out that he was abused and neglected as a child and has a family history of paranoid schizophrenia. (Both of which we don’t really touch on until the end of the book.) He is a product of his background and upbringing, showing signs of narcissism, obsessive compulsive disorder, fear of abandonment, and a plethora of other issues linked to mommy and daddy that you’ll have to read to find out about. He goes from zero to psychopath real quick, and carries out several schemes that are a bit implausible. He’s a bit too smart and careful for how he is portrayed, so I found it unrealistic that a mentally unhinged person would think things through so carefully and without mistake.

If you read this book, just stop at chapter 45 because it all goes downhill from there. There are multiple epilogues and flashbacks that should have been incorporated into the original story or dropped altogether. If Colleen wanted to write an epilogue that was almost as long as the book itself, she should have just written it into the original story to begin with. However, it was unnecessary and made the book drag on for so much longer than I needed it to.

Speaking of dragging, we have at least 14 different climaxes (pun intended) throughout the book. I kept thinking the book was almost over because we would build and build up to a conflict, but it ended up being a tease. Despite my complaints, it was still a really interesting read. I wasn’t completely pulled in by it, but I still read it fairly quickly which is more than I can say for other books.

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