ARC provided by Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.
“The problem is, love and happiness are not concordant. One can exist without the other.”
All Your Perfects is a book that made me feel every emotion in the world. It broke me, and it healed me, and it made me not feel so lonely. I wanted to hug my iPad, and throw my iPad. I wanted to give it five stars, and I wanted to give it one star. I swear, this book made me feel everything. And even though I had problems with some of the content, I still think this book is super important. And the subject matter of this book is something I’ve never read about before, and it’s a topic that we need to be normalizing and start discussing more.
I’m going to put the trigger and content warnings below this paragraph! But if you want to go into this book completely blind, like many of Colleen Hoover’s readers do, please do not read my review. Plus, honestly? If you don’t have any triggers, it probably is best to go into this book blind. I won’t post any spoilers about the events of this book, but the rest of my review will talk about what this book is centered around.
“Our marriage didn’t collapse. It didn’t suddenly fall apart. It’s been a much slower process. It’s been dwindling, if you will. I’m not even sure who is most at fault.”
Trigger and content warnings for: infertility, miscarrying, depression, grief, cheating, loss of a loved one in the past, abuse, a self-harm scene involving cutting with glass, and a really gross comment about how stay at home moms are looked at as bad because of “feminism and all that”, and another really questionable paragraph about how therapy/therapists aren’t helpful for the main character that I felt was done really poorly.
All Your Perfects is a hard-hitting book about a topic I’ve never read about before; infertility. And this book is told in alternating chapters, from past and present, where we see a couple fall in love, but we also get to see their marriage break apart because they cannot become parents. We get to see the guilt, the grief, the depression, and all the other dark things in between. This is a hard book to read, so please use caution going in.
Full disclosure, as I get older and older, I think about wanting to become a mother more and more. I know that our world and the society we live in also enforces that we should become “younger mothers” and gross things like that, but on top of this added pressure I also feel like my clock is ticking because many of my family members have had to have hysterectomies (most in their late twenties) as result of a hereditary health issue. And the older I get, the more and more I can almost hear that clock ticking. When I was younger, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have kids, but more and more I think it is something I want in my life. So, needless to say, this book hit me very hard and had me really introspecting my thoughts and feelings after every page.
“It’s funny how you can be so happy with someone and love them so much, it creates an underlying sense of fear in you that you never knew before them. The fear of losing them. The fear of them getting hurt. I imagine that’s what it’s like when you have children. It’s probably the most incredible kind of love you’ll ever know, but it’s also the most terrifying.”
And the juxtaposition of seeing Quinn and Graham when they meet in the most fated meeting of all time, to their marriage completely falling apart because they both feel so much guilt, makes for a reading experience I don’t even have words for. Side note: CoHo writes the best first chapters in existence. Every one is a mini masterpiece that completely draws the reader in and enthralls and captures them, and All Your Perfects was no exception.
I easily and effortlessly fell in love with Quinn. Everything she was going through, and the way that CoHo wrote about it, felt like such an accurate depiction of depression. I felt for her constantly and my heart is still filled with so much empathy for this fictional character.
Graham, on the other hand, was much harder for me to fall for. And even though some of his actions were really beautiful and selfless, I never fully loved him because some of his other actions were so nasty and selfish. And I get it, we are all human, we all make mistakes and do bad things sometimes, but it his mistakes just prevented me from ever fully rooting for him. Graham does some really abusive stuff in this book that is never told like it’s abuse, too.
But seeing these two main characters stories weave and unweave together, apart, and sometimes a weird mixture of the two, made for a really unique reading experience, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed while reading. I know CoHo isn’t for everyone, but her writing always completely captivates me.
“I wish I could say I’m sorry for wanting a baby more than I want him. But that wouldn’t help, because it would be a lie. I’m not sorry.”
My favorite thing about this book is the discussion about how heavy of an emphasis we put on women to have children, especially women that are getting older, and women that are married, but still without kids. I mean, I’m not sure about you all but all the adds that pop up on my Facebook and Twitter? They are all for pregnancy and/or children things. Quinn literally deletes all social media in this book because of her mental health from the constant pressure it put on her. And that’s something we don’t talk about as a society either. Plus, how we perceive woman are inherently broken if they can’t, or choose not to, birth children. From sexualizing wide hips and big breasts, to a million other things that inherently mean “motherhood” is something so ingrained in our society, but so taboo to speak about. This book really made me step back and think, and feel, and reflect. And that’s something that normal romance books never do.
Overall, this was just like all of the rest of Colleen Hoover’s books, whether I love them or hate them, I can’t put them down. I read this in two sittings, mostly while crying my eyes out, but nothing could stop me from flipping the pages. And again, this topic was really close to my heart and something I think about a lot. I implore you all to use caution when picking this book up, but I also implore you all to do so.
“If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.”
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.