Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 8, 2020
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover comes a novel that explores life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love.
When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.
Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.
This is the first time I’ve rated a Hoover novel less than favorably. Throughout the novel I kept going back and forth between rating it two or three stars. I ended up settling on two stars because I didn’t connect with the characters or the plot and I was bored for most of the novel.
Layla is a paranormal romance. I’m not sure what I expected when I picked up Layla, but I certainly didn’t expect a boring novel. Layla follows Leeds and Layla as they fall head over heels for each other quickly, but their lives are turned upside down when Layla is attacked.
Hoover is a very well-written romance writer, so I was surprised to find Layla and Leeds’ relationship to be underdeveloped. Their introduction read like a poorly written montage in a cheesy romance movie. They fall for each other quickly for no apparent reason. In Hoover’s other novels, there’s something quirky or obvious that makes the relationship read as genuine as opposed to instalove, like in Layla.
Layla is a typical Hoover main character. There’s something about her that makes her read as older than her age. She’s fun, eccentric, and mysterious. On the other hand, there is nothing special or unique about Leeds. If anything, he comes off as an asshole. I questioned his behaviours and motivations the entire novel only for Hoover to write them off at the end by justifying them for plot reasons.
Overall, Layla was a disappointment to say the least. It’s difficult to review this novel without spoiling it, so all I’ll say is that felt nothing for or between the main characters and was bored for most of the novel.
Have you read Layla? What did you think?