Spooky Babe | A #BookReview on "Layla" by Colleen Hoover
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Paranormal Romance
This review contains mild spoilers. Don't come for me.
Hi friends, I’m back with another hot take on the latest book that I’ve read. I actually read this one a few months ago, but I needed to put it out of my mind for a little while. This one is a little interesting, let me tell you. If you’re following any of the reading enthusiast pages on Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram or whatever else, you have probably caught wind of Colleen Hoover. She is an author who usually writes romance novels with unexpected twists. I believe she gained more notoriety for her book Verity, and if you remember, that was the first book of hers that I reviewed on this blog. You may see her work pop up on this blog rather frequently because I have read a lot of her work. For the most part, her books do not disappoint but then I found this one (cue sad music). We can’t win them all.
When Leeds meets Layla, he is almost immediately taken by her. He is convinced that they will spend the rest of their lives together, until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life.
So okay, this book (heavy sigh) this book was interesting. I had seen a few people mention it in one of the book groups I am in on Facebook. The reviews were super positive which encouraged me to get my own copy and I began reading with high hopes. Don’t get me wrong, the book itself is well written in terms of readability and plot. Colleen is a talented writer. I guess maybe, this is just not the genre of romance for me. Alright, enough rambling. Let’s get to the point.
This book is not just a romance, it’s a paranormal romance. So that right there tells you some unbelievable things will take place in this story. The book starts off wild, we are viewing things from the male protagonist’s point of view as he’s putting tape over his girlfriend Layla’s mouth. And before you ask me, no, this is not in preparation for some kinky adult time, he has the poor girl tied and restrained in their bedroom while he speaks with a random man downstairs in the kitchen. It turns out, we have entered smack dab in the middle of the story. We are caught up on how things progressed to this point by the male protagonist Leeds Gabriel as he recounts their story to the man taking notes.
According to Leeds, he was playing at a wedding with a band he actually hated being a part of, when he spots a girl dancing to their terrible music. Her poor choice in music is what piques his interest at first, oddly enough. They meet later, and he finds out she is the sister of the bride. He is immediately drawn to her eccentric personality and they end up hooking up later that night. That hookup started a whirlwind romance between the two of them. Whirlwind romance that was cut super-duper short like a month later when a jealous ex got the strap and shot them both. Afterwards, Layla started acting super suspish. Leeds no longer recognized her.
Here is where my irritation started to bubble.
Leeds, honey, you do not KNOW this woman! You guys were together for a hot second before your ex came to crash the party. You literally have no accurate idea of who this woman is and what normal even looks like for her. She could have been right smack in the middle of a psychotic break when you guys met, but you would have had no idea because again, YOU. DO. NOT. KNOW. HER. *deep breath* okay whew. Sorry. Just had to get that part out. So anyway, in an attempt to reconnect, he takes Layla back to the house where they met. It had been shut down and abandoned just before they got there, so he contacted the owner in hopes of purchasing the house. Oh, I forgot to mention that Leeds is a very wealthy man. So, purchasing a whole house on a whim was no biggie (eye roll).
Things are alright at first but then weird stuff starts happening in the house. Stuff starts moving on its own. The untouched piano starts playing while he’s looking right at it. Paranormal crap. Now, had this been me, and the house starts doing stuff on its own like I’m trapped in some kind of spooky version of Encanto, I would be OUT do you hear me? Stuff packed. Refund issued. Car gassed up and GONE, but nah. Leeds decides to investigate. Just like the main character in a horror movie that doesn’t escape when they have the perfect opportunity. Infuriating. Leeds starts testing the abilities and boundaries of this “presence” in the house. He realizes that the presence is a whole ghost. Still undeterred, he and the ghost start communicating on his laptop. Meanwhile, Layla is still being super weird. Shoveling food in her mouth, and then randomly screaming at the top of her lungs.
Leeds later discovers that the ghost in the house is possessing Layla and using her to enjoy meals and when Layla starts screaming bloody murder, it’s because the ghost has left her and she doesn’t remember doing whatever her body was doing in that moment. I felt kind of bad for Layla because in the grand scheme of things, that has to be terrifying. One minute you remember going to sleep, and then the next minute you’re standing in the kitchen shoveling spaghetti down your throat. That has to be unsettling. I didn’t even blame her when she wanted to leave. Who wouldn’t?
Ah yes. Leeds. Leeds wouldn’t. Instead of leaving, he decides to stay. He and Casper, aka Willow for the sake of the story, start liking each other. He waits for Layla to go to sleep at night so Willow can possess her and they can canoodle. At this point, I let out an incredibly frustrated sigh while reading because COME ON. What is even happening? Leeds and Willow like each other so much that they contacted someone to help them figure out how they can be together. This is where the man from the beginning comes in. Leeds has Layla tied up in the bedroom because she wants to leave and if she leaves, he will be unable to talk to his precious spooky boo Willow. Without giving too much of the surprise ending away, the creepy man helps come up with a way to help Leeds and Willow live happily ever after, together forever.
And the plan SUCKS. Okay no, let me be nice here. In the grand scheme of things, the plan makes sense but I hate that they chose it and I hate how it happens. I was already annoyed at the fact that he was canoodling with a ghost. Clearly, paranormal romance is not my cup of tea because who sees a ghost and then falls in love with it? Make that make sense. Please, I beg you. From an impartial standpoint this was a well written book. If you are a fan of paranormal romance then this may be for you. Others in the Facebook group seemed to love it, so maybe I’m just the odd woman out. Which is fine. Not everything is for everyone. So, don’t just take my word for it. Take my opinion with a grain of salt if this is the genre you most enjoy or even mildly tolerate. Check it out for yourself
and when you’re done, come let me know. Would you get down and dirty with a ghost?
Happy reading, babes!