Okay, I love Colleen Hoover. I love most of her books (let's just leave Ugly Love out of this), and she is such an amazing author. So trust me when I tell you, this two-star rating is even shocking me.
The part of the novel I adored was the inclusion of the paintings. They were absolutely beautiful, and made me want to reach out my own hand and touch them - I feel you Auburn!
The beginning is incredibly promising. I was struck by it. I felt very connected to Auburn from the beginning to the end. I also felt very connected to Owen. But, somewhere along the way, and it is ever so subtle, because I didn't even realize it until the end, the story takes some kind of a turn. The "love story" takes a backseat, and a lot of unnecessary drama takes the steering wheel. I kept wanting more time with Auburn and Owen. I wanted to get to know them better. Truth be told, in Hoover's magical ways, with the little time you get with them, you still feel them. You feel them as separate characters, and you feel their connection. But, that dwindles throughout the book, and that left me feeling really empty. It made me feel like I lost something.
I also have to agree with a few other fellow reviewers who said that the ending was not satisfying. It is not because there is a cliffhanger, or that it is terribly upsetting, it is just empty. After going through such a roller coaster, you are left with a moment that is anticlimactic. It is a slow and torturous buildup, and given that you do not have much time with these characters, I wanted the end to give me more than what it gave.
Another thing, how beautiful is it that these confessions are told? I LOVED the idea, but again, it takes up the beginning of the book, maybe more like the first half, and then we lose them. Which is unfortunate. I think if you search in between the lines, you can see that the confessions have taken on various other forms. But I wanted more of what carried me through the first half of the book.
So, here is my take. The story starts out strong, filled with feels, beautiful ideas and paintings. Then, the story transforms into something different, and unfortunately, does not end the way it started. So, I think it is an acquired taste. It's a beautiful story, just not satisfying. So, I wouldn't not-recommend (please bear with my double negative), but I would say read at your own risk.