Does anyone major die? Yes. Miles had a son who died 6 years before this book took place.
Who ends up together? Miles and Tate.
The Detailed Spoiler: This story opens up in present day and is written from the viewpoint of Tate. Tate is a twenty-something nurse who is moving in with her air pilot brother while she looks for her own place in a new city. In the beginning, Tate is taking her things up to Corbin’s (her brother) apartment. She meets an overly friendly 80 year old man at the elevator who calls himself ‘Cap’. Cap tells her he has worked in that building for many years. Another man comes into the elevator and hits on Tate, which disgusts her because he is clearly married. Eventually, Tate gets to her brother’s floor and brushes the creepy guy off. Once she finds Corbin’s apartment, however, she notices that there is a drunk guy asleep directly in front of the door so that she can’t get in. Corbin is not home, so she calls him to ask what she should do. Corbin informs her that the drunk guy is his neighbor from across the hall, Miles. He asks Tate to do him a favor by letting Miles stay in the apartment for the night since he is incredibly drunk and can’t get into his own place. Even though Corbin won’t be home until the next day, Tate agrees. She gets Miles inside and tries to help him onto the couch. He clutches onto her and begins crying hysterically while calling her “Rachel”. Tate feels sorry for him and goes to her room for the night. At this point, the reader experiences the first flashback that is written from Miles’ perspective. It takes place 6 years earlier, as do all of the flashbacks that Miles will have for the rest of the book. Miles is in highschool and meets a new girl named Rachel who he instantly falls for and decides he will marry someday. He texts his best friend Ian to tell him. He then shows Rachel to their teacher, Mr. Clayton’s, classroom. He asks her out and she says yes. The flashback ends and we are back in Tate’s mind. She wakes up the next morning and Miles is very rude towards her when she runs into him in the apartment. He does not remember what happened the night before and is upset. They argue and then her brother comes home. After catching up a bit, Corbin asks her if she has brought her things up yet. When she says no, Corbin asks Miles to help them. They do, and Tate realizes that she is very attracted to Miles. She wishes she wasn’t, though, because he is a jerk. She says as much to Cap when she sees him next and he tells her that Miles probably can’t help it. There is another Miles flashback at this point. Miles’ dad tells him they need to have a talk. His dad tells him that he has moved on from Miles’ mother, who died less than a year earlier. It upsets Miles, but he agrees to meet Lisa (the new woman) and her daughter. Unfortunately for Miles, it turns out that Lisa’s daughter is none other than Rachel. Miles and Rachel are both sad because now they can’t be together. The next chapter takes us back to Tate’s POV. She’s been having a good time living with her brother and working her new job. She comes home that night to find three men in her house. It turns out that Miles, his best friend Ian, and the creepy guy from the elevator (we find out his name is Dillon and that nobody else seems to like him, either.) are there for game night.. Miles informs her that they always have Thursday night game nights, even though Corbin is currently not home. Dillon puts the moves on her and Miles makes her go across the hall to his place to study. Tate notes that his apartment is pretty barren, without any decorations or personality. She says as much to him when he comes home and he tells her he works a lot and hasn’t had any need to decorate. She discovers that Miles is a pilot just like her brother and his other friends. She makes the mistake of mentioning the name “Rachel” and Miles freezes up and stops talking to her. Next chapter is back in Miles POV. Miles, his father, Lisa, and Rachel are having dinner together. Afterwards while doing the dishes, Miles asks Rachel how long their parents have been dating and Rachel tells him a year, which leads Miles to think that his dad cheated on his mom before she died. Miles decides he will continue to be romantically involved with Rachel, after all. They decide not to tell their parents. Back to current day with Tate’s POV, Corbin has invited Miles to come home for Thanksgiving with their family. Tate confides in Cap about her anxiety over the situation, but he tells her Miles isn’t as bad as she thinks. Corbin, Tate, and Miles spend a long car ride to her parents’ house. Tate discovers on the car ride that Miles is attracted to her, too. Her mother can sense it right away once they get there. Flashback to Miles POV. Rachel and Miles find out that their parents are moving in with each other, which means they will be moving in with each other. They decide to stay together until college and then end it. Back to Tate’s POV. Miles injures his hand helping Corbin with a ladder. He asks Tate to stitch it up since she is a nurse. They have a sexually charged interaction while she stitches it, with both of them feeling the tension as they touch. Miles kisses Tate. He instantly regrets it and walks away. At dinner, it comes to light that Corbin thought Miles was gay because he hasn’t dated since he met him and everyone has a good laugh about it at the table. Later that night while she is in bed, Tate hears Miles wake up and go to the kitchen. They discuss the kiss among other things and decide that they both are attracted to each other, but neither of them wants a relationship. As a result, they decide to just have sex with each other whenever they want, but with no strings attached. Miles says he has two rules, not to ask about the past and not to expect a future with him. Tate outwardly agrees, but inwardly thinks she might not be able to follow those rules. They begin passionately making out. Its at this point that her father walks in and says “Well, you’re definitely not gay.” Tate is mortified and goes to bed. Back to Miles’ flashback POV. Miles tells Ian about his relationship with Rachel. She and her mother move in. They makes rules that they will kiss but not have sex. Back to present day and Tate’s POV. They leave her parents’ house and start the awkward drive home. Miles tells Tate he apologized to her father before they left. Another flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Rachel and Miles have broken the ‘kissing only’ rule. Their parents leave for the weekend and they end up having sex. It is clear that they are in love at this point. Back to Tate’s current day POV. They get back to the apartments and Miles tells Tate to come over after Corbin goes to bed. She does and they have a long and detailed sexual encounter. When its over, Tate leaves and feels emotionally confused. She realizes that Corbin is up and on the phone so she can’t go into the apartment without him knowing that she was with Miles. Tate decides to visit Cap. They talk about her relationship with Miles and Cap comments that he hopes Miles will smile every now and then as a result. Flashback to Miles’ POV. Rachel and Miles are still pretending to have a step brother and step sister relationship but continue their affair behind their parents’ back. Back to present day Tate POV. Miles texts Tate and asks her to come shopping with him. They pick out curtains and things so he can finally decorate his apartment. On the way to the store, Tate sees a homeless man and inwardly wishes she could do something to help him. She doesn’t realizes that Miles notices, too. When they are done shopping, Miles pulls out a blanket he just bought and hands it to the homeless man. They go home and decorate, then they ‘christen’ the new rug he bought. Flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Rachel and Miles ditch school and go to the beach, where Rachel cries and tells him her period is late. Back to present day Tate POV. Corbin, Tate, Miles, and Ian go to dinner to celebrate because Miles has been promoted to Captain at his air pilot job. They flirt secretly and have a good time. It begins to rain heavily. Tate doesn’t drink much, and neither does Miles, so they have an excuse to leave together when Corbin and Ian decide to go to the bar. They have passionate sex in the car. They go back to Miles’ place and have more sex, when Tate comments that he never looks her in the eyes while they do it. He says he doesn’t want to lead her on and make her think that they have a future together. Tate says that is ok, but inwardly is upset. She goes to visit Cap and he tells her that love isn’t always pretty. Flashback to Miles’ POV in the past. Miles has told Rachel that he wants to keep the baby and be a family together. They tell each other they love each other and Rachel says, “We’ve got this, Miles.” Back to Tate’s POV. It is Thursday and game night at Tate and Corbin’s place. Dillon puts the moves on Tate and Miles gets angry. He tells Corbin, who is very protective of his sister, that Dillon is putting the moves on her. The guys kick Dillon out. Miles tells Tate to make a scene and ask to study at his place during game night so she has an excuse to be over there. She does and Miles sneaks over throughout the night to kiss her. When game night ends, Tate realizes that her brother is in the shower so she has enough time to sleep with Miles again. He doesn’t have a condom on but Tate tells him not to stop because she’s on the pill. They have sex but it is rough and when it is done he just leaves her there and goes into his room. Tate gets upset and flees his apartment. Flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Rachel and Miles have hidden Rachel’s pregnancy from their parents, but it is getting to the point where they won’t be able to because Rachel is showing. They discuss the baby’s name. Rachel says if its a girl she will name it, but if its a boy Miles will. He won’t tell her the name he chose, instead wanting it to be a surprise. Back to Tate’s present day POV. Tate hasn’t spoken to Miles in several days and is still emotionally wounded from their last encounter. He shows up at her apartment and apologizes. He takes her for a drive to the airport and they discuss their feelings and what they want to do from there. When Tate asks about the past, he shuts down. She tells him that she knows he has feelings for her. He won’t admit it. She says if he won’t admit it then he needs to take her home, so he does. She ends up confiding in Cap, and he asks her what she thought would happen. She admits she thought she could handle just having sex, but that she was wrong. He cheers her up by telling her his favorite knock knock joke. Flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Miles’ father tells Rachel and Miles that he is marrying Lisa. Miles tells them that Rachel is pregnant. When it comes to light that Miles is the father, his dad punches him and kicks him out of the house in anger. Miles won’t leave and goes inside to tell his parents that he and Rachel are keeping the baby and making a life together. They also confess that they knew each other before their parents had introduced them. Rachel and Miles are sad at their parents’ reactions, but they tell each other they love each other anyway. Back to Tate’s POV in the present day. Tate misses Miles. She has her friend from school over to study. Miles sees her letting her friend (who is a guy) into the apartment and he gets jealous. When her friend leaves, Miles comes over and tells her as much. They make up and have very loud and passionate sex in her bed. Neither of them realized that Corbin was home and heard the whole thing. Corbin is angry at his friend for sleeping with his sister. Corbin asks Miles in front of Tate if he loves her. Miles says no. He then asks him if he plans on loving her and again, Miles says no. Corbin kicks Miles out. Tate goes across the hall to do damage control with Miles. He tells her he is sorry that he can’t love her, but that it won’t change. Tate tells him she has one rule for their relationship: not to give her false hope for a future. Tate tells Cap what happened. Dillon walks into the elevator and Cap and Tate team up on him with insults, which cheers her up. Flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Miles’ dad is trying to come to terms with the pregnancy. Miles registers himself and Rachel for family housing and they tell their parents that they are moving out. Back to Tate’s POV. Miles and Tate continue a torrid sexual affair while Corbin still tries to come to terms with it. Miles eventually says something tender to her, and she waits for him to take it back, but he doesn’t. They have sex again, but it is more like making love this time. Corbin and Tate argue about her relationship with Miles and Miles walks in during it. Tate leaves them to work out their conflict and heads out to talk to Cap. She asks him what will make a man want to experience love again after he has decided not to and Cap replies that sometimes after seeing the most ugly kind of love, a man just doesn’t want to experience love again. Flashback to Miles’ POV in the past. Ian helps Miles and Rachel move into their new home. She goes into labor and they decide that they will have the baby at the hospital together, without any family there. Its a boy, and Miles names him “Clayton”. This is special to them both because that was the name of the teacher whose classroom he met her by. They’re so happy and in love. Flashback to Tate’s present day POV. Tate is hanging out with Cap, which has become her regular routine. They discuss Miles, and Tate decides that Cap is her best friend. Later that night, Tate wakes up to a phone call from her mother. There was a plane crash and they both panic, afraid that it is Corbin. They can’t reach him via his phone. Tate calls Miles and tells him she is terrified. He comes over and comforts her. They find out it was not Corbin. Tate tells him that she was worried for him as well, and they have sex. They end up falling asleep together, which has not happened before. She wakes up when Miles receives a phone call from his father, but she pretends to be asleep. When Miles leaves, he kisses her on the forehead and she feels sad that he always ends up leaving. Flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Rachel and Miles are still in the hospital. They discuss how much they love Clayton. Miles’ father comes to visit them in the hospital and tells him he is proud of him. Back to Tate’s POV in the present. Miles takes Tate swimming in the rooftop pool. Miles tells her if he was capable of loving someone, it would be her. Flashback to Miles’ POV in the past. Miles’ father tells him that he didn’t cheat on his dying mother. He tells him that Miles’ mother and himself had separated much earlier but that they didn’t want to tell Miles. Then, his mother had gotten sick so they had stayed together until the end. He is ashamed that he didn’t tell Miles sooner. He then tells Miles that his mother would have been proud of him, too. They hug. Back to Tate’s current day POV. Miles has been gone for a few days, and when he comes home he stops at Tate and Corbin’s apartment before he goes to his own. Tate jokingly says that he missed her and he tenses up. Tate is deeply upset that he can’t even admit that he missed her and she calls him out on it. They argue and she tells him that he is in denial. He says he has been nothing but clear with her from the beginning. She says that it hasn’t been just sex, but they have been making love. She tells him that he thinks of her all the time and that he has no right to tell her he has been clear from day one because he has been nothing but confusing. He breaks down crying and Tate is terrified to ask him what is wrong. Flashback to Miles’ POV from the past. Miles reflects that everyone in his family loves Clayton and that Clayton has brought them all back together again. He, Rachel, and Clayton are leaving the hospital and getting ready to go home. On the way home, they are involved in a terrible car accident and the car falls off of the road and into a lake. Miles tries to save both Rachel and Clayton, but only manages to get Rachel out before the car sinks. Miles passes out and wakes up on the rescue boat. There is blood everywhere. He tries to dive back into the water to save the baby but people hold him back. Rachel is hysterical and screaming at Miles that he should have saved Clayton, not her. They cry and hurt. Back to Tate’s present day POV. Tate tries to comfort Miles. She lets him have sex with her in hopes that it will stop his pain, but in the middle of it he calls her Rachel. Tate realizes that she will never have his heart because it is stuck in the past with whoever Rachel is. She tells him to finish and her heart breaks. She realizes that whatever she is feeling is just ugly. She leaves his apartment and collapses in tears. Flashback to Miles’ POV in the past. He realizes that love can be ugly. He tries to comfort Rachel. They move back in with their parents. Rachel doesn’t want to, but she blames him for Clayton’s death. They try to make love but she can’t do it and tells him to just finish. She ends up writing him a letter. Both Rachel and her mother decide to move away back to their old life because it is too painful for her to be around him. It is at this point that Miles decides he will never let himself love anyone ever again. Back to Tate’s present day POV. She has gotten her own apartment and is moving out of Corbin’s place. She decides to go over to Miles’ place to tell him goodbye. Ian answers the door and gets Miles. She tells him goodbye and he doesn’t react at all, just says goodbye. The next chapter is from Miles’ POV, but it is present day…not a flashback from 6 years before like the others had been. He is saying goodbye to Tate. He wants to love her but he doesn’t know how. He can tell he is hurting her feelings, but even so he can’t bring himself to feel bad because he feels like she could never understand true pain like he does. When she leaves, Ian tells him he is an idiot and asks why he isn’t going after Tate. Before he can answer, Miles gets a knock at his door. It’s Corbin. He punches Miles in the face and tells Miles that he should’ve done that a long time ago. Ian confronts Miles and tells him he needs to stop moping and move on. He says part of Miles died in the lake. He tells him that Tate has made him a better person and brought part of him back to life. Miles decides to go talk to Cap. Cap is saddened that Miles just let Tate go. We then find out that Cap has known Miles his whole life. Miles’ father owns the building that they all live in. Cap tells him he can’t even begin to understand the pain he has gone through, but that he needs to go see Rachel for closure. He feels that if Miles can see that Rachel is ok, maybe he can move on too. The next chapter is from Rachel’s current day POV. She is remarried and happy. When Miles visits and they see each other for the first time in six years, they both break down and cry. Rachel experienced the same thing Miles is going through, but her new husband Brad helped her through it. Rachel tells Miles he needs to let love in. She shows him her baby girl and tells him that she is sorry that she blamed him for Clayton’s death. Miles finally has peace and Rachel says, “You’ve got this Miles.” in reference to the saying they told each other in the past. He tells her he is proud of her and as he leaves she thinks the same thing. The next chapter is present day Tate’s POV. She is going into her new apartment when she finds Miles in the doorway. She can see that he looks different, as if a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He tells her he misses her. He then tells her he had a son who died, and that the day they met it would’ve been Clayton’s 6th birthday. He says he isn’t ready to tell her about him yet, but that someday he will. He then tells her a bunch about his past and tells her he has fallen for her. The chapter ends with them together and in love. The next chapter is Miles’ POV, based about 6 months in the future from the last chapter. He tells Tate that they are taking Cap on an airplane because they’ve never been on one. They watch the sunset from the sky and Cap has a wonderful time. When its over, Miles tells Tate to wait because they are going out to breakfast after Cap leaves. Cap thanks him for the plane ride and gives him two boxes. Miles pops one out in front of Tate before they get off of the plane. She thinks it might be a wedding ring, but it is a key to his apartment. He asks if she will move in with him and she happily says yes. He then pulls out the second box and proposes to her, totally taking her by surprise. She says yes. The Epilogue is about two years in the future from the last chapter. Tate and Miles are married and having a baby. He is scared that he won’t be able to love the baby. When it is born, it is a daughter that they name “Sam” after Cap…whose real name is Samuel. He loves her instantly, just as much as he loved Clayton. The book ends with Miles stating that its moments like those that make up for the ugly love.
My Feelings: How am I even supposed to talk about all of the ‘feels’ that this book gave me?! It was an emotional roller coaster from page one. I love, love, loved how Colleen Hoover went back and forth between present day and six years before. I had no idea what to expect with Rachel and Miles’ story. When the baby died, it was perhaps one of the most tragic scenes I have read in a story in years. I love that about Colleen Hoover’s books, though. You can expect a good romance, but there is also a good dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking backstory. Part of me wanted to hate Miles and Tate for being shallow enough to jump into an all sexual relationship (I mean, gross, not my personal choice.) but the characters were just so sweet that I couldn’t bring myself to hold it against them. I think that it actually came off as quite believable. I loved Corbin as a protective big brother. I think I could’ve done without obnoxious Dillon, but he added a certain amount of drama to Miles and Tate’s little world so it worked. I really loved Cap’s character. The goofy old man who had lived his life and spent his days people watching and giving advice to Tate and Miles. He was a sweetheart and able to give in depth advice to both Tate and Miles. The story wouldn’t have worked well without him, in my opinion. I was also pleased that we got a chapter in Rachel’s POV. It was hard to get attached to her in the few flashback scenes she was in, but when we were able to see inside of her head, we saw a gentle person who just happened to experience the ugliest type of love. I was glad she got her own happy ending, too. I’m sure some people would have been happy without the last chapter and epilogue, but I was pleased that Co Ho decided to include Miles’ marriage proposal and the birth of their child. It was just the sweet icing on top of the emotional roller-coaster cake. This book was wonderful, and I’m hoping that the movie coming out does it justice.
My Review Post for This Book: Ugly Love Review