Look no further than Colleen Hoover’s “Ugly Love.”
This standalone novel follows the complicated relationship between registered nurse Tate Collins and airline pilot Miles Archer. They agree to a no-strings-attached relationship, but as they become closer, they realize they may want more than what they initially promised to themselves.
With alternating perspectives and a poetic narrative style, Hoover delves into themes of pleasure and pain, relationship boundaries, emotional walls, and the fear and control that can hold us back from getting the love that we all need in our lives.
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of emotions as you dive deep into this discussion guide consisting of some amazing book club questions for Ugly Love and find out why you need to read this masterpiece by an author whose work captivates us at all intervals of life.
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Ugly Love Book Club Questions
- The on-and-off relationship between Tate and Miles is complicated and tumultuous. They are strongly attracted to each other physically but are unable to form a healthy emotional connection. Miles’s fear and pain prevent him from fully committing to Tate, and Tate is left feeling hurt and confused by his behavior.
What’s your take on such on-off relationships? Have you ever had something similar to this sort in the past that you would like to share?
- Miles’s past affects his present relationships in a significant way. He is unable to move on from the tragedy of losing Rachel and their son. His pain and fear cause him to distance himself from people and avoid getting too attached to anyone. Miles is also unable to trust others, which makes it difficult for her to form healthy relationships.
Do you think it was actually his past that affected his relationship with Tate as he is unable to commit to her and constantly pushed her away?
- Tate is motivated by her desire to pursue a career in nursing. She moves to San Francisco to pursue a master’s degree in that field while working in the ER as a registered nurse. This shows that she is a driven and ambitious individual who is willing to make sacrifices to achieve her goals. She chooses to live with her brother, Corbin, to save on living expenses and to have a familiar face around as she starts her new life in a new city.
Based on Tate’s life story, do you think ambition and a happy relationship can go hand in hand? If yes, tell us how.
- Cap’s outgoing and friendly nature helps Tate feel comfortable and welcome in her new environment. He becomes a source of stability and a confidant for Tate, and his presence influences her relationships with other characters, such as Miles. It was Cap who encouraged Tate to pursue her feelings for Miles and helps Miles realize the importance of pursuing happiness over past burns.
Don’t you think that without Cap’s support and friendship, Tate’s journey would have been significantly different from what it eventually did?
- Initially, the encounters between Miles and Tate are characterized by intense physical chemistry and secretive meetings. However, Miles’s fear of emotional attachment leads to a pattern of intense physical encounters followed by emotional detachment. Their relationship progresses through moments of vulnerability and intimacy, eventually ending up being quite tumultuous.
Which event do you think was the turning point in their relationship?
- Corbin, Tate’s older brother, serves as a protective figure in her life. His absence at the beginning of the story highlights Tate’s vulnerability in the new environment. However, when Corbin returns, his role becomes essential in the development of Tate’s relationship with Miles.
- Establishing clear boundaries in a healthy relationship is crucial for mutual respect and understanding. Without them, individuals may become emotionally overwhelmed, lose their sense of self, and feel obliged to prioritize the needs of their partner over their own. This lack of boundaries can lead to imbalanced dynamics and a disregard for personal well-being.
The exact same thing happened in the novel where Tate struggled with this aspect, as she constantly sacrifices her boundaries and values to be with Miles. This is exactly where the screw-up happens. Do you agree?
- Miles struggles with emotional walls as a defense mechanism against potential pain. He believes that by preventing emotional connections, he can shield himself from future moments of being hurt once again. However, this approach only traps his past trauma within himself and hinders his ability to form meaningful relationships. His fear of pain and his unwillingness to confront his emotions negatively affect his relationships with both Tate and Rachel, as he distances himself emotionally from them. It is only when he recognizes the prison-like nature of his emotional walls that he begins to break them down and experience personal growth.
Based on Miles’ context, discuss how sometimes our emotions get the the better of us and yet we don’t like sharing it with others.
- Rachel is characterized as someone who likes to play the devil’s advocate. She thinks through situations from multiple points of view, and is wholly committed to Miles. It would be worth discussing how Rachel’s character contributes to Miles’s development and growth throughout the story.
How does their relationship shape his perceptions, actions, and decisions? How does Rachel’s journey of healing and growth serve as a source of hope for Miles?
- The concept of “ugly love” implies that love inherently involves pain and that pleasure cannot be experienced without the risk of losing it. It suggests that to truly love someone, individuals must be vulnerable and open themselves up to the possibility of getting hurt. The idea emphasizes that the beauty and joy derived from shared romantic love can outweigh the pain for those who are courageous enough to live authentically.
Do you agree? If yes, discuss.