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Ugly Love Summary, Review, Themes, Quotes and Characters

“Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover is a contemporary romance novel that delves into the complexities of love, pain, and the past, focusing on the tumultuous relationship between Tate Collins and Miles Archer.

Quick summary: Tate Collins moves to San Francisco, meeting brooding pilot Miles Archer. Their tumultuous relationship is overshadowed by Miles’s tragic past with love, Rachel. As Miles confronts his pain, he finds a chance at love with Tate, leading to their eventual reconciliation and family.

Ugly Love Full Summary

This is a story about a girl named Tate who moves from San Diego to San Francisco to study nursing and work in an ER. She moves in with her older brother Corbin, who is an airline pilot, in his fancy apartment. 

When she gets there, Corbin is away for work, but she meets Cap, the elevator guy, who becomes her bestie. 

She also meets this creepy married dude named Dillon in the elevator who tries to hit on her.

As she’s trying to get into her bro’s apartment, she finds this guy, Miles, drunk and crying in the hallway. It turns out Miles is a friend of Corbin’s. She calls her brother, who trusts Miles enough to let her let him into the apartment. Miles is super emotional and keeps saying the name “Rachel.”

The next day, Miles is all paranoid, thinking they “hooked up,” but Tate assures him nothing happened. They help her move her stuff in, and then it’s Thanksgiving. 

During the holiday, Miles cuts his hand, Tate stitches it up, and they share a kiss. They make a deal to have a casual relationship, but Tate shouldn’t expect anything more.

The story switches to show Miles’ past, where he fell in love with a girl named Rachel back in high school. They had a baby, but due to a tragic car accident, the baby died. Rachel couldn’t handle it and left him, and he’s been messed up ever since.

So, Tate and Miles keep their casual relationship going, but it’s kinda rocky. Tate starts to feel hurt because Miles is super hot and cold with her, like one minute he’s all caring and the next he shuts her out. Miles gets super jealous when he sees Tate with a male friend, but still won’t commit to her.

Eventually, Tate can’t handle it anymore and tells Miles her feelings. He still says he’s not down for a relationship. So Tate moves out and her brother, who had found out about their “thing,” is mad but eventually gets over it.

Two weeks after she moves out, Miles shows up at her door. He had visited Rachel, who’s moved on and is married with a kid. Rachel tells Miles he should move on too. So, Miles decides to go after Tate, tells her about his painful past and how much he loves her.

Fast forward six months, Miles takes Tate and Cap on a plane ride. After the ride, he gives her a key to his place and proposes. She says yes. In the end, they have a baby girl named Sam, and it turns out Miles can actually love again and be happy. 

And they all live happily ever after. 

Sort of. 


  1. Elizabeth Tate Collins: The primary female character, a registered nurse in her early 20s pursuing her master’s degree in nursing.

  2. Miles Mikel Archer: The primary male character, an airline pilot in his mid-20s.

  3. Corbin: Tate’s older brother, also an airline pilot, with whom Tate plans to live in his luxury apartment in San Francisco.

  4. Cap: The outgoing elevator attendant in Corbin’s apartment building, who becomes Tate’s best friend.

  5. Dillon: A sleazy married man who shows interest in Tate.

  6. Rachel: A girl from Miles’s past, significant to his backstory.

  7. Ian: Miles’s friend, mentioned in context with his high school years.

  8. Lisa: Rachel’s mother, who becomes involved with Miles’s father.

  9. Clayton: The name of Miles and Rachel’s baby, named after their English teacher.

  10. Brad: The man whom Rachel later marries.

  11. Claire: Rachel and Brad’s baby girl.

  12. Sam (Samuel): Cap’s real name and the name of Tate and Miles’s baby girl.
ugly love summary

My Review

Alright, folks, let’s dive into Colleen Hoover’s “Ugly Love,” a book that’s got the internet buzzing like a bee in a bonnet. 

Now, I’ve had my share of Hoover experiences – “November 9” was a wild ride, and “Maybe Not” surprisingly knocked my socks off. But “Ugly Love”? 

It’s like a rollercoaster that I’m not sure if I loved or just tolerated. Let’s unpack this, shall we?

First up, the pros: Hoover’s writing is like sliding into a warm bath – easy, comforting, and you don’t want to get out. I zoomed through the last three-quarters of this book in one go. 

It’s the perfect pick-me-up for those days when you’re feeling a bit blah and need a story that doesn’t make you overthink. The plot’s got this magnetism, even when it dips into the realm of the ridiculous.

Miles and Tate’s story is… well, it’s something. Imagine a love affair with more baggage than a cross-country flight. 

Hoover throws us into the deep end of their complicated, often doomed, arrangement. The flashbacks to Miles’s past are like watching a car crash in slow motion – you can’t look away. 

And the verse-style prose? 

It’s a bold move, not everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, it shakes things up.

But let’s chat about Tate, our leading lady. 

Honestly, she’s as exciting as watching paint dry. She’s meant to be this everywoman character, but she comes off more like a placeholder than a person. 

Her narrative voice feels like it’s stuck in a teenage diary, which is a bit jarring when you’re reading scenes that are definitely not for the high school crowd. 

It’s New Adult but with a strong YA aftertaste – like a cocktail that can’t decide if it’s for grown-ups or not.

Now, Miles, our leading man, he’s not the bad boy I was bracing for. He’s more ice than fire – a bit clueless, but not the toxic heartthrob I was expecting. 

And that’s a good thing. He’s upfront about what this whole thing is, which is more than I can say for a lot of romance novel heroes.

The latter part of the book gives us a peek into Miles’s head, and honestly, those bits shine. 

Maybe it’s Hoover’s knack for writing male POVs, but those chapters added some much-needed depth.

So, why pick up “Ugly Love”? 

If you’re in the mood for a book that’s like a gossip session with your best friend – easy to get into and hard to put down – this is it. The flashbacks add layers to the story, and while the ending didn’t have me reaching for the tissues, it’s got a punch that might hit you right in the feels.

But, a heads up: if you’re expecting Shakespeare, you might want to keep looking. The characters can be a tad dim, and the writing sometimes feels more high school than young adult

It’s a mix of heavy themes and light, almost cutesy prose that’s a bit of an odd duck in the New Adult pond. 

But hey, that might just be what makes it stick in your mind longer than your average romance novel.

In short, “Ugly Love” is a bit like that weird flavor of ice cream you try on a whim – not everyone’s going to love it, but it’s definitely an experience.

Key Themes

1. The Power of Emotional Healing and Confronting the Past

The character development of Miles showcases how imperative it is for an individual to face their traumas and past instead of running from them or suppressing them. 

Miles’s inability to discuss his pain surrounding the loss of his child and Rachel’s departure leads him to build emotional walls, shutting himself from potential happiness and love. It is only when he confronts his past, meeting Rachel again, that he starts to genuinely heal. 

This is a significant lesson on the importance of addressing and processing emotional traumas. Ignoring or suppressing them doesn’t make them go away; instead, it can lead to emotional and psychological distress. 

Confronting and working through past pain, possibly with therapy or counseling, can bring about healing, allowing individuals to move forward and embrace life and relationships more fully.

2. Communication is the Foundation of Relationships

Throughout the book, Tate and Miles’s relationship goes through several ups and downs, primarily due to their lack of clear communication

Their agreement to have a physical relationship without discussing emotions or the past eventually leads to emotional turmoil. This underlines the fact that even in the most casual relationships, communication is essential. 

By setting clear boundaries, understanding each other’s expectations, and frequently checking in on each other’s emotions and thoughts, relationships can navigate the challenges and avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and heartaches. 

Clear communication leads to trust, understanding, and a stronger bond between partners.

3. The Transformational Power of Love and Support

Cap’s role as a supportive figure for Tate and the eventual support Miles receives from Tate shows how pivotal love and support can be in a person’s life. 

Their bond helps them navigate through the challenges and uncertainties of life. Cap’s unconditional friendship for Tate, and later Miles’s realization of Tate’s unwavering love for him, showcases how love and support can be transformative. 

It acts as a reminder that everyone needs a support system – whether it’s friends, family, or significant others. 

Having someone to lean on, confide in, or simply share life’s moments with can make the journey easier, more meaningful, and provide the strength needed to overcome challenges.


  1. “Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”

  2. “God gives us the ugliness so we don’t take the beautiful things in life for granted.”

  3. “When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in.”

  4. “I didn’t fall in love with you… I flew.”

  5. “Sometimes not speaking says more than all the words in the world.”

  6. “Ugly love becomes you. Consumes you. Makes you hate it all. Makes you realize that all the beautiful parts aren’t even worth it. Without the beautiful, you’ll never risk feeling the ugly. So you give it all up. You give it all up. You never want love again, no matter what kind it is, because no type of love will ever be worth living through the ugly love again.”

  7. “It’s the beautiful moments like this that make up for the ugly love.”

  8. “The pain will always be there. So will the fear. But the pain and fear are no longer my life. They’re only moments.”

  9. “But the second she opened her eyes and looked at me, I knew. She was either going to be the death of me… or she was going to be the one who finally brought me back to life.”

  10. “If I were capable of loving someone… it would be you.”

Final Thoughts

“Ugly Love” masterfully weaves a tale of love, pain, and healing. Colleen Hoover’s storytelling captivates readers as she delves deep into the emotional journey of two individuals overcoming their past. The story serves as a testament to the power of love and its ability to heal even the deepest wounds.

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