HomeReviewsLayla – Paranormal Romance or Fantasy Thriller?

Layla – Paranormal Romance or Fantasy Thriller?

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Forget about the creepiest paranormal-romance-fantasy-thriller-whatever-else you’ve read.

“Layla” by Colleen Hoover will knock you for six.

If you decide to start with this novel from all of Colleen Hoover’s books in order, well…

You’re a very risky reader, to say the least.

Colleen Hoover writes bestselling YA romantic novels and she’s a true master of pulsating and thrilling fiction.

We should warn you, however, that “Layla” by Colleen Hoover is 200% different from her other books.

This paranormal/fantasy romance is out of the ordinary and utterly unforgettable.

Go into it with total unawareness and you won’t probably be able to find any words. They’ll drift out of your mind with such a read.

Buy the book now and plunge into the story ignorant of what might await you there.

Not convinced? Then here are summarized events from “Layla” by Colleen Hoover.

What is Layla about by Colleen Hoover?

Playing in a wedding band, Leeds Gabriel notices Layla, a cheerful girl that immediately attracts him. Their meet-cute goes with huge love sparks.

It seems they would never separate and live together for eternity. And they do, but for several weeks only.

Out of the blue, Layla becomes a target of the attack.

She struggles to cope with the loss of memories but finds it tremendously difficult to recover emotionally and mentally.

Leeds wants to help her remember and brings her to the wedding venue (the bed-and-breakfast).

But as they reach the place, something odd happens to Layla and unexplainable things fill the story from that moment on.

There, Leeds meets Willow and decides to help her seek solutions to her issues. Willow evokes something in him he can’t resist.

The distance between him and Layla becomes tangible and his lies to her accumulate into a destructive snowball that is ruining their relationship.

He’s not gonna jeopardize Layla’s heath and their love. Or is he?

Besides chapters in this book, there are also interview sections with Leeds and a mysterious detective.

The last stroke in this artwork by Colleen Hoover is totally worth the time you spend anticipating it.

Paranormality and Layla Genre

Blurring the Line Between Worlds

When the paranormal pops up in “Layla” and changes everything in the story, you might feel aghast and thunderstruck.

You never know what your reactions would be until you happen to experience something that is beyond the scope of normal understanding.

When you’re not on your guard, the brainteaserish paranormality lures you into its cage and bolts the door.

Layla Genre Colleen Hoover is Out of the Box

The genre of this novel is quite a departure from what Colleen Hoover usually writes.

It looks as if she pulled out the hand mixer and a spiralizer attachment to demonstrate her trick for making something extraordinary out of words and phrases.

It turned out to be an impeccable dessert of romanticism, thrill, and something transcendental, beyond the human experience.

Colleen formed her ideas into a well-thought and twisty other-world-realm novel. Not so fast-paced, as you would prefer, perhaps, but emotionally resonant, for sure.

She blurs the lines between worlds and morality. Let’s talk about the latter more specifically.

A Triad of Characters in Layla

The Trapped Leeds vs the Immoral Leeds

Leeds is trapped in the necessity of the Layla-Willow choice. It torments him. He justifies his non-understanding of certain things and his own feelings.

Grief, pressure, and embarrassment eat away at Leeds, but his remorse doesn’t feel proper in the situations when he uses Layla’s condition to his own benefit.

“Maybe it was guilt,” Leeds says.

This and other “maybes” underline his uncertainty and confusion with his own feelings. He seems too weak to handle his desires.

Could you justify a cheater? Does it matter whether it’s emotional or physical cheating?

His inner battles with himself and the controversies he tries to outline may occasionally appal. At times, his realization and acknowledgement of his indecent actions sound disgusting and disgraceful.

No wonder Colleen Hoover confesses that she herself hated him so much (while writing) that she wanted to punch him.

The Before Layla vs the After Layla

From a light-hearted girl without a real direction in her life, Layla changes into a confused sufferer.

Constant headaches and unknowing make her feel even worse.

She can’t recall anything and can’t decipher anything that happens to them now either, because Leeds doesn’t tell her the truth.

As you hear the story from his POV, you can only guess Layla’s thoughts and attitudes.

You may still feel her despair, hopelessness, apprehension and sometimes dread from what she notices on her own body.


Willow becomes a trigger for the whole turmoil of events and emotions.

She’s the character that can be neither liked nor disliked. Somewhere in between, she makes you ask questions and wonder who she really is.

Can she destroy the perfect love that Leeds and Layla have? Or has she done it already?

Final Thoughts on Layla

Right from Page 1, “Layla: is such an unusual nail-biter that you won’t put it down till you discover the truth.

If we ask your opinion on Layla Colleen Hoover after you read it, you’ll probably be speechless at first, but then you may say something like this:

“Umm… Ok, puzzled, disconcerted, then puzzled and disconcerted again, outraged in some places and bewildered. Then the novel blew my mind!”

After reading “Layla”, return to this review and comment on whether our assumption was right (believe us, it is).

Here’s your copy, absorb it, and don’t forget to leave a comment below afterwards.


Is Layla a standalone book?

Yes, “Layla” is one of Colleen Hoover’s standalones.

How long does it take to read Layla?

It’s so captivating you can “fill” your mind with it in one evening. More precisely, it may take an average reader 4 hours and 15 minutes to read “Layla”.

Is Layla scary?

Mostly no, because it’s not a horror story. But as it’s a paranormal romance, you’ll come across some bits of spookiness.

Is Layla similar to Verity?

Yes and no. Since it’s the same author, they may remind each other, while “Layla” has more of a paranormal element in it.

According to Colleen Hoover herself, out of all her novels, “Layla” is the closest one to “Verity” (here’s our review of “Verity”).


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