The Failing Hours by Sara Ney | Review

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: January 31st, 2017

Trigger Warnings: dead parents, absent parents, rude love interest, ableist comments, mocking of a stutter

Pages: 332

Genre: new adult, contemporary, sports romance, romance

Goodreads blurb:

Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an a**hole. 

A total and complete jerk, Zeke keeps people at a distance. He has no interest in relationships—most a**holes don’t. 

Being part of a couple? Nope. Not for him.

He’s never given any thought to what he wants in a girlfriend, because he’s never had any intention of having one. Shit, he barely has a relationship with his family, and they’re related; his own friends don’t even like him. 

So why does he keep thinking about Violet DeLuca? 
Sweet, quiet Violet—his opposite in every sense of the word.
The light to his dark, even her damn name sounds like rays of sunshine and happiness and shit.

And that pisses him off, too.



I love a book where there is a reformed douchebag. It’s a mess and honestly, if I saw one of these guys in real life I would 100% run in the opposite direction and not waste my time. The Failing Hours is full of clichés but it was so fun for me. I was easily able to read this book in one sitting and I was so excited by the slow burn of the relationship. This was definitely the kind of book I needed at the moment, I’m not really feeling that great and fantasy is just too much for my mental health to deal with. Romance is allowing me that escape to forget about my life and continue reading, so I apologise to anyone who doesn’t like romance books but you may be seeing quite a few of these reviews.

The Failing Hours follows both Violet and Zeke, two characters who could not be more different. Violet is kind and pretty soft-spoken, she has a stammer and is focused on her studies. She even babysits a young girl whose mother attends the university. Violet is basically an all around beautiful person. Zeke, on the other hand, is not. He has a chip on his shoulder bigger than Jupiter, which makes him both rude and crass. He doesn’t care about anything but wrestling and it’s clear in the way he treats everyone like crap. He has enough money to comfortably live for the rest of his life due to his parents, but due to their absentness, he hasn’t been able to be a decent person. It was honestly annoying at some points, especially with how he treated children who didn’t deserve it.

Violet and Zeke are two characters you wouldn’t pair together in a million years, for Violet’s sake. But, with Zeke failing a class he needs the help of a tutor. Unfortunately for Violet, it’s her. The pair creates a kind of back and forth that will 100% make you laugh.

The plot of this book follows the character development of both Zeke and Violet. Both characters go through changes in the book that ultimately mean they are not the same people they were at the beginning. The story is sweet and humour filled and at times you will want to slap Zeke up the side of the head for being rude. Honestly, this is probably my favourite in the series. You definitely don’t have to have read the first book in the series (The Studying Hours) but I would recommend it purely because of the fact the characters feature pretty heavily in the second book.

Anyway, time to jump into the more detailed list of what I did and didn’t like in The Failing Hours.



I love a good slow build to a romance. I really loved how Zeke and Violet built up together. The fact they had forced proximity due to the children they both babysit. It was all just basically excellent, for me at least.

The romance is a bit of a cat and mouse chase at times as well. I’m not even sure how to describe it, but that’s the kind of vibe I got throughout The Failing Hours.


I love this trope honestly, plus the fact it is a sports romance. I love seeing a ‘bad boy’ get with a ‘good girl’. It’s a mess, honestly, and I know in way too many cases these relationships can be abusive or emotionally manipulative. However, I just loved Zeke and Violet. At times I wanted to scream at Zeke, which I’ll get into, but I feel their romance worked really well in the way that she was the one who helped him realise he couldn’t walk around being such an asshole because of his past. He only thought of himself in countless situations, and with the help of Violet, he was finally able to open up.


I don’t have much to say here, but Sara Ney is one of my new queens of humour. I absolutely find myself giggling while reading her books, which just makes for such an overall experience.


I live in Australia if you didn’t know. We have a few big male sports but there isn’t really anything exciting. I’ve found out through the How To Date A Douchebag series that if my high schools (I went to three) had included wrestling in the curriculum I would have been much more interested. I’m a super competitive person and I am a fan of the ultimate strength shown in sport (I was a swimmer for like six years + played netball for five) and I think wrestling is a great example of the strength and control of the human body.

Then again, I also think ice hockey is one of the most impressive sports because I can’t stand in ice skates without slamming to the ground and I love some violence in a game. So, it may just be best to ignore my opinions here.


Intriguing backstories that also gave the characters the perfect reason to not have their parents around. It was strange, but I feel that Sara Ney executed it well throughout the book. The differing of the pasts, though there are similarities, mixed with the fact of the varying attitudes of Violet and Zeke was a great contrast to show through the writing.


I was a bit nervous when it was revealed Violet had a stutter. All I could think was that Zeke was going to ‘cure’ her of her stutter and oh, how happy they would be. Thankfully, this didn’t happen. Violet has her stutter because of her past and that wasn’t erased simply because of a guy in her life.

There were some ableist comments about her stutter, but they come from other characters and not really the main characters. I think in the beginning Zeke did make a cruel comment? I can’t remember honestly.



I get that he was an asshole, I do because you were reminded of it almost every single time it was his POV. It was infuriating at times and it felt both drawn out and overdone. I didn’t get the whole swearing in front of children thing he did, that’s literally something that frustrated me because I try not to swear when I’m in public because I don’t want an unsuspecting child to hear some of the foul things I say.

Zeke obviously wasn’t a bad guy, in the end, I think I’ve made that clear, but I really just wish he had changed a bit sooner or this book had ended earlier in order for this to be cut down on.

Overall, I sincerely enjoyed The Failing Hours by Sara Ney. At the time of writing this review, I’ve already read book three so my review for that will be coming soon. This series is simply just so fun and I am 100% trash for sports romances.


Happy reading everyone!

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