- Colleen Hoover
- 373 pages
- Romance/Love Story
- Topics of Homelessness
- Topics of Domestic Violence
- New York Times Bestseller
Lily has spent her life trying to leave the small town she grew up in. Coming from a broken family that has somehow stuck together more years than they should have, she wishes to leave everything behind and start over. Graduating college and moving to Boston sounds like just the way to do that.
When Lily has a meet-cute with a drop-dead-gorgeous neurosurgeon resident on the roof-top of a building, she’s ready for a one-night-stand and that’s it—after all, the last thing she needs is to end up like her mother. But, for some reason, she can’t get the man she meets off her mind. When a hookup moves into something more, Lily is reminded of her first love and links to the past that she’s long tried to forget, but can’t seem to escape.
When Lily’s first love comes back into the picture, it threatens her current relationship and the life she’s created away from where she grew up. With themes of love, loss, family, and domestic disputes, It Ends With Us is a heavy story that readers won’t forget any time soon.
TW: THIS REVIEW FEATURES DISCUSSION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ASSAULT
- 2.5/5 Stars
Colleen Hoover is VERY hyped-up right now. While I’m not entirely sure how or why she became so popular, It Ends With Us seems to be at the forefront of the trend. Naturally, I had to pick up a copy to find out what the hype is about and share my opinions.
So, let me start this off with being honest. I don’t love this book. There are some things about it I enjoyed, but more often than not, there were scenes that were disturbing, and sometimes predictable.
I went into this book doing zero-research. I did not know what this book was about, nor did I know what the content was like, only that it was a romance. That being said, having read this book, I wouldn’t label this as a romance. I certainly feel like it’s more of a cautionary tale? Or perhaps a drama? While the books does feature romance, it’s more about Lily’s experience with the tough things at home.
I’m going to do my best not to put any big spoilers into this review, but to be able to discuss the content, I will say that this book features domestic violence in both Lily and Ryle’s relationship and in Lily’s parent’s relationship. The book doesn’t explicitly say this is a theme anywhere in the first few pages (which to be honest, drives me crazy). If you go into the book not knowing, it is a surprise that catches the reader off guard. I think some readers would enjoy that, and I didn’t necessarily mind it, but I do think there NEEDS to be some warning about the content of this book somewhere. Anyone—and I mean literally anyone, could pick this book up off a shelf and get a page full of heavy sexual scenes and violence, which isn’t something that victims of poor relationships want to pick up if they’re looking for an easy romance.
I think part of the reason this book is so wildly popular is because, through Lily’s perspective, we don’t learn about Ryle’s nature until at least 1/3rd of the way in. When his behavior is finally revealed, it’s surprising to the reader that he could treat Lily the way that he does. This isn’t a particularly new concept—many survivors of abuse never realize that their partner is abusive until they are already too far into it. Yet, it’s very interesting to see how Hoover crafts the story from the perspective of the victim.
Though, I’m not sure I would describe Lily’s character as solely a victim. She is clearly the heroine of this story and though she has been through a lot, she is tough. She handles her scenes with Ryle with grace and maturity, though she has every cause not to do so.
One thing I didn’t quite get about this book was Atlas’s character. I’m assuming that the reason Atlas exists is so that Lily has some model of what love is supposed to look like, especially after the tumultuous relationship her parents had. Though, Atlas just isn’t a loveable character to me. I know many readers enjoyed the aspect Atlas brough to It Ends With Us, but I just felt his character fell flat for me. I saw him as a means to an end to serve a purpose, and that’s about it. Though, Colleen Hoover has revealed that fans of Atlas will have a story of their own coming this October 2022.
I think Colleen Hoover is on to something. After all, even my local library has over a two year wait for reader to request some of her novels. Her books have a natural tone to them, which makes any reader fall right into the storyline, and she does always keep things interesting with her plot-twists.
I don’t think It Ends With Us was my novel, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t for others. Personally, I didn’t connect with Hoover’s writing style and I felt some areas of this novel, especially big scenes that are essential to the plotline, were almost too predictable.
If you haven’t read my recent review of Dark Horses, I discussed how Susan Mihalic was able to play with several aspects of the heroine’s character to make her appear both younger and older, which lead to some interesting character development. I would have liked to see some more devices like this in It Ends With Us.
While I do think that Lily’s character is the star of this book, I’m not sure that I’ll be pre-ordering It Starts With Us just yet. Though, I certainly would like to take a closer look at some of Hoover’s other novels, as I’ve heard her genre can change depending on the novel she’s writing. Verity seems very loved at this moment as well, so maybe I’ll have to give that one a try next.
If you read It Ends With Us, I’d love to hear your opinion on the book and what you thought of Atlas’s character. Do you think he was supposed to be unlikeable? What do you think the new sequel will reveal about him?
Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite Colleen Hoover book is and which one I should read next. If you haven’t read It Ends With Us, you can check it out here by clicking on this link.