It Ends With Us is Colleen Hoover’s sensational book that almost everyone seems to be talking about. Following on from Lily, when she meets Ryle, a successful, playfully arrogant, and charming neurosurgeon. She’s excited that he can finally be the one she can be with. As she navigates the new relationship, she reminisces about her first love, Atlas. Atlas is a boy who found his way into her life when she was in a heartbreaking situation and she was the only one willing to take care of her. But when Atlas reappears in Lily’s current life, she is torn between the two. And the three together form a precarious situation…
It Ends With Us Review
As I said, this book is everywhere, so it’s safe to say it got a lot of publicity and a lot of people thought it was the best book ever written. I like romance a lot, and while this falls on the dark side of the genre. The genre-defining elements in it (first meetings, kisses, and hot, passionate sex) certainly do everything a good romance should.
You can probably tell from the trigger warnings, but this book is extremely triggering and jarring in some places. But despite this, where I thought Hoover triumphed most of all, was the way he made Lily strong and defiant. She experiences a lot of turmoil when faced with difficult decisions. But ultimately her ability to make good, healthy decisions made her so formidable. It’s hard to talk in detail without giving away, but her justifications for her actions made me want to bow to her.
That said, I’m not saying this book should be a guide to getting out of difficult or abusive circumstances. Every character in this book has flaws, just like all of us, and Hoover uses this story to reiterate the idea that everyone makes bad decisions from time to time: “There’s no such thing as bad people. We’re all people who sometimes do bad things.” This should not be used to justify the horrific acts we see committed in this book. But to give us a deeper understanding of how these situations arise. Again, I think Hoover has done a great job.
About It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover:
- Number of pages: 386
- Publication date: Simon & Schuser India (Aug 5, 2016)
- Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Fiction, New Adult, Second Chance Romance, Women’s Fiction
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s novel, It Ends with Us, and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romantic Novel three years in a row for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers autographed novels donated by authors. All proceeds go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and three children.
It End With Us – Plot – 5/5
It End With Us is a story about Lily and inevitably her relationship with two men: Ryle and Atlas. We follow the story of the modern-day Lily as she starts her dream flower business and meets Ryle and falls in love. Including her diary entries from when she was younger and her relationship with Atlas and how important he became to her future.
I have to say that this story grabbed me from the first page. This is my first Hoover book and I was immediately struck by the message this book was trying to convey. Without giving away too many spoilers. Here’s a great look at domestic violence: Lily’s father abused her mother, and her mother was unable to escape until her death later in life.
Before you read these books, there should be a caveat that domestic violence is a big part of this book. Furthermore, it’s a very difficult subject that is dealt with in such a deeply mature and intelligent way. The story here is that this kind of abuse doesn’t develop and present in the same way for everyone. But recognizing the signs and being strong enough to recognize them are the key parts.
This book will throw your emotions into a bowl that will leave you elated one minute, heartbroken the next, terrified the next, and relieved the next. Get ready!
It Ends with Us Characters – 4.5/5
You can’t hold the reader’s emotions in the palm of your hand like Hoover does in It Ends with Us without writing characters that interest you. Meanwhile, Lily and Ryle’s interactions with each other are very believable. They have a relationship based on their pure passion for each other. It is based on the need for each other in their lives. It shows their raw emotions, their ‘bare truths’ as they often refer to each other. And a book based solely on trust and honesty.
Having these two great leads makes some plot moments very hard to read and makes you wish Hoover had written them differently. However, they force him to exert emotional turmoil similar to those in these relationships in real life. Hoover says this in her notes at the end of the book. Sometimes she wanted to cut out the negative moments and write something more cheerful, but she realized this wouldn’t be lifelike.
I got a .5 in this category because I thought Alyssa, who was very positive about Lily’s life, was too perfect. I have no problem with this reality and honestly, I loved her as a character. And, I can understand her positivity – her husband earns so much money she doesn’t have to work, and yet she leads the perfect life working with her best friend.
It Ends with Us Summary – 5/5
The novel follows the life of Lily Bloom, a 23-year-old red-haired woman who lives in Boston and dreams of opening her flower shop. She meets Ryle, a handsome neurosurgeon who is totally against serious relationships.
When Lily buys her flower shop window “Lily Bloom’s”, an overly generous housewife named Allyssa offers to help set up the shop. They soon become best friends. Coincidentally, Allyssa is Ryle’s older sister, which makes Lily and Ryle more bonded than they intended.
Her undying love for Ryle
Lily can’t get Ryle out of her head and Ryle is in love with Lily. After months of flirty conversations and the occasional passionate kiss, the couple starts dating and sparks fly. Their relationship is stronger than ever until Lily meets her teenage sweetheart.
Lily and her old diaries
Throughout the story, Lily reads her old diaries full of letters, plus journal entries humorously addressed to Ellen DeGeneres. A super fan of The Ellen Show. Lily was convinced that DeGeneres would love her if he ever met her. Even though he never sent her letters. In these letters, 15-year-old Lily tells how she met Atlas and fell in love with Atlas. A homeless boy who lived in the abandoned house behind her own house.
She would sneak him into her house and give him food, water, and clean clothes. Although, she appeared to have acted as his protector. The unofficial couple broke up when Atlas moved to Boston to live with his uncle in a royal house, but they promised to find their way back.
After encountering Atlas at a Groom Meets Mother dinner with Ryle. Lily questions the relationship she has built with Ryle. And, she ponders the unanswered questions she has for Atlas and the relationship they left behind.
Lily’s Abusive Relationship
The book highlights abusive relationships in Lily’s past and current life. The heartbreaking story drives the theme that the people who love us most may be the ones who hurt us the most. This theme concerns the abuse of Lily’s mother by her father. The physical and psychological abuse of Lily by the person she least expected, Ryle.
The raw emotions that Hoover has written superbly and embedded in her characters make the story powerful, and painful. My favorite symbolic object is a fridge magnet that Atlas gave to Lily when she was a teenager that appears in her and Ryle’s apartment. The moment Ryle found out where the imam came from. The story turned from a cheap romance to a dark and complicated heartbreak.
I dove into the book thinking it was going to be a simple love story or, at best, a cheap novel. I was embarrassingly wrong when I found myself crying in my room.
The novel made me gasp from the plot twists. Hoover’s incredibly honest writing style made me fall in love with and feel the fear of the characters at the same time.
“There are no bad people, we’re just people who sometimes do bad things” is my favorite quote from the book and it’s something I think people should consider.
The powerful messages about making difficult decisions in the most difficult situations are of great importance to young women around the world. Especially women in committed relationships. Though fictional, “It End With Us” is a novel that proves that sometimes running away is the right thing to do.
Hoover cleverly made me fall in love and hated the characters in the span of 367 pages. The book left a lasting mark on my mind and heart. I hope other readers find this book as powerful as I do and discover how the relevance of this story can be helpful to women today.