Book Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

it-ends-with-us-coverEdition: Paperback, 376 pages
Published by: Simon & Shuster UK, 2nd August 2016
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Completed: 7th September 2016

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

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WHOA, I was not expecting that. Once again, my emotions! 
Before I get into this review, I must tell you my naked truth: I loved this book.

Its best to go into reading this blind and don’t read the reviews because the plotline is a major spoiler, which I noticed many reviewers have revealed in their reviews, despite it being spoiler free. I had only read the summary and it didn’t tell me what subject the story was based on. I just got the impression that it’s another steamy NA romance with drama thrown here and there. Clearly, I was wrong. That’s the good thing about going into a highly rated book with super low expectations. You’re not disappointed in the end. This book is just buzzing with 4 and 5 star reviews. Colleen Hoover books are known to be either a hit or a miss. This one is a hit.

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So, our main character is called Lily who is twenty-three years old. Lily has had a difficult upbringing but has since then graduated from college and moved to Boston to start her own business. And I think that’s all you need to know, without spoiling it. This wouldn’t be a Colleen Hoover book without a smidge of romance, so there is definitely romance in this but you probably already knew that.

I’m going to express my overall thoughts about It Ends With Us before I head into the spoilery snippets because there is a hella lot to talk about.

WARNING: This book contains graphic content.

Colleen Hoover has a way with words. Its written in the first person point of view and the more you read on, her words come to life and you begin to feel all the things that our main character experiences. That in itself is makes it very personal story. I haven’t even read any other Hoover book other than the Never Never novellas but I just know this book is so much different from her other books. First things for sure, we don’t have a problematic relationship, which is a constant theme that I hear that occurs in Hoover’s books.

It was such a raw and honest, yet powerful story. It tugged on my heart. Made me feels some feelings that I didn’t want to feel. If I’m aware that a book’s sad, then I always go into it, cold, thinking its not going to effect me but it always does in the end! Why? Because I am human with feelings. Go figure. It just amazes me on how strange words can be put together can evoke emotions from you. I am aware that I am being emotionally manipulated though but its not a bad thing because this book does provide you with an eye-opener into sensitive subjects. The only negativity I have to say is that some things escalated too quickly. This book moves faster than I’m reading it.

I’ve read my fair share of NA books and I know what to expect from it. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I went into this thinking I had this book all figured out. I didn’t. It’s a brutally realistic book, but what I expect and want from a book, something real. It certainly takes a twist from repetitive troupes. If you’ve read Colleen Hoover’s other books and you did not like it, you have to go and read this one. I could not stop thinking about it after I finished it. This has convinced me to read her other books!

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4 stars out of 5

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HIGHLIGHT TO REVEAL SPOILERS (only if you’ve read it). 

Lily Blossom Bloom. Seriously? Lily Bloom is a very pretty name but Blossom as her middle name; now you know the author is just making fun of her name.

The plot is about an abusive relationship. It handles the subject of domestic violence very well and also it creates awareness. I see that the cover of the orchids being ripped into pieces is like a metaphor.

I have read nonfiction books based on abuse but I always find myself steering away from them because didn’t enjoy them. It’s such a deep subject and I just find myself uncomfortable when I read about someone being abused. I want to read books I’d enjoy, not feel sad about. I’d say it is more uncomfortable watching it on a TV show or a film but still.

We have two male characters (love interests, more or less) they are called Ryle and Atlas (I know, I know, strange names). They both occur in different stages in Lily’s life. Lily met Atlas when she was fifteen years old and at the same time, was dealing with a father who was abusive to her mother. Lily met Ryle on top of an apartment roof and she was just sitting on the ledge, with legs dangling off the edge, which sounds oddly familiar (Hint: All The Bright Places). Ryle is your typical NA male love interest. Just think of the most perfect guy in your head and that is basically Ryle.

The summary gave me an impression of a love triangle, which made me think, here we go again… but it took me by surprise and did the complete opposite. It took a different direction of a repetitive troupe. It’s not a story about a love triangle, which I’m really thankful about.

When Lily and Ryle got married in Las Vegas, I was like wwhhhat?!

I was just as shocked as Lily when Ryle hit her. That came out of nowhere and that’s when I knew this story was about domestic violence. It was like déjà vu, it happened to her mother and now it was happening to her. She did not want to believe it, however the more she continued to stay with him, the more worser things got. It’s so easy to say ‘why doesn’t she just leave him’ but when you’re put that that kind of situation, you realise its not easy at all.

What made things more complicated was that Lily was married and pregnant. Ryle’s the father of her baby, how could she leave him now? It was sad that she felt like she had no one to turn to. She couldn’t turn to her best friend Alyssa, because she is Ryle’s sister and couldn’t turn to her mother because she had already been through it and didn’t want to put her in that position again. The only other option was Atlas, who was like a supporting character rather than a knight and shining armour to rescue her.

I was very happy with how things ended; it couldn’t have gone any other way. I felt proud of Lily, for being brave and also for opening her florist business. It was a hard decision on whether she was should stay Ryle or leave him but she made the right choice.

Atlas had such a sad backstory that made me prefer him. I noticed how much of an impact Atlas had on Lily, so there’s all these little imprints around Lily’s life, such as the letters to Ellen Degeneres, the badge magnet, the heart tattoo above her collarbone and the reason why she moved to Boston, it all links back to Atlas. There were some really heart-warming moments between Atlas and Lily that I really enjoyed reading. They were never properly together and so it’s satisfying to see them together at the end.

I actually felt sorry for Ryle. You never feel sorry for the abuser. You always feel sorry for the victim. It’s because we’ve seen in the beginning what Ryle is like before he became abusive. He is honestly a good person, sweet and caring but there is just something that psychologically sets him off. It’s almost like seeing two sides of one person. He never wanted a relationship but with Lily, he converted.

This book has nothing but fantastic reviews and so I was curious to hear who didn’t like it. On reviewer said they felt manipulated by their emotions. I felt emotionally manipulated too but at times it didn’t feel like it because the story felt so real. A lot of books have emotional impacts that make you feel something, even films, TV, true-life stories and many other things. Books like this deal with sensitive subjects, the purpose is to send an important message, to open the reader’s eyes and that if it’s happened to you, you’re not alone.

Moral of the story: Just keep swimming. 

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