Title/Author: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult romance / contemporary
Publisher: Atria Books
Synopsis: 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, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
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.
**Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with a review copy! This in no way affects my thoughts or opinions on it.**
Wow. Okay. Wow. This book was so incredibly… wow. It was raw, it was real, it was emotional, and it was honest.
One of the reasons I avoided this book for so long is that I was scared. I was scared it would be depressing, I was scared of the heavy topic, and I was hesitant to stray from my typical teeny-bopper love story fantasy whatever. But this story was so much more.
Not many books can make me cry. Not many can push past that wall of disbelief and bury themselves that deep into my emotions. But It Ends With Us was one of those that did. It burrowed deep into my heart without me realizing. Surprisingly, though, I wasn’t crying out of sadness; I was crying for the characters, I was crying for strength, and I was crying for love. And despite the tears, the ending left me with a small smile on my face.
This book is difficult to review in the way of specifics without spoiling anything, but I will say this:
- The characters were absolutely wonderful. What I loved most about them is that they were simultaneously tangible, lovable fictional characters, while also representing so much more than themselves.
- I read it so quickly. It never dragged and it never bored me; it was addicting, and I hung on to every word.
- The relationships between the characters were beautifully complicated and messy, and nothing was ever straightforward.
- The relationship between the main character, Lily, and her mom grew so much over the course of the story. Too many books just ignore how important parents are in their kids lives, but It Ends With Us didn’t ignore the big role they play.
- Lily’s love for Ellen Degenres was endearingly wonderful. Lily’s diary entries addressed to Ellen when she was younger were quite possibly my favorite part of the book. I felt so much love for Lily and Atlas.
- I really appreciated that there was no love triangle. Atlas and Ryle (the two main men in the story) came from different points in Lily’s life, and I was grateful that Hoover kept them separate.
If I told you this book wasn’t heavy, I would be lying to you. If I told you I wasn’t honestly scared at some points, I’d be lying. But it was worth it. It was so worth it.
Now, those of you who are here for the spoilers: you’re in for the long haul. This section will contain spoilers, so proceed with caution.
So…. Ryle. He was an immensely complicated person, and that was part of what made him so human. He was both wonderfully good and horribly bad.
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
The first time he and Lily met, he was scarily angry at the world. I had an instinct that he was going to be abusive to her, but I was just as upset as Lily was when he first hit her. But the worst part was that I knew where it was going to go; I knew he wouldn’t stop hitting Lily. But I wanted to give him a second chance. I wanted it to work. I wanted him to learn and I wanted to believe he could’ve gotten better. I mean, that’s a kind of mantra, right? “People can change.”
I guess that’s the point, though. When you love someone that much, you forgive them. You give them second and third and fourth chances, because you love them, because everyone deserves the chance to improve themselves. Because you’ve seen the good side of them and you believe in that. Because you love them.
“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”
Ryle Kincaid was confusing and complex and he wasn’t good and he wasn’t bad. He was somewhere in the grey area. Lily wasn’t perfect, either. She retaliated, she lashed back, she hurt him too. Neither of them was perfect, neither of them was right or wrong.
It’s just so hard to think about. It’s just so hard.
Before this book, I thought, why do they stay? why? why cant they just leave? It seemed weak, it seemed cowardly. But there’s so much more to it than that.
The strength it took Lily Bloom to walk away from Ryle Kincaid was monumental. I don’t think staying was weak. But I think leaving was the strongest act of all. That’s why I cried. I cried for all the women who were put in Lily’s position, and all the women who had to find the courage to leave. And all the women who still haven’t.
It Ends With Us was such an astronomically important book. It was at times scary, at times so, so heavy. But that’s life.
A definite 5/5 stars, and I highly, highly recommend you give it a chance.