It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Women’s Fiction, Romance* (I’m going to put this here, but I wouldn’t normally classify it as such. I explain more in my review below.)
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.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.
It took me a while to write a review for this book. In the simplest of terms, this book destroyed me. I went in knowing very little about the plot and theme. I think that was a good thing, but probably contributed to why I was so destroyed by it. I wasn’t expecting an emotionally heavy book, but that is what this is.
I’m not sure I’ve felt this much anxiety while reading a book before. I read it fast. When I’d force myself to take a break and put it down, my hands, arms, and shoulders were actually
sore from me being so tense. That should indicate just how attached and emotionally invested I get to characters and their stories.
The synopsis on Goodreads, as well as the one on the back on the book are quite deceiving. (Note: Synopsis above is taken from Goodreads.) They make it out like it is a love triangle. I wouldn’t classify it as such. Lily’s relationships with Ryle and Atlas happen separately from each other. I’m not giving anything away here when I say that Atlas does come back into Lily’s life unexpectedly, but it doesn’t quite happen in the way one might think or expect. It certainly doesn’t progress the way I thought it might. So no, this isn’t a love triangle.
Like I said above, I didn’t know a lot about this book when I decided to read it. I knew there was a lot of hype surrounding it’s release, but that’s about it. I’m not going to say much more that is specific to the plot, except that it is not a “light read.” It deals with emotionally heavy topics. If you’re one to look for ‘trigger warnings’ you may want to look at other reviews for those warnings. I don’t want to say much for those who don’t want to know.
This book did have sweet moments, funny moments, lovely moments, but it was also heartbreaking, sad, and at times really tough to read. Thinking more on it, one reason why this book destroyed me so much is because I found myself thinking like Lily. Making excuses, saying ‘if only.’ If I reacted like this to characters in a book, what would I do if I was in Lily’s position in real life? That scared me.
Lastly, I’m not sure I’d personally categorize this as a romance. Yes, it is about love and relationships at the core. Yes there’s some sex, but it is definitely not your typical romance book. That said, I would say this definition I read about romance novels does apply to it:
“Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.” (It just might not end in the way you expect it to.)
Colleen Hoover wrote a novel that affected me in a way I didn’t expect. The message that you will find within these pages is deeply important. It had me evaluating myself, my thoughts, and what my “limit” would be. I think it’ll make you think about things in a different light as well.
*This book contains sexually descriptive material, as well as trigger warnings.