Colleen Hoover is an author I’ve been meaning to pick up for quite some time. I’ve seen a lot of her books on my social feeds as books that are often five-star reads. It Ends With Us was a book gifted to me recently and so it’s my first Hoover book. I’ll let you into a secret early on: it’s absolutely bloody brilliant.
It Ends With Us is a book that focuses on some dark matters and some uncomfortable matters but Hoover writes these in such a raw but intelligent way that will have you caring far too much.
It Ends With Us plot – 5/5
It Ends With Us is a story about Lily and inevitably her relationship with two men: Ryle and Atlas. We follow the tale of modern-day Lily as she sets up her dream flower business and meets and falls in love with Ryle and also follow her diary entries of when she was younger and her relationship with Atlas and how important he became to her future.
I must say this story had me absolutely engrossed from the very first page. This is my first Hoover book and instantly I was pulled into the message that this book was trying to deliver. Without giving away too many spoilers, there’s a huge message here about domestic abuse – Lily’s father abused her mother and her mother failed to escape until his death later in life.
There needs to be a trigger warning before reading these books that domestic abuse is a large part of this book – it’s a very difficult topic that is covered in such a deeply mature and intelligent way. The story here is that this sort of abuse doesn’t develop and present itself in the same way for everybody, however recognising the signs and being strong enough to recognise them are the most important parts.
This book will throw your emotions around in a mixing bowl having you elated one minute, heartbroken the next, scared another and then relieved again. Prepare yourself!
It Ends With Us characters – 4.5/5
You can’t have the reader’s emotions in the palm of your hands like Hoover does in It Ends With Us without writing characters that you need to genuinely care about. Lily and Ryle’s interactions with one another are very believable. They have a relationship that builds on pure passion for one another, that builds on the need for each other in their lives. It shows their raw emotions, their “naked truths” as they often refer to one another and a book built purely on trust and honesty.
Having these two incredible protagonists makes some of the plot moments very hard to read and make you wish Hoover wrote them differently. However, they force you to exercise a similar emotional turmoil that those in these relationships go through in real life. Hoover says this in her notes at the end of the book – she wanted to sometimes delete negative moments and write something happier but realised this wouldn’t be true to life.
I’ve knocked off .5 in this category as I felt Alyssa who was a huge positive to Lily’s life was a little too perfect. I have no problems with this really and, honestly, I loved her as a character and can understand her positivity: her husband earns so much, money she doesn’t have to work and yet gets to live the perfect life working in her best friend’s flower shop.
It Ends With Us summary – 5/5
It Ends With Us tugs on all of your emotional strings. It’s a book that opens up a raw subject and isn’t afraid to be incredibly mature with the way it discusses it. It’s a book that will make many people cry and it will make others learn a heck of a lot about domestic abuse and the realities behind why it is so difficult for the abusee to leave the abuser.
Read It Ends With Us… but read it with caution. It’s brilliant. It’s raw. It’s fun and at the same time very not fun.