It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover book review

It Starts With Us is the sequel to the hugely popular It Ends With Us. It Ends With Us was a TikTok sensation and arguably shot Colleen Hoover into the almost god-like stratosphere she finds herself in now. Apparently she’s sold more books than the bible this year. Though is the Bible really a hot seller anymore?

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Before you start reading this review. This is the second book in the series, so if you’ve not yet read It Ends With Us, be sure to check out my review of that here.

Anyway, It Starts With Us picks up right after where It Ends With Us ended. It follows the story of Lily and Atlas after the conclusion of the previous book – following their story as they attempt to navigate a relationship where Lily’s abusive ex-boyfriend isn’t involved.

I previously gave It Ends With Us five stars, stating how impressed with the maturity of the content I was and how Colleen Hoover has a talent for writing characters that make you genuinely care even if the plot itself wasn’t mind-blowing. Does It Starts With Us follow the same trend?

It Starts With Us plot – 4/5

It Starts With Us picks up right after where the previous book ended. Lily and Atlas have just bumped into one another on the street and so we begin a confusing and conflicted love affair that sees them both try to navigate their feelings around Ryle’s controlling and, as we know from the previous book, abusive behaviour and tendencies.

The plot itself wasn’t mind-blowing (as with the previous book); there weren’t any clever twists, and it never really felt like the story was the reason I was flipping the pages at speed but it tick along and a quick enough pace and it did make me feel immersed in a world I found quite believable.

I say there aren’t any twists, there is a bit of a twist in the middle but it’s not a true shocker, it just adds a great new aspect (and character) to the story which allows us to grow a better understanding and background of one of the characters.

It Starts With Us characters – 5/5

Once again Hoover has made the characters in It Starts With Us feel fun, engaging and like they could actually exist. I have a real soft spot for authors who give their characters a sense of humour and who make them more realistic by not pretending everything in the world is so serious all the time.

Lily, despite her previous experiences, can still have a sense of humour and can still enjoy herself which is great to see. Atlas is the same: despite clearly being the smart, intelligent, successful brooding male protagonist we read so often about in these sorts of romance books – he has a fun side and a sense of humour!

I can’t tell you how many times I read dull and non-romantic romance books where neither protagonist has a personality and then they just end up together. In this, you can see why both characters like each other which makes you vouch for them so much more.

It Starts With Us final rating – 4.25/5

It Starts With Us is a comfortable sequel to the previous book. It doesn’t feel quite as tense or engaging but still manages to tell an absolutely lovely story. If you’ve read It Ends With Us, I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed with It Starts With Us. Just don’t expect one of those sequels where it builds on everything from the first book and feels better than the first. It did just enough to warrant being a success. If you’re looking for a comforting love story to read that’s fairly quick to finish and you’ve read the first, you won’t find much to dislike here.

Pick up a copy of It Starts With Us from Amazon here

If you like the sound of this book, you may enjoy my reviews of these other books:

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