Picking up It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover on a whim on International Book Day, I had no idea that what I pegged to be a light and playful read would turn out to be a book that would touch my heart so deeply; becoming a story I would remember for the rest of my days.
What is Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us About?
The story follows the life of Lily, a young woman in her twenties, as she goes about life after the death of her father. Her relationship with both her parents is strained due to her father’s abusive nature and her mother’s decision to stay with him regardless. We hear her perspective on her father’s abusive relationship with her mother in present as well as during her teenage years as she revisits memories from her childhood diary.
After delivering her father’s eulogy, Lily meets Ryle. The man is charming, gorgeous, smart while also being stubborn and cocky. The two hit it off instantly and things start looking up for Lily – her work life starts thriving, an unexpected friendship develops into a deep bond. Lily feels as if somehow life has finally pulled itself together. Only to burst open and scatter in all directions when her childhood love, Atlas, returns in her life.
My Thoughts on Colleen Hoover’s Writing
Colleen Hoover’s writing portrays emotions with exceptional ease and tackles complex topics without making it complicated and confusing for the reader. Her writing makes you smile, laugh, cry, and rage alongside her characters. I parted from this book feeling thrilled, heartbroken, percipient and in awe of the delightfully straightforward and beautiful story. It Ends With Us starts out as a simple romance novel and transforms into a story where you start to see yourself in the pages.
The book gives you an intimate picture of the character’s relationships with multiple people throughout her life from easy and smooth friendships and cute first love stories to complicated parent-child relations. It allows you to see life from different perspectives and understand the complicated nature of the human beings.
Colleen Hoover does a perfect job at explaining difficult topics naturally. We see how growing up observing an abusive relationship has shaped the protagonist, Lily, and made her into the person she is today. The author doesn’t limit herself to showcasing the impact of abuse – on the perpetrators, victims and those close to them – but goes on to show that it’s important to make the tough move to end the cycle of abuse.
This book contains some of the best tropes in women’s fiction – strong and independent women, being your own knight in shining armour, women who fix each other’s crowns.
The Characters in Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us
While Hoover’s writing is undoubtedly incredible, the stars of the book are the characters. They feel like people we might encounter in our daily life, except with their masks off and their vulnerabilities out in the open. They feel real, honest and relatable.
Lily is strong and independent and speaks her mind. Over the course of the book, she’s made to deal with tough situations which make her question everything she has believed in. She knows she has to make an extremely difficult decision and she does the right thing, knowing it won’t be easy.
Ryle is ambitious and caring and slightly arrogant. He has his issues and he acknowledges them and tries his best to work on them. Alyssa, his sister and Lily’s friend, is vibrant and kind and the best friend a girl could ask for. She’s her own woman and cares deeply for her loved ones.
Atlas, Lily’s first love is gentle, sensitive, and thoughtful. Reading about him gives you the feeling of sunshine on a cold winter day. I loved his character from the very beginning to the very end.
The honesty of these characters is what shines through the book. They’re all broken in their own ways and they still find the courage to be strong enough to make the right decisions.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover portrays the reality of living in a toxic relationship and the lasting effects it has on the people involved. This is a book that makes you feel – it educates as much as it entertains. It’s a story about the hardships of life, the unimaginable power of love and hope for a brighter future.
Trigger warnings for the book include physical abuse, violence and attempted rape.
Thank you for reading this book review!