ROMANCE: 3.8/5
GENRE/THEME:  New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance

“And as hard as this choice is, we break the pattern before the pattern breaks us.”

–        Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

It Ends with Us is my first Colleen Hoover book and I must say that it surpassed all the expectations that I had for it. I remember my sister reading this exact book, and her telling me that it is her favorite book. I laughed at her because I thought it was some cheesy romance tale that has nothing to hold on to.

But oh boy, if only I knew what I was getting myself into. It was such a good read that it even made it to my top 10 books of this year. It also has several strong life lessons embedded in its plot structure that will certainly teach you a thing or two. 

The story as it goes

Lily is a small-town girl with big dreams who decides to leave her small-town life in Maine and move to Boston. Life has never been really easy for her, but that doesn’t matter. She has big plans for herself. She goes to college and starts her business in the big city.

Before long, Lily stumbles upon the handsome and charming Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon making the big bucks. He is smart and intelligent, though a tad arrogant, and has a strictly ‘no relationships’ policy.

But only for Lily, he seems to have let go of his rule. Even though everything is going great with Ryle, Lily seems to hang on to thoughts of Atlas, the guy who was her first love; the guy who really understood her.

And now, when Atlas seems to have magically reappeared in her life, the carefully built relationship that she has with Ryle seems threatened.

So, who will it be? Ryle or Atlas?

The writing

Coming to how the story is structured, it has everything that makes a good novel. A great one. I love everything about the characters – major and minor. They have been written so well and with a lot of thought behind every one of them. I love that we also get to see their development throughout the story. 

In It Ends with Us, we started with a simple story but we ended it with so many thoughts running through our minds that we cannot come to one conclusion. We do not know whether we liked the ending or not. We just know that we cannot get enough of it no matter how many times we re-read the novel. 

The topic of abuse is something that I have always wanted to educate myself more about and to learn to look at it from a lot of perspectives and not just my own. This book gave me exactly that. I was able to read and understand domestic abuse from the perspective of a mother, a daughter, and of a wife. 

I have always asked myself why the victims are not willing to just get up and leave, and in a way, I judged them for their decisions even though I had no idea of what they are going through. But after reading this book, I came to realize that abuse or having an abusive partner is not just as simple as it looks. 

It is a situation that can cause generational trauma and when it involves a mother and father, the case is even more complicated. Should the mother walk out on her husband even though she does not have any financial security for herself and the child? Or should the mother stay and endure the abuse if it means giving financial stability to the child? 

The only response that I can conclude is that children should never be raised under such circumstances because the effects that they see in their parents will forever scar their childhood and they will carry this trauma throughout their adulthood. If domestic abuse is something that you want to go more in-depth with, this is one of the books that you need to add to your reading list. 

Also, coming to the main men in It Ends with Us, are you Team Atlas or Team Ryle? I am Team Atlas all the way because he is someone that has lived up to the standards that I have set for what a life partner should be like. 

Spoilers ahead! Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read them

Although my heart breaks for what both Ryle and Atlas had to go through in their past, I will never side with someone who resorts to abuse because of his traumatic experience. With this, I am in a dilemma between these two. They both deserve second chances, but who deserves it more? Read the book, and help me decide. 

It Ends with Us is the kind of book that cannot be predictable. I was biting my nails waiting for what is going to happen next. The ending was also something that I did not see coming. I was rooting for both Atlas and Ryle so even before I reached the final page, I know that I will be okay with whatever happened.

While others may think that this book is merely a love triangle between Ryle, Atlas, and Lily, it is so much more than that. It shows us what it means to love and allow yourself to be loved even though you have been hurt time and again by the one person you trust the most. It also shows us how society is narrow-minded and superficial. 

What would it mean for a woman to leave her husband? Society will jump and harass the woman for this activity because it was never a man’s fault. 

Personally, if you have not started with any Colleen Hoover books, and are planning to do so, might I suggest you give this one a read? I think this is the book that will set the tone for how you read the next books by the author. Also, we are getting a sequel to this book so I am quite excited about that prospect. I have a lot to look forward to, and I hope the author does justice to the characters because I do not want to be disappointed! Let’s look forward to not being ruined and shattered by what is to come. 

Some of my favourite lines from It Ends with Us, and ones that I believe have so much meaning behind them are: 

“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”

“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 love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of It Ends with Us.