Let me start by saying that this will probably not be my typical review. I’m not biased when it comes to Colleen Hoover, but I never feel like she fails me either. That said, I LOVED, LOVED this book. I felt so much sympathy for the main character, Lily. Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you a little about the story.
Lily has had a tough life, but she came out on the other side, both brave and bold. Then she meets Ryle, a brilliant neurosurgeon. Their relationship doesn’t go the normal route. In fact, it takes them nearly a year to actually come together and when they do sparks fly. Then her first love, Atlas, reappears and the life she’s built with Ryle is put in jeopardy.
Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me warn you, as always, SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk.
Let me start by saying the blurb on the back of the book does not prepare you for the story. I thought it was a love story with an old flame coming back into the picture that stirs some trouble, but that in the end Lily and Ryle would work through it. I was wrong. And it kind of saddened me a little, but at the same time, I was happy Lily proved to be the strong woman I believed her to be.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is not your typical love story. Lily and Ryle meet on his rooftop because they’re both up there to escape. There is an obvious instant connection between the two of them. The big thing I love about them is their “naked truths.” A moment where they can be entirely truthful about what they want. Ryle wants to fuck Lily, except Lily is more of a relationship kind of girl and Ryle only does one night stands. Being a neurosurgeon, he gets called to the hospital and they part ways. Fast forward six months and they cross paths again when Lily accidentally hires his sister, Allysa, to help out at her new floral shop. Lily discovers his relationship to Alyssa after an accidental fall where Lily ends up spraining her ankle and Ryle comes to the rescue.
As Ryle is still into one night stands, things go pretty much nowhere. Though there is an almost moment. Ryle shows up on Lily’s doorstep after knocking on twenty-nine doors to find her apartment. Kind of sweet and stalkerish at the same time. He pretty much begs her to sleep with him so he can get her out of his system. Funny enough, she concedes but tells him she has to take a shower because she’s all gross and grimy from working in her flower shop. He agrees to this and passes out in her bed while she’s in the shower. Hmm, I guess it’s more amusing on paper.
Anyway, their relationship doesn’t even really begin until two months later at Alyssa’s birthday party. Lily brings a date who’s gay, but Ryle doesn’t know that. Now, Lily and Ryle don’t sleep together yet. She wants a relationship and as far as she knows he’s only into one night stands. So he agrees to a trial run where he won’t sleep with her so he can prove to her he’s changed. Everything builds from there.
Now, at this point, we’ve only read about Atlas through old journals of Lily’s. And he is an instant like! He’s kind, strong-hearted, handsome and has been through some shit. It’s through the same journals we’ve learned more about Lily and what she’s been through. She witnessed her mother getting physically abused by her father as a child through her teenage years until he got sick and died. Atlas was a bit of a protector throughout all this until he left for the military. So it should come as no surprise that a part of her would always be with him.
Honestly, this is kind of where I thought the title came from. That although her mother was abused, Lily wouldn’t let that happen to her. It would end with her, but that wasn’t the case. And this is kind of what saddened me because I liked Ryle, so the last thing I wanted to do was hate him. But it’s at this point that things kind of take a turn.
Atlas comes back in the picture because he owns the restaurant where Lily and Ryle have their first official date, which is also when he meets her mother. The date continues without a hitch. We find out for certain it’s Atlas because Lily goes to the bathroom and the two have an awkward confrontation.
We don’t really see Atlas a whole lot until much later, which makes sense. This is Lily and Ryle’s story and how it unfolds from their first date to their marriage to the birth of their first child. It’s also about Ryle losing control of his temper and hurting Lily, from the first time to the third. It’s about Lily becoming closer to her mother through mutual understanding. It’s about Lily learning from her mother and not following the same path. It’s about Lily ending the cycle and realizing how her decisions affect her daughter.
There is a lot of emotion in It Ends With Us. I was on a constant roller-coaster not knowing where the end would take me. And honestly, there were times where I was rooting for Lily and Ryle and times where I wanted her with Atlas. They were both good men, Ryle just had control issues when it came to his temper. While I even understood how this came about, it didn’t make it right. As for Atlas, he just wanted to be the kind of man Lily deserved. And he made it there.
I don’t want to tell you the ending, but I was quite happy with it. It was the entire point of the book.
To sum it up, I have two final thoughts. One, Colleen Hoover did an amazing job with such a difficult subject. And two, just keep swimming.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse or needs help leaving a dangerous situation, please visit www.thehotline.org.
My rating: 5 stars
Author/Contributor: Brigit Rosé