REVIEW ✧ IT ENDS WITH US

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“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.”

☆☆1/2

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

Arg. That’s pretty much all I can say at this point. An incoherent noise. I remember when this book first came out last year and literally everyone was raving about it and saying how great an author Hoover is so I figured I’d give it a shot. Plus, this cover is so pretty and seeing as I’m partially someone who judges books by their cover it looked promising. The synopsis seemed promising too. Unfortunately, what was said in the synopsis is not what was delivered in the book, ultimately creating a bunch of false hope. I tried really hard to like this book, to find SOMETHING to ultimately like, but I couldn’t. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t necessarily like it. I feel pretty indifferent, if I’m being honest. We better get down to the specifics so you can all understand where my head’s at. I also can’t review this properly without spoiling it so a major SPOILER ALERT is now in effect.

THE GOOD

  • While I have a lot of issues with how the subject played out, I do feel like it was important to explore the topic of domestic abuse and the theory vs practice of it all. It’s very easy to say “well, why didn’t she just leave him?” when you’re not actually in the situation. It’s easier to judge someone rather than be in their place. But what this book does is show how the protagonist Lily was both the person who judged and the person who was in the situation, and it shows her how different the two things are. While it’s so simple to say that someone should leave their partner if they’re abusing them, it’s an incredibly hard thing to do because of all the feelings inside of you. Even when Lily understands that she should leave Ryle, her feelings still tell her that she loves him and everything becomes confusing. I also liked how the idea of “why aren’t people asking why husbands abusing their wives?” was brought up because, true to it’s misogynistic form, society doesn’t question this. It’s always on the woman and her decisions but we never ask about the man, the one actually doing the abuse. So I appreciate how this topic was explored from all angles and asked questions no one else seems to be asking.
  • While I didn’t expect to like it, I really enjoyed how the flashbacks were written and visited through Lily’s journal entries. At first I was annoyed because I didn’t think it was important to go into her past like this but as it continued, I thought it was nice. But this is all from a writing standpoint. For the plot and the characters, I didn’t really see the point of Lily constantly revisiting her life with Atlas if she claimed to be happy with Ryle in that period of her life.
  • I truly thought that Allysa and Marshall were the best characters of the book. They were hilarious and adorable and in my opinion they lit up every scene they were in. Allysa in particular was my favourite. She was like that perfect, ideal best friend; the one who makes your life better and will always be there to support you. Being Ryle’s sister, she was in a really hard position when Lily confided in her but I’m glad that she ultimately took Lily’s side. She was a great example of the kind of support that someone needs in a situation like this. I wish I had a friend like Allysa; she’s truly a delight.

THE BAD

  • While I feel like the overall exploration of the domestic abuse topic is rather important, I personally do not feel like it was done in the right way here. When I say that, I don’t mean how Lily responded/reacted to the situation. For this, I’m actually referring to Ryle’s character. On the one hand, I like how his “tragic backstory” wasn’t used or even remotely accepted as an excuse to his behaviour towards Lily; I really enjoyed that because there have been so many YA books where the abusive a-hole is excused because he had daddy issues or whatever. But Ryle never tried to use it as an excuse and I admire that. What I mean is that when his anger issues were addressed, and he asked for help, nothing really happened. I feel like it should’ve gone further than just having him “walk away and cool off” when he was angry. In my opinion, I feel like Ryle has some kind of mental illness and the help he needed should’ve come in the form of medication, perhaps. Or his therapy should’ve been visited, maybe having Lily accompany him, I don’t know. It just bothered me that when he asked Lily for help it wasn’t shown. I really believed that Ryle could’ve been helped but I guess the Hoover didn’t really want to help him that much and it’s sad. Would it have changed the outcome of the story? I don’t know, but I would’ve liked to find out.
  • The unnecessary time jumps bothered me SO much. It was like every chapter opened with some kind of significant time jump and it just felt rushed and borderline messy to me. While I appreciate that this meant that there wasn’t time wasted on unnecessary scenes, it just messed up the timeline so much. It was really hard to follow at times and I feel like it just made me enjoy the book even less.
  • Even though this is marketed as a romance, I didn’t really feel it. I don’t know if it was the overall lack of romantic scenes between Lily and Ryle or potentially there was a lack of chemistry, but whatever it was I didn’t connect to it. Sure, they had their fun sexy times here and there but they were relatively underwhelming. Maybe it’s because there was so much focus on the abuse that the romance took a serious backseat but even during the romantic scenes it didn’t really feel like it…..does that make sense?
  • I think just as a whole the writing was, like the romance, underwhelming. The characters all felt likeable initially but as the story went on there was a lot of disconnect. I tried so hard to find something I liked about Lily, anything at all, but I couldn’t. I’m glad she stood up for herself in her situation at the end, but other than that I couldn’t relate to her like I’ve been able to relate to other characters. I liked both Ryle and Atlas in the beginning, but again they both went into that “indifference limbo.” The plot didn’t necessarily flow and felt incredibly rushed at times, and while there was drama, it wasn’t great drama.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • I truly appreciate what this book was trying to do and appreciate how all sides and angles of the topic of domestic abuse was addressed, and how the author used inspiration from her own life, but I don’t like how it was executed. I’d rather read Be With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout which is kinda the same but definitely better.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Pages: 376 (Paperback)
Goodreads

Until next time,

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What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!

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