It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

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About the Book

Title: It Ends with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: August, 2016

Pages: 384, Paperback


After the unfortunate read that was Verity by Colleen Hoover, I wasn’t sure I wanted to give any of her books a try any time soon. But after seeing the numerous reviews praising her novels in the romance genre, I decided to give It Ends With Us a go. Plus, I was itching to buy a fast-read book. 



This was a much better read after the disaster of that thriller, Verity. The book follows Lily. She falls fast and heads over heels with Ryle, and theirs becomes a fast-blossoming love story. It has its lows— Lily isn’t into one-night stands, and Ryle is not the relationship kinda guy.


Soon enough, they are living together, engaged, and married in a few months. But the rosy and dreamy relationship soon starts having its challenges when Ryle becomes physically abusive. In addition, Lily reconnects with an ex, her first love Atlas, and it becomes a thorn in her marriage. Through the book, we can see how Lily struggles to navigate her marriage and handles other relationships in her life.


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My Take

So, what did I like about the book? First, who doesn’t like love stories? I know I do. And more so when there is some sort of a love triangle. The relationship between Lily and Ryle is pretty different from the one she had with Atlas. Their brief reconnection was perfect, and I was honestly hoping for more. I had this idea that the title means they reconnect and end up together. Oh well! 


Most of all, I loved the moment when the book title made sense. While it makes the book look like a love triangle story, it is not. It Ends With Us is about ending the cycle of domestic abuse and the trauma from such experiences in a family. And the title makes sense when Lily decides it is time for the cycle of abusive relationships to end with her. Because she had lived that life as a child, seeing her dad being abusive to almost murdering her mother. She did not want her daughter to go through the same. 


But that’s probably all I could say I liked about the whole book. I, however, have a lot to complain about, but I will touch on a few. 


The love story between Ryle and Lily was as cheesy as it gets. I know I said I adored love stories but please! It was so messy and cringeworthy before these two got together; Lily stringing him along and Ryle begging for a one-night stand like a teenager. Speaking of cringy, the recollections of Lily about Atlas are like a story within a story. The cliché is how they were presented as letters to Ellen DeGeneres. I get that they were from a teen, but having entries in a simple journal would have sufficed. 


Then we have the abusive marriage and how Lily handles it. I cannot blame her for staying, even after the first red flags were flying all over the place. Or after the first physical abuse. Many victims stay, make excuses for the abusers, and find ways to make the relationship work. What I found intolerable, though, was Lily using Atlas as her escape, cutting him off and somehow getting him back like nothing happened. Let me not even start with the treatment of Ryle during the pregnancy period. Like, why are you dangling the possibility of a relationship with an abuser? 


Last but not least, I feel like some characters could have used a little more depth. For instance, Ryle’s sister and Lily’s best friend. All we know about her is that she married a tech millionaire, works a wage job even though she doesn’t need the money, and seems to have a happy life. But the struggle of infertility she goes through is brushed over. It would have made an excellent storyline and helped readers explore people’s feelings through such struggles. Even Lily. Her character was way off in some instances, like her view of domestic violence. How are you using someone’s being charitable to the needy as a gauge for whether they are abusive or not? 


I would probably recommend this book. If you want a fast-read in the romantic department, yes, it might do. But if you want to avoid triggering subjects that are brushed over and somehow romanticized, then no.


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My ★ Rating 3.0

Goodreads ★ Rating 4.42 (as of June 2022)

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