Holding It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover

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About the Book

Title: It Starts with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: October 2022

Pages: 336, Paperback


While I am writing this review in this new year of our good lord — I know we’re past the new year, but I started this review at the beginning of the year and totally gave up — it has actually been about two months since I flipped the last page of It Starts With Us. 


Was I hoping to fall head over heels for Atlas and his story and have a better review — because honestly, It Ends With Us paints him in such light; the Knight in shining armour; Prince Charming; a second chance at love for Lily? Definitely yes. Was I hoping to read more of Atlas’s experience after that fateful night Lily’s dad beat him into a pulp? Was I desperately wishing for an account of his first encounter with Lily after all those years apart? Or his heartbreak, if any, the second time he loses her? 


Absolutely! I most certainly was expecting all of the above. And then Some. 


Did the author grant my wishes? 


Dear heavens, where to begin? 


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My Thought About It Starts with Us

Rather than give us an account of Atlas’s life, with little sprinkles of rebuilding an epic and steamy love story with Lily after her divorce, the book is marred by the current events in Lily’s life. From her jealous ex-husband drama to those cringey letters to Ellen and new characters just thrown into the story like patchwork. And don’t even get me started on how bland the whole story was. There were no fireworks that you’d expect to feel when reading about characters in love, especially when they’re rekindling a romance. Even some of the Bridgerton stories I did not enjoy elicited a better emotional response. 


Unfortunately, It Starts With Us was nothing but a disappointment. Other than the book being easy to cruise through in a day or so, it should probably have remained as a draft. Or non-existent.  


I might have awarded It Ends with Us a mere 3-star rating, but in the wake of It Starts With Us, it felt like a good read after all. 


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My ★ Rating 2.0 


Goodreads ★ Rating 3.97 (as of March 2023)

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