It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Published by Simon and Schuster, Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2nd 2016
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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.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.
When Lily Bloom was fifteen years old she met Atlas. He was a senior in high school to her sophomore. She’s wondering what he was doing living in the abandoned house behind her own. She makes a point to talk to him and they soon strike up a friendship. It turns out that Atlas’s mother kicked him out because her new husband didn’t like him and since he was 18 she was under no obligation to let him live with her. Lily helps Atlas take showers, as well as get clothes, food and blankets to survive. Their friendship soon becomes love but then Atlas contacts his uncle in Boston and moves there so that he can have a real home.
Lilly’s own home life wasn’t fabulous either. Her father abused her mother on a regular basis and she couldn’t understand why her mom didn’t take Lily and leave. She thought of her as weak.
Fast forward to Lily at the age of 22 when she is just back in Boston – her new home – from attending her father’s funeral. She decides to watch some stars and finds an apartment building near her own that has a great roof deck. While there she unexpectedly meets Ryle. Ryle is a neurosurgeon competing his residency. They tell each other some hard truths – they call them naked truths – but when Ryle gets called away they don’t plan on seeing each other ever again. Lily wants a husband and family and Ryle thinks marriage is repulsive and wants nothing to do with children.
Six months later and Lily is opening her own flower shop like she’s always wanted. She hires Alyssa who wanders in off the street and she ends up being Ryle’s sister. Neither Ryle nor Lily can get the other off their mind. They end up together but it turns out that Ryle has some issues that cause Lily to really look at him, their relationship and their future together. When she meets Atlas again after seven years apart Lily has to face her thoughts about him and how their relationship ended.
Let me tell you it’s so very hard to write this review without giving you HUGE spoilers but I’m gonna give it a whirl.
This story was incredibly hard to read at times. The subject matter is about something that you hope, in your life, you never have to face, but Lily did. Looking at things about herself and Ryle from the inside of their relationship made her see that nothing is black and white. She assumed that if she saw the same issues in another couple that her decision would be non-negotiable but seeing things from the inside was different for her. The way that Hoover made us look at matters from a different point of view was quite heart-wrenching. While she had me smiling at different points in the book she had me crying at others.
The characters in the story are really amazingly written. I really loved them all – yes, ALL. Alyssa with her wonderful personality as well as her husband, Marshall who cracked me up whenever he was on page. Atlas had an incredible soul – even at 18 years of age and that didn’t change when he was older, either. Lily was an incredible strong girl and woman. I didn’t ever see her as weak and truly admired her. Ryle, as much as I wanted to hate him I just really couldn’t. Despite his issues I still liked him at the end of the book which is saying something, let me tell you.
I want to say that though the blurb alludes to a love triangle there isn’t really one in the book. I truly hate love triangles. I try to avoid them at all costs so went in to this book with a sense of trepidation. I was thrilled with the way that Hoover dealt with Lily, Ryle and Atlas – it was so well done! (I did hate his name, however. It threw me out of the book so many times it got a bit frustrating, I must say.)
The book was fun and funny at times. It was also painful and sad to read for a whole slew of reasons. A lot of people would stay away from it because of those reasons but you shouldn’t. It’s not a typical Hoover book but it was definitely worth reading.
Rating: 4 out of 5