***This review has spoilers—sorry, I just can’t this review without discussing some things that may be a spoiler***
Oh wow! Colleen Hoover does it again…she hits us with another great novel. I’ve seen some people say it’s her best work, better than Maybe Someday, which I love. However, I’m not sure I can compare because this novel is not in the same genre as her other novels. I love Colleen for her romance novels, but It Ends with Us is not a romance novel. It’s women’s fiction.
This story is about Lilly. We see Lilly in two time frames, past and present. In present time, she meets Ryle, a man who loves her dearly, but is extremely complicated and dangerous at times. Lilly frequently reminisces on her childhood and her first love, Atlas. As her past and present begin to collide, her future remains unclear.
Ok…so what is this book really about? My summary is vague and I was unsure what this book was about when I first started reading it. I thought it was going to be a romance book with a love triangle. So let me assure you, there is no love triangle and this is not a romance book. This is a heavy and deep novel about a very serious issue, domestic abuse.
This book is about Lilly’s journey. Is there love? Of course, but it’s not the focal point. None of the men are the focal point. It’s about Lilly and the trial and tribulations she goes through; it’s about how she learns and grows.
I’m not going to lie…I formed an opinion very early on about Atlas and Ryle. I loved Atlas and Ryle wasn’t bad, but I fell in love with Atlas as she reminisced on their young love. Ryle grew on me as the story went on and I was frustrated because I wanted to feel that true love feeling where one was meant for Lilly and I wasn’t getting that. Then I thought about it and I realized the book isn’t about her true love; it’s just about her. I’d like to think I’m a pretty tough chick and wouldn’t put up with the shit Lilly put up with, but I found myself trying to justify Ryle’s behavior the way Lilly did. I found myself hoping he would change the way Lilly did. It’s easy to be judgmental about why women stay in abusive relationships, but this book is definitely an eye opener and shows just how difficult these situations can be. What do you do when the man you love hurts you? Well, as hard as it is, I believe you still have to make the hard decision to protect yourself. I think Lilly made the right decision in the end. I’ve heard many voice opinions about how Ryle didn’t get help, but the story isn’t about him. It’s about Lilly and she’s strong and will move on. So the fact that there is no closure for Ryle did not bother me at all.
I will say that I think the biggest impact on the novel is Colleen Hoover’s personal note at the end. She talks about where this book came from and her personal experience with this topic. Her personal journey sealed the deal on how this book impacts you and makes you feel in the end. As deep and heavy as this novel is, it is also uplifting. There is hope as long as the hard decision can be made. This book will make you think about yourself, the women you know, and the women you don’t know but hear about…about how we suffer and how we survive. It’s a story that highlights the hardships we face, complexity of life, the strength within us and the love we are capable of.
I just loved this book. This is a must read for everyone!