“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.”- Lily, It Ends With Us
Synopsis via Goodreads: Sometimes it is the one who loves you 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, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
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. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover was one of MY MOST ANTICIPATED READS for this month and just like many other devoted CoHo fans, I anxiously awaited for its release date so I could finally have this gorgeous book in my hand. Said to be CoHo’s best book yet with a powerful message that hit home, I was ready to have my heart ripped to pieces. Unfortunately for me, I did not end up loving this book as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, THE MESSAGE IS THERE! IT’S STRONG! I FELT IT! But the story in and of itself was lacking. I felt like CoHo held back, keeping this book from reaching its TRUEST, FULLEST potential. I’m quite fond of CoHo’s beautiful and lyrical writing style that sucks you in and pulls at the heartstrings, but in all honesty, I felt like the writing for her newest release was mediocre at best.
Typically, this is the part where I give my own brief summary about the book, but I feel it’s better to go into this book blind. I went into It Ends With Us not knowing anything other than the fact that this book deals with a lot more heavier themes than her previous works and knowing that alone already had me excited because I am very much a fan of the darker reads. I didn’t even read the synopsis, which was a good thing because I don’t think it accurately describes what this book is about. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO LOVE TRIANGLE! Yes, there are two male characters who our main character both has romantic ties with, but it was never at the same time.
I think one of the things that affected me while reading this book was the fact that I’ve read so many other books that dealt with this same topic so I couldn’t help but compare this book those books I previously read. I am very much aware that this story is based on true events that occurred during CoHo’s own childhood, but I think we also have to be able to look at the story alone and judge it for what it is, and It Ends With Us couldn’t hold a candle to some of my previous reads that deal with this topic. I spent quite a few hours going over everything I highlighted and re-reading certain part and I felt like this book could’ve been so much better than what it was. The three main issues I had with this books were with: THE PLOT, THE CHARACTERS, AND THE ENDING.
The overall plot for this book is WAY TOO FAST! It’s only the first chapter and the insta-lust is real between our two main characters, Lily and Ryle. I found it to be a bit obnoxious. The back and forth banter was not even cute. I hated the fact Ryle completely changed who he was just to fit Lily’s ideal dream guy. I didn’t feel the connection between Ryle and Lily because of how quickly their relationship escalated. Also, because this book deals with such a heavy theme, the pacing NEEDED to be slower. I needed more time to process all the shit that was going down and because of this, I had a hard time connecting with the story overall. IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH ALL AT ONCE AND I NEEDED A DAMN BREAK LEVER SO THINGS COULD SLOW DOWN.
My next problem was with our two male leads, Ryle and Atlas. I felt like their characters could’ve been developed more. I wanted to know more about these characters, especially about Ryle’s past. For some reason, Ryle’s reasoning for his behavior does not sit well with me. It just rubs me the wrong way and maybe if that part of Ryle’s life was explored more, I would’ve found it believable, but I just can’t. Then we have Atlas, one of my favorite characters. WHY THE HELL DID WE NOT GET MORE OF HIM? Atlas plays a crucial part of Lily’s past as he is her first love and he and Lily were both there for each in their time of need, but I felt like this story would’ve been better if Atlas stayed in the past. I’m sorry, I know I said he’s my favorite and he is, but I don’t think his character played a big enough role in Lily’s present-day life to have an impact on the overall story.
And finally, the ending. The cherry on top because yes, there is an HEA and this also does not sit well with me. It felt forced, predictable…I didn’t like it.
Aside from my issues, I did feel like CoHo handled the heavy theme that surrounds this story very well. Some scenes depicted were taken from her own life experience and DAMMIT TO HELL, they had me holding my breath. It was not easy to read. I have a love/hate relationship with Lily’s character, but I also have the utmost respect for her because the moment she put her put her foot down and took back her life was the moment I got chills. That was indeed a memorable moment and it stuck with me. I also want to touch upon one of the most important part of this book, which is the author’s note. CoHo’s author’s notes are always downright moving as she tells us what the inspiration behind her latest book was. This one was more personal. It hit home and brought me to tears. I commend her for writing such a story based on her own life experiences. I said it before and I will say it again, THE MESSAGE IS THERE. IT IS LOUD AND CLEAR!
I haven’t written a review this long in a while, but I had a hard time when it came to rating this book. While it had a powerful and deep take away message, strip this story to the bare bones and it would fall apart completely because it lacks support with its fast-paced plot and one-dimensional characters. I expected more, so much more, and I hate to say it, but this one missed the mark for me.