It Ends with Us

By Colleen Hoover

ISBN#  9781471156267

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of spoilers aplenty*

Lily grew up in a home where her father often abused her mother.  It left her with no respect for either parent and made her despise her father.  She felt her mother was weak for staying and putting up with the abuse.  Lily couldn’t get out of the house fast enough.  So when she went off to college she went to the place her first love, Atlas, always thought was the best; Boston.

In Boston she met a handsome neurosurgeon, Ryle Kincaid.  Their enlightening conversations filled with ‘naked truths’ formed a bond neither of them had expected.  However, Ryle was upfront that he wasn’t a relationship kind of guy and that he preferred his life of one-night stands.  Lily was looking for her diamond in the rough perfect partner.  The two tried going their separate ways, but life kept bringing them back together.  They eventually decided to give a relationship a chance.  The two of them were better together than they had ever expected.  Unfortunately, Lily eventually discovers Ryle has a dark side and she must decide if he’s worth fighting for.  To make things even more difficult she runs into Atlas, which brings with it a plethora of old feelings and emotions.  The choices Lily makes now will forever shape her future.  But what if she chooses wrong?

I have so many feelings about this book.  It’s a story about domestic violence.  A story that is so well-written that it will give you an understanding of the victims that you probably didn’t have before.  This book will give you a little insight into what makes it so hard to leave.  It will show you how a person can love, despise, and fear another person simultaneously.  You should definitely have the tissues nearby for this emotional though-provoking read.

First off let me say that I absolutely fell in love with Ryle from the very beginning.  Hoover created a charismatic and fun character in him.  However, I hated her for making me fall in love with him only to turn him into a monster.  Even when he could be a monster he could flip the switch so fast to go back to his loving self.  After reading the note from the author at the end, I see that she was just as in love with him and shared the same feelings I felt about his character.  So, I guess that makes me feel a little better, but just a tiny bit better.  This was a subject close to the author’s heart and Ryle was the vehicle she used to tell the story and to make the reader truly feel it.

I wanted him to be able to be redeemed so bad even though I knew it wasn’t possible.

“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

And, in that first encounter with Ryle’s dark side I loved Lily for not giving up on him because I felt it did seem accidental.  However, naked truth:   I knew just the way the book was written that it wouldn’t be the last time it happened.  I knew he’d hurt her again.  My heart broke because I did love Ryle so much.  I wanted him to be good.  The hero.  And, I’m sure that’s how many feel about their abusive spouses.

“You are my wife. I’m supposed to be the one who protects you from the monsters. I’m not supposed to be one.”

Later, I was upset with Lily for forgiving Ryle even though I did still love him.  I could see her making excuses for him and justifying his actions.

I never felt a connection with Atlas in this book.  I think his character was purposefully written in a way that you didn’t.  His flickering flame just didn’t compare to the blazing inferno that was Ryle.  My heart hurt for Atlas because you could see how much he loved Lily. 

“He pulls back to look down at me and when he sees my tears, he brings his hands up to my cheeks. “In the future… if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again… fall in love with me.”

Atlas loved her from afar when she didn’t even know it.  He took her pain onto himself and picked her back up and put her back together again when she needed someone in her corner.  He lived for her.  He had to know that he was always second fiddle though.  In mythology, Atlas was the one that took the weight of the world on his shoulders right?  The name couldn’t have been more fitting for his character in this book.

The secondary characters, in this novel, were a lot of fun.  I loved Lily’s gay friend Devin, even though he wasn’t in the book much.  And Alyssa and Marshall were great too!

“So. I think I just met The Beggar.”

My heart flutters down my chest. I think The Neurosurgeon has a better ring to it. I take another sip of my champagne. “How do you know it was him? Did he introduce himself?”

He shakes his head. “Nah, but he overheard Marshall introducing me to someone as ‘Lily’s date.’ I thought the look he gave me was going to set me on fire. That’s why I came in here. I like you, but I’m not willing to die for you.”

This is a heartbreaking, raw, honest, and powerful read.  And, even after finishing the book I can’t help, but think about it.  Replaying some of the events in my head, some of the conversations, and it makes me tear up all over again.  It’s the sign of an amazing book.  And, yes I hated the author for making me feel so much with Ryle, but I think it’s a good thing that she did.

I just wish we could have had more time with the happily ever after at the end.  I wanted to see more! In fact, I needed more after putting my emotions through the wringer, the way she did!