Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: August 2nd 2016
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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.
If you want to go into this blind, come back after you’ve read it because I’m going to spoil the premise of the book. Honestly, it shouldn’t even be a spoiler; it should’ve been in the blurb because it could trigger someone.
Basically this book deals with abusive relationships and the cycle of abuse. Growing up, Lily constantly witnessed her father abusing her mother and despised him. She also despised her mom, considered her weak and naive. But then Lily falls into a similar situation herself and begins to understand her mother’s perspective.
Let me start off with the things that really irked me: The first time Ryle and Lily meet, he basically tells her he wants to have sex with her and she actually doesn’t think that’s creepy. At one point, he even kneels in front of her and begs to have sex with him so he can get her out of his mind. There’s also the problem with everyone and everything being too perfect. Like how Lily opens a shop and gets an incredible idea all of a sudden, and how her business becomes very successful. Also how she immediately finds the perfect friends (who are all very rich and very good-looking).
Now comes the conflicting part…keep in my mind that I have an aunt who’s husband emotionally abuses her but I’ve never been in any kind of abusive relationship myself so I can’t speak for anyone who has been in such a situation. This is the hardest review I have ever written because Colleen Hoover’s books are very problematic; they often romanticize abusive relationships (more on that from you tuber, Whitney Atkinson, HERE). So when she writes a book about abusive relationships and bases it on personal experience, how do you determine whether some aspect of that book is problematic or not? I admit, as soon as I finished the book, I gave it five stars, but I gave myself time to think it over and I read many other reviews and ended up giving it two stars, and finally four stars.
I think it’s important to note that Colleen’s main purpose is to get the reader to experience the conflict many women face when they are in such relationships. She wanted to show us how these relationships are often complicated and not as easy to get out of. Yes, Lily gets physically abused and forgives her abuser once in this book and she does consider reconciliation after another instance of abuse, but I didn’t think it was done in a way that condoned or romanticized abuse. Lily stands her ground, she doesn’t take the abuse lightly and she doesn’t forget, but, at the same time, she still loves and cares about him.
You get to experience everything through her so you grow to like Ryle, you then start to absolutely loathe him and you also feel immensely sorry for him. I do hate him, I really do. But there were somethings about him that I really liked even if the things about his past and his PTSD felt like an excuse for his abusive actions- a way to make him appear sympathetic. Personally, I can never imagine forgiving a person who is in any way abusive and I encourage everyone who’s mistreated by a loved one to leave the toxic r/ship, but then I have never been in a situation like that. People are complicated- there is no black & white when it comes to humans. Every relationship is different, every person is different. Whatever the reason the abused stays with the abuser, we can not judge unless we’ve been in the exact situation.
Despite some of its flaws, It ends with us really left me an emotional wreck. I fell in love with Atlas and I despaired for Lily and Ryle. I thought it was a powerful story that was touching and ugly at the same time. The only reason I read a Colleen Hoover book is because I heard it covers important issues (and it does). Although I won’t be reading anymore of her books, I won’t be forgetting this one.
I found a very important post on this book and there are many comments from readers who’ve had experiences of abusive relationships. Basically, the comment section is full of viewpoints from both sides that I think you should check out: http://www.questreviews.com/discussion-ends-us-colleen-hoover/
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